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see airfoilairfoil,
surface designed to develop a desired force by reaction with a fluid, especially air, that is flowing across the surface. For example, the fixed wing surfaces of an airplane produce lift, which opposes gravity.
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; airplaneairplane,
or aircraft,
heavier-than-air vehicle, mechanically driven and fitted with fixed wings that support it in flight through the dynamic action of the air.
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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a control surface that constitutes a certain fraction of the rear portion of a wing of an airplane or a glider. Ailerons can be deflected upward or downward and are used to control an aircraft with respect to its longitudinal axis. When deflected, an aileron produces a difference in lift between the right and left wings of an aircraft.

Ailerons are usually differential—that is, are deflected through a greater angle upward than downward—in order to reduce yawing moments when banking and to increase the control effectiveness near critical angles of attack. Ailerons provide lateral stability and make it possible to fly along curves—for example, to make a 360° banked turn—without slipping.

Ailerons may be double-slotted or triple-slotted. They may be supplemented by spoliers, trim tabs, or trimmer-flatteners (seeHIGH-LIFT DEVICES). In design, an aileron is similar to a wing.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


(aerospace engineering)
The hinged rear portion of an aircraft wing moved differentially on each side of the aircraft to obtain lateral or roll control moments.
A half gable, such as that which closes the end of a penthouse roof or of a church aisle.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


A half gable, such as that which closes the end of a penthouse roof or of the aisle of a church.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


aileronclick for a larger image
A primary flight control surface mounted on the trailing edge of the wing, which controls the rolling movement of the aircraft or its rotation about its longitudinal axis. The ailerons move differentially—the up-going aileron is on the side where the aircraft is banked, whereas the down-going aileron is on the side of the up-going wing.
An Illustrated Dictionary of Aviation Copyright © 2005 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved


a flap hinged to the trailing edge of an aircraft wing to provide lateral control, as in a bank or roll
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005