ai·​le·​ron | \ ˈā-lə-ˌrän How to pronounce aileron (audio) \

Definition of aileron

: a movable airfoil at the trailing edge of an airplane wing that is used for imparting a rolling motion especially in banking for turns — see airplane illustration

Examples of aileron in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In other words, the company still needs to see how the aircraft performs in moments of flight failure with the absence of a traditional airplane’s ailerons, flaps, spoilers, elevators, and even a tail. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Will We One Day Fly in This 'Blended Wing' Airplane? Airbus Built a Prototype To Find Out.," 13 Feb. 2020 Aviation history is littered with fatal crashes in which birds gunked up engines or knocked ailerons askew. Brendan I. Koerner, Wired, "It's a Bird! It's a Plane! The Midair Collisions Menacing Air Travel," 24 Jan. 2020 For example, during takeoff and landing, the pilot of an airliner like a Boeing 747 will extend the flaps and slats on the wings to create more lift, and moving surfaces such as ailerons permit the plane to roll and turn. Rob Verger, Popular Science, "The PigeonBot flies like a bird but won’t poop like one," 16 Jan. 2020 The left wing aileron trim tab remained intact and its pushrod was connected but bent., "The vintage B-17 aircraft that," 16 Oct. 2019 The trip back from Hawaii achieved better fuel savings because of changes to the software that enabled the airplane to use the rudder to keep its position, as opposed to using the airplane's ailerons. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Vortex Surfing: Formation Flying Could Save the Air Force Millions on Fuel," 17 July 2013 Felker rolls the agile aircraft back to our starting position and then performs a series of maneuvers that the Thunderbirds perform: 4-point roll, 8-point roll, aileron rolls, knife edge, Cuban 8 and so forth. Kelsey Grey, idahostatesman, "Flying high with the Thunderbirds was not what I expected. It was way better.," 2 June 2018 The rudders and pedals at my feet and the stick in my hand are connected by wires that run through pulleys to the ailerons and elevator and rudder. Popular Mechanics, "How To Fix Flying," 18 July 2016 Conventional aircraft use a system of elevators, rudders, and ailerons to control their direction in the pitch, (up and down) yaw (left to right), and roll directions. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "New Stealth Drone Has No Moving Surfaces at All," 15 Dec. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'aileron.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of aileron

1909, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for aileron

French, from diminutive of aile wing — more at aisle

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about aileron

Time Traveler for aileron

Time Traveler

The first known use of aileron was in 1909

See more words from the same year

Statistics for aileron

Cite this Entry

“Aileron.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for aileron


How to pronounce aileron (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of aileron

technical : a part of an airplane wing that can be moved up or down to cause the airplane to turn

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on aileron

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with aileron

Spanish Central: Translation of aileron

Nglish: Translation of aileron for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about aileron

Comments on aileron

What made you want to look up aileron? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

July 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • papercraft sunset
  • Which is a synonym of mien?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!