NOVA PBS

Tour the Demoiselle

back | 6 of 14 | next

Cruciform

Cruciform
A closer look at the tail shows what is known as the cruciform, a design that Santos-Dumont came up with, which is sort of like a universal joint. The rudder and the elevator were connected together. And this is a hinged affair where, when you operated the controls in the cockpit, you could make the tail either move up and down along a hinge on the horizontal axis, and along the vertical axis you could operate it from left to right for steering. A very simple affair, very efficient, and, of course, you want to keep it very light and strong. And this design worked perfectly for this airplane.


Wings of Madness homepage | NOVA homepage

NOVAPBS