Flap (aircraft)

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Flaps are hinged surfaces on the trailing edge of the wings of a fixed-wing aircraft. As flaps are extended, the stalling speed of the aircraft is reduced, which means that the aircraft can fly safely at lower speeds (especially during take off and landing). Flaps are also used on the leading edge of the wings of some high-speed jet aircraft, where they may be called Krueger flaps

Extending flaps increases the camber of the wing airfoil, thus raising the maximum lift coefficient. This increase in maximum lift coefficient allows the aircraft to generate a given amount of lift with a lower speed. Therefore, extending the flaps reduces the stalling speed of the aircraft.



Extending flaps also increases drag. This can be beneficial in the approach and landing phase because it helps to slow the aircraft. Another useful side effect of flap deployment is a decrease in aircraft pitch angle. This provides the pilot with a greater view over the nose of the aircraft and allows a better view of the runway during approach and landing.

Some trailing edge flap systems increase the planform area of the wing in addition to changing the camber. In turn, the larger lifting surface allows the aircraft to generate a given amount of lift with a lower speed, thus further reducing stalling speed. Although this effect is very similar to increasing the lift coefficient, raising the planform area of the wing does not itself raise the lift coefficient. The Fowler flap is an example of a flap system...
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