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Aileron

From Academic Kids

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Aileron.arp.600pix.jpg
Aileron location on a Piper PA-28. The aileron in this picture is slightly drooped

Ailerons are hinged flaps attached to the trailing edge of an airplane wing, usually near the wingtips. They are used to control the aircraft in roll. The two ailerons are interconnected so that one goes down when the other goes up: the downgoing aileron increases the lift on its wing while the upgoing aileron reduces the lift on the other wing, producing a rolling moment about the aircraft's longitudinal axis. The word aileron is French for "little wing."

An unwanted side-effect of aileron operation is adverse yaw - a yawing moment in the opposite direction to the turn generated by the ailerons. In other words, using the ailerons to roll an aircraft to the right would produce a yawing motion to the left. The yaw occurs because the down-going aileron will increase the Angle of Attack of the upgoing wing, increasing both lift and drag (Form + Induced). Conversely, the wing with the upgoing aileron will see a small increase in drag (Form), as well as the intended reduction in lift.

Adverse yaw can be countered with the aircraft's rudder (a co-ordinated turn), but can also be reduced with clever design. If the upgoing aileron moves further upwards than the downgoing aileron moves down, it will create extra profile drag on that wing and try to yaw the aircraft into the turn. This set-up is known as "differential aileron". Another solution is to use a "Frise aileron", where the up going aileron also projects a section downwards below the wing, again increasing drag on the inside of the turn.

Modern airliners tend to have a second set of inboard ailerons much closer to the fuselage, which are used at high speeds. Some aircraft use spoilers to achieve the same effect as ailerons.

The device was developed independently by the Aerial Experiment Association, headed by Alexander Graham Bell, and by Robert Esnault-Pelterie, a french airplane builder.

See also

External links

eo:alerono ja:エルロン nl:Rolroer

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