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Q:

I teach computers and technology. My STEM class has been learning about flaps, rudders and wings. My 1st graders would like to know what exactly a flap on a wing does.

A:

Flaps change the shape of the wing.  By adding a curve to the wing, flaps increase the plane’s lift at takeoff.  Flaps can also increase drag, which helps the airplane slow down for landing.  Flaps, or ailerons, are also how the plane is able to make the “roll” motion, which you can see in this animation.

Categories: Flight Dynamics