Kevin Patrick O'Brien

Aerospace engineering

Hometown: Avondale, Arizona, United States

Graduation date: Spring 2020

Kevin O'Brien
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FURI | Fall 2020

How Center of Gravity Location and the Sizing of Control Surfaces Affect Aircraft Stability

The motivation behind this project is to investigate how to size an aircraft’s control surface in relation to the center of gravity for aircraft stability. Finding a working balance between these will then lead to finding the best design for a given mission. Multiple aircraft configurations were created in an aerodynamic data program called Vorlax with varying CG locations and control surfaces. The data is then visualized and analyzed in Excel to calculate the different equations related to stability. An important consideration to focus on while designing is being able to create a configuration that not only allows for center of gravity to have some range but also frequencies match what a pilot would be comfortable with.


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Additional projects from this student

Studying how the sizing of an aircraft's control surfaces impacts its stability will help teach people how to design more efficiently.


  • FURI
  • Spring 2020