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Horizontal Stabilizers

The F-14 has an all-moving horizontal stabilizer which is actuated by a stabilizer actuator (not shown in the graphic, see here) located just forward of the inner bearing (see graphic). This control surface is made of boron fibre material and pivots about a shaft protruding from the fuselage. The stabilizer consists of a main structural box, leading and trailing edge section and the tip. The last 3 sections have conventional aluminium skins over a full-depth aluminium honeycomb core. The main box is a boron fibre structure consisting of the root rib, two intercostals, outer bearing, outer rib, front and rear beams, tip rib, honeycomb core and the 2 covers. Front beams, rear beams and root tip are of glass fibre construction.
The stabilizers were designed to avoid mechanical failure through the boron. In regions of high shear transfer between the substructure and hte cover titanium is carried over the area to distribute load.
  • Stabilizer area: 70 sqft
  • Chord ratio (root): 5%
  • Chord ratio (tip): 3%
  • Weight: 778 lbs
When the F-14 was designed, fibre composite materials were new to aircraft manufacturers and thus the F-14 was - once again - ahead of its time.

Click on image-icons to view an enlarged photo:


This section is partly taken from the book "Composite Materials in Aircraft Strutures" by D.H. Middleton (Longman Scientific & Technical)

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