control surface


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

Lasers can burn holes in ship hulls, torch flying drones and slice off control surfaces, and explode the propellant or warhead in an incoming missile. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "After Only 3 Years in Service, the USS Zumwalt’s Mission Is Changing," 17 May 2019 Having bled off so much energy, the test pilot then masterfully plays his plane like a fiddle, using his engines and control surfaces to put the plane into a slow horizontal spin. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "This Su-35 Flight Demo Will Make Your Head Explode," 20 July 2017 This could take the form of capsules fixed with flight control surfaces for precision glides or steerable parachutes for more pinpoint landings. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "The Air Force Is Actually Considering Rocket Launches to Move Cargo Around the Globe," 29 Oct. 2018 Flight data recorders track data ranging from basic speed and altitude to the position of flight-control surfaces and flight-control inputs by the crew. Ben Otto, WSJ, "Investigators Download 69 Hours of Data From Crashed Lion Air Jet," 4 Nov. 2018 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

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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Last Updated

18 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for control surface

The first known use of control surface was in 1910

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