Why is the yoke on a cessna 152 a two handle type and on a fighter plane one handled?

November 7, 2008

I appreciate that these planes are leagues apart but why aren't all yoke one handed?

Because having a yoke in a Cessna that looks sort of like a steering wheel helps noob pilots get the point that a plane's rudder is NOT used for steering, it's ailerons are.

By the way, the elevators don't make you go up and down either so much as they cause you to slow or speed up by changing you angle of attack.

If you're not a pilot but want to be one some day or are just interested in how an airplane is flown, read the book I linked below. Even though it was written in 1944, it still applies to every small plane flying today.

Comments

15 Responses to “Why is the yoke on a cessna 152 a two handle type and on a fighter plane one handled?”

  1. DuaneLaugh on November 7th, 2008 5:51 pm

    You have answered your own question…….one has a wheel and the other a stick.
    References :

  2. welshbloke on November 7th, 2008 6:15 pm

    152 because it does a dual action
    The fighter also has a collective that gives the "up and down" bit, ie 2 sticks to do the same as one stick in the 152
    References :

  3. CyberCommie on November 7th, 2008 6:42 pm

    A fighter pilot has a greater work load and has thumb and finger controls on both the throttle and stick. He needs to control both at the same time, so only one hand on the yoke.
    References :

  4. Baron_von_Party on November 7th, 2008 7:28 pm

    Not all fighters have a stick. Most modern ones are, but then again most modern ones are fly-by-wire. One glaring exception I know of is the P38 Lightning had a control wheel instead of a stick.
    References :
    http://www.475th.org/Museum/MVC-019F.JPG

  5. Mark in Time on November 7th, 2008 8:09 pm

    Because having a yoke in a Cessna that looks sort of like a steering wheel helps noob pilots get the point that a plane's rudder is NOT used for steering, it's ailerons are.

    By the way, the elevators don't make you go up and down either so much as they cause you to slow or speed up by changing you angle of attack.

    If you're not a pilot but want to be one some day or are just interested in how an airplane is flown, read the book I linked below. Even though it was written in 1944, it still applies to every small plane flying today.
    References :
    http://www.amazon.com/Stick-Rudder-Explanation-Art-Flying/dp/0070362408/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1207262404&sr=1-1

  6. sjgarstang on November 7th, 2008 8:30 pm

    Most modern fighters have fly by wire controls, most (relatively) cheap airplanes do not. Having two handed controls allows you to exert more force on the control surfaces but with fly by wire this extra force is simply not needed. Think of it in the same manner as how cars with power steering tend to have smaller steering wheels than cars without. (maybe not the best example, but all I could think of)
    References :

  7. aviophage on November 7th, 2008 9:09 pm

    Lots of confusion and false information in most of the answers above. The answer to your question is simple.

    Airplanes have two types of controls for the pitch and roll axes: Some have a "yoke," or "control wheel," and some have a "stick."

    There are a few exceptions and variations, as almost everything imaginable has been tried at least once in the history of aviation.

    In general, the "yoke" or "control wheel" type control is used in light aircraft designed for the general market. It is easier to understand and use for an inexperienced pilot, and it leaves the space between your legs free.

    People who could *ahem* "stand to shed a few pounds" find the yoke much more comfortable than the stick.

    Airplanes that are faster and more maneuverable are usually fitted with sticks, and also the very lightest and simplest airplanes have sticks (for example, the J-3 Cub or Aeronca Champ, and, as far as I know, all biplanes).

    It is much easier to rig up control cables for the elevators and ailerons for a stick than for a yoke.

    Your Cessna 150 or 152 has a "yoke" or "control wheel" type of roll/pitch control. It looks like a 2-handled thingie, because it was designed by the stylist in the marketing department, rather than by an aeronautical engineer. It is actually a control wheel, rather than a "two-handle type" control.

    Almost all fighters and pursuit aircraft (with the notable exception of the P-38 and a few other types) have a "Stick" type roll/pitch control.

    Newer aircraft with fly-by-wire systems have a joystick type control that functions the same way as a control stick.
    References :
    retired airline captain

  8. asbratcher on November 7th, 2008 9:52 pm

    If I remember correctly, the Airbus 380 uses a stick also.
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  9. Bardic on November 7th, 2008 10:14 pm

    It's simply a design feature to make people more used to driving a car feel at home – it's more instinctive for them to twist a wheel, or something that is nearly a wheel, than to manipulate a stick. Also gives more room between the legs.

    Aircraft designed more for flying rather than driving to work tend to have a stick – even modern airliners have a side-stick controller, more like the joystick on a computer game, which in fact it is.
    References :

  10. gisburnuk on November 7th, 2008 10:20 pm

    A control stick is used becuase it is more managable to use during high 'G' loads.
    A control column it situated at chest height and would require more force to counteract the extra 'G' forces acting on the arms.
    A control Stick is situated at knees height and doesn't require as much effort during these high G loads since the arms are resting on the legs.
    Most performance aircraft including acrobatic aircraft implement a control stick in favour of a control column due to this reason.

    Airbus created the side stick for ergonomic purposes.
    References :

  11. Poo P on November 7th, 2008 10:45 pm

    funny isn't it? american built light aircraft have yokes just like on big passenger jets, while european built light aircraft have the much more useful and controllable joystick that allows you perfect control while leaving one hand free to twiddle with the throttle, radio and all that other stuff

    its a cultural thing
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  12. Adam M on November 7th, 2008 11:00 pm

    i believe a one stick yoke on a fighter jet is used for quicker response movements
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  13. cropguy on November 7th, 2008 11:18 pm

    It's real simple, you have a stick coming up between your legs to input control forces with one, or with a yoke coming from the flight panel, or dash of a smaller aircraft. Both do exactly the same thing, both can support a number of different aux functions, weapons or otherwise.
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  14. Chewbydoo on November 7th, 2008 11:43 pm

    It's all down to the design. The control yoke on the Cessna goes through the face of the instrument panel to a Y shaped yoke and this allows good clearance around the pilots feet for entry and egress. The Y design also allows for duality in the control system which is handy for tuition.

    The conventional stick is just something which has been carried on through the history of aeroplanes but we are now seeing all sorts of combinations in control runs, particularly sidesticks in light aircraft.
    References :

  15. Barry on November 8th, 2008 12:01 am

    To amend asbratch's answer, the A380 uses small joysticks not much different to the kind one would use on a flight sim game.
    References :

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