Effects of Torque on Steep Turns


Well-Known Member
Does anyone have some technical info on this? I can explain it, but I'm looking for a more advanced definition than what I can currently give in my own words.

That's a difficult question you're asking; I guess I'll try and tackle it.

First of all, let me say that any time you ask a question on aerodynamics you should be prepared for numerous answers. There are individuals who have a Phd in aerodynamics and still disagree with each other, and if you ask a pilot and an engineer a question about aerodynamics, you are likely to get conflicting answers.

Anyway, you are asking about torque in steep turns? Torque is simply the reaction you get from the clockwise (from the pilot's view) spinning propeller, and results in a left turning tendency. It is the same reaction you would get if you were spinning circles in a swivel office chair and then suddenly grabbed a pole. By grabbing the pole, you would be turned opposite to the direction in which you were circling. So torque effect is simply stated by Newton's Law, "for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction."

So what is one of the biggest factors causing an airplane's torque effect? The amount of power you are using. The more power, the greater the torque effect. Also, an abrupt change in throttle, from low to high power, can create a sudden jolt from torque effect as well.

That's why I am kind of confused by your question. Torque effect is not usually discussed with steep turns because steep turns are usually accomplished with a constant power setting, which is usually not one of the higher power settings as well. Sure you get a left rolling effect from torque in steep turns, but there are bigger aerodynamic factors at work in steep turns that worry pilots such as the overbanking tendency. I hope that helps a little bit.
Thanks for the replies. I asked several other people and they basically told me what I was thinking. That torque will cause more roll to the left, therefore you might need more opposite aileron and rudder during a left turn than so in a right steep turn.

I know about overbanking, the outside or higher wing is going faster than the lower wing, therefore creating more lift.

Sorry if my question was confusing. I was looking through my PTS and I have to present steep turns to a CFI ground lab and that was the only part of the section that was unclear to me.

Thanks Again!