Flight Instructor 4 Hire

Reference:   FAA-H-8083-25

CG vs tail down1
cg vs cp


Stall Speed

Cruise Speed


Forward CG

Faster IAS



Aft CG

Slower IAS



The CG position influences the lift and angle of attack of the wing, the amount and direction of force on the tail, and the degree of deflection of the stabilizer needed to supply the proper tail force for equilibrium. The latter is very important because of its relationship to elevator control force.

The airplane will stall at a higher speed with a forward CG location. This is because the stalling angle of attack is reached at a higher speed due to increased wing loading.

Higher elevator control forces normally exist with a forward CG location due to the increased stabilizer deflection required to balance the airplane.

The airplane will cruise faster with an aft CG location because of reduced drag. The drag is reduced because a smaller angle of attack and less downward deflection of the stabilizer are required to support the airplane and overcome the nose-down pitching tendency.

The airplane becomes less stable as the CG is moved rearward. This is because when the CG is moved rearward it causes an increase in the angle of attack. Therefore, the wing contribution to the airplane’s stability is now decreased, while the tail contribution is still stabilizing. When the point is reached that the wing and tail contributions balance, then neutral stability exists. Any CG movement further aft will result in an unstable airplane.

Aforward CG location increases the need for greater back elevator pressure. The elevator may no longer be able to oppose any increase in nose-down pitching. Adequate elevator control is needed to control the airplane throughout the airspeed range down to the stall.