Wings

Aileron

Is a hinged flight control surface usually forming part of the trailing edge of each wing of a fixed-wing aircraft. Ailerons are used in pairs to control the aircraft in roll, which normally results in a change in flight path due to the tilting of the lift vector.

Fuel Tank

Aircraft’s wing structure can be sealed and used as a fuel tank. Many aircraft designs feature fixed tip tanks mounted at the end of each wing. The weight of the tanks and fuel counteract wing bending loads during manoeuvres and reduce fatigue on the spar structure.

Skin

Is the outer surface that can be made by a wide range of materials to make use of properties such as strength, elasticity, specific weight and corrosion resistance.

Wing flap

Are a type of high-lift device used to increase the lift of an aircraft wing at a given airspeed. Flaps are usually mounted on the wing trailing edges of a fixed-wing aircraft. Flaps are used for extra lift on takeoff. Flaps also cause an increase in drag in mid-flight, so they are retracted when not needed.

Spar

Is often the main structural member of the wing, running spanwise at right angles (or thereabouts depending on wing sweep) to the fuselage. The spar carries flight loads and the weight of the wings while on the ground.

Wing Tip

Is the part of the wing that is most distant from the fuselage of a fixed-wing aircraft. Because the wing tip shape influences the size and drag of the wingtip vortices, tip design has produced a diversity of shapes.

Ribs

Are forming elements of the structure of a wing, especially in traditional construction. By analogy with the anatomical definition of “rib”, the ribs attach to the main spar, and by being repeated at frequent intervals, form a skeletal shape for the wing.

Stringers

Are primarily responsible for transferring the aerodynamic loads acting on the skin onto the frames and formers. In the wings or horizontal stabilizer, longerons run spanwise (from wing root to wing tip) and attach between the ribs. The primary function here also is to transfer the bending loads acting on the wings onto the ribs and spar.