Ask an Explainer


Why are ailerons located at the end of the wings and not right next to the plane's fuselage?


Ailerons work by exerting a downward force on the wing, pushing the wing down and causing the plane to roll. The closer ailerons get to the fuselage, the smaller the force that the ailerons can exert. This happens because the plane’s fuselage acts as a fulcrum, with the plane’s wings acting as a lever. The further away a downward force is from a fulcrum, the greater effect it has on the rotation of the lever. When ailerons are far away from the fuselage, less force is needed to roll the airplane, so the pilot has greater control.