control surface

noun

Definition of control surface 

: a movable airfoil designed to change the attitude of an aircraft

Examples of control surface in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

High-energy lasers, for example, could destroy a missile by burning through critical structures, control surfaces, and/or control systems, causing the missile to structurally fail or become uncontrollable. Henry Obering Iii, Fortune, "I Used to Direct the Missile Defense Agency. America Needs New Weapons," 5 July 2018 New lightweight materials, electric propulsion using small fans, and stability-enhancing computer controls mean that traditional engines, and flight control surfaces like flaps, are no longer a necessity. Jack Stewart, WIRED, "Boeing's $2 Million Challenge to Make the Sky Fun Again—With 'Flying Motorbikes'," 14 June 2018 Newer airplanes use powerful computers to recognize increasing G load on the airplane and to reduce it by deflecting flight control surfaces. John Cox, USA TODAY, "Ask the Captain: Questions about three-engine jets," 17 June 2018 Those that use explosives require larger rocket motors, structures, and control surfaces, making them much less maneuverable. Eric Adams, WIRED, "Lockheed's Drone-Sploding Baby Missile Weighs Just 5 Pounds," 5 May 2018 On the way down, having lost power on one side, the pilots would adjust their rudders, flaps, and other flight control surfaces to keep the aircraft balanced. Jack Stewart, WIRED, "How Southwest Flight 1380's Pilots Landed With a Blown Engine," 17 Apr. 2018 Detroit is a cold place in December, and since ice and airplane control surfaces don't mix, a deicing stop on the way to the runway is often necessary. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "An end to in-flight Wi-Fi misery is at hand with Gogo’s 2Ku," 22 Jan. 2018 These mechanical devices are usually in the shape of control surfaces attached to the rear of the wing, horizontal, and vertical stabilizers and are controlled by the pilot—or sometimes an onboard flight computer. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "New Stealth Drone Has No Moving Surfaces at All," 15 Dec. 2017 The flight control system was also tested as control surfaces on the wings and stabilizers were moved through their full range of motion. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "Stratolaunch Megaplane Fires Up All Six Engines for the First Time," 20 Sep. 2017

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

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First Known Use of control surface

1910, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of control surface was in 1910

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