A stabilator is a one-piece horizontal stabilizer that pivots from a central hinge point. It is moved using the control wheel, just as the elevator is moved. When the control column is pulled back, it raises the stabilator’s trailing edge, pulling the airplane’s nose up. This increases the aerodynamic tail load and causes the nose of the airplane to move up. Pushing the control column forward lowers the trailing edge of the stabilator and pitches the nose of the airplane down.
Because stabilators pivot around a central hinge point, they are extremely sensitive to control inputs and aerodynamic loads. Stabilators have an antiservo tab extending across their trailing edge to decrease sensitivity. They deflect in the same direction as the stabilator. This results in an increase in the force required to move the stabilator, thus making it less prone to pilot-induced overcontrolling. In addition, a balance weight is usually incorporated in front of the main spar. The balance weight may project into the empennage or may be incorporated on the forward portion of the stabilator tips.