April 2010 Issue

Understanding Wing Flaps

Some enhance, some are a drag, but all perform a specific job depending on their design, application, limitations and how we use them.

They seem to come in as many varieties as hotdogs—and with about as many interesting names. You know what I mean: Chicago Style, New York Style, Half-Smoke, Coneys, Hot Links and so forth. Ordering without confessing unfamiliarity with variations in flavors, spices and condiments can prove painful. It’s the same with flaps, though the consequences of inadequate knowledge are different. For example, you need to know what kind of flaps you’re flying and how they’re used. This knowledge, in turn, enables their management for takeoffs, landings and other operations. Knowledge of your flaps and their peculiarities can be particularly powerful should you find yourself in unusual circumstances, and need to maximize their benefits. Let’s take a look.

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