Trailing edge

Cross section of an aerodynamic surface with the trailing edge emphasised
An American Aviation AA-1 Yankee showing its wing trailing edge with aileron (deployed downwards) and flap while being refuelled

The trailing edge of an aerodynamic surface such as a wing is its rear edge, where the airflow separated by the leading edge rejoins.[1] Essential flight control surfaces are attached here to redirect the air flow and exert a controlling force by changing its momentum. Such control surfaces include ailerons on the wings for roll control, elevators on the tailplane controlling pitch and the rudder on the fin controlling yaw. Elevators and ailerons may be combined as elevons on tailless aircraft.

Other surfaces and equipment that may be attached to the trailing edge of an aircraft's wing or on its control surfaces include:


  1. Crane, Dale: Dictionary of Aeronautical Terms, third edition, page 521. Aviation Supplies & Academics, 1997. ISBN 1-56027-287-2

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