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I see that somebody has added a page called "Ailerion(s)"... Is that a valid alternate spelling? I think not, but wanted to check. 17:25, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Certainly not an alternative! - Adrian Pingstone 18:22, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)


Alerion redirects here, apparently as a misspelling. Charge (heraldry) suggests that an alerion is a sort of fantastic bird. I am wondering if the two usages are related. - Smerdis of Tlön 16:49, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

Americans at all costs try to usurp the merit of others for themselves. The patent system torsion of wings (could include all controls roll, except the ailerons, since they were patented by Boulton in 1868. All ailerons built since then was based on the invention of Boulton and not the system torsion of wing the Wright Brothers. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:08, 5 October 2011 (UTC)

Merge tag[edit]

  • oppose I oppose merging this article with Flight controls, especially since it's already pretty long by itself. The merge tag was added by an anonymous account, with no explanation placed here on the talk page, so I suggest simply deleting the tag if the original editor does not bother to come here and explain in the next couple of days. David 01:02, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

I added the merge tag together with the too long tag, because in my view this article really needs to be cut down and subsumed into the flight controls article. In other words, it should be merged because it's too long. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:42, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

    • Thanks for the clarification (and please remember to sign your comments). I disagree with both: the aileron is critical in the development of aviation, has an interesting history, and is controversial (due to the dispute over who invented it) — together, that should be more than enough to justify a short, ~900 word article like the one we have currently. The article seems to have had a lot of work put into it, especially with the animated graphic. David 12:49, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
  • Given the absence of any further discussion, I'm going to remove the too-long and merge tags. This article is not too long by [standards], it covers an important topic in the history of aviation, and it's both carefully detailed and illustrated. David 16:39, 10 November 2007 (UTC)


Is it worth mentioning that the aileron is the primary steering control on most (non-dihedral) aircraft? To the novice, it's not clear why control in the roll axis will bring about a turn, whereas control in the yaw axis usually results only in sideslipping. The answer is that by rolling, a large component of the wing's lift is directed horizontally; this centripetal force causes the turn. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:24, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

It seems incorrect, what you said. The Aileron is NOT the primary steering control. The rudder is the primary steering control, as evidence by the word COORDINATED in the phrase "Coordinated turn." An Aileron roll produces too much compass change and too much altitude change. Too much correction is needed. Every airport has a specific departure procedure chart. Take offs from each runway require specific departure turns. In this situation, an aileron roll might be appropriate because a departure turn requires a severe degree change. So a departure turn doesnt require the precision control that a rudder turn would provide. Additionally, the traffic pattern for arrival requires a procedure turn so a pilot can enter the final approach. Thats another situation, where the pilot can do a roll, for convenience. He is low in altitude, with visual for approach, and theres no navigational concerns for precision turning. ....A typical skill that instructors want to teach their flight students is recovery from a spin and a stall. Spin and Stall requires some yaw, AKA Aileron, use. A very rare and extreme situation would be an immediate roll to avoid hitting an obstruction, be it a building, antenna tower, hillside, or whatever. A heavily loaded cargo transport that has a runway exit between two buildings and cant get enough lift quick enough might need to roll. Marc S, Dania Fl (talk) 14:43, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
In flight, the aileron is the primary means of changing direction. Most airplanes have an interconnection between rudder pedals and the nosewheel (or tailwheel) so while taxying (ie slow speed on the ground) the rudder pedals are the primary means of changing direction. Much of what has been written above by Marc S ( makes no sense to me. Dolphin (t) 23:58, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
In flight, the aileron is the very true means of turn. Suppose a perfect aerobatic aircraft (with no induced effects, neither adverse yaw induced by roll nor roll induced by yaw). In this case any rudder deflection gives only lateral slipping, and no direction change at all. Banking is essential to turn (to oppose the centrifugal force); adverse yaw leading to rudder use (coordinated turn) is only a secondary effect. Plxdesi dec 2012

Spades and weights picture needed[edit]

I've added a couple of sections introducing spades and weights. It might me nice to add a picture of (say) spades and google images has lots of jpg's. Trouble is I don't know what can be used without copyright problems. can a more experienced ed help please? Thanks MarkC 05:22, 23 April 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mbcannell (talkcontribs)

Invention of ailerons[edit]

It looks like there is some good and controversial history over the invention of the aileron, with half a dozen people claiming the first use. I might get around to writing a section on it, but in the meantime there is quite a good summary on aerospaceweb.

The claims seem to include:

-- Solipsist 08:34, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Pearse was 1902. His aircraft took off (before the Wright brothers) but it was not a "controlled" flight and he crashed into a hedge. The ailerons were trailing-edge, hinged type (rather than the Wrights' wing-warping method).—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:05, 28 June 2007‎

Obs: Americans at all costs try to usurp the merit of others for themselves. The patent system torsion of wings (could include all controls roll, except the ailerons, since they were patented by Boulton in 1868. All ailerons built since then was based on the invention of Boulton and not the system torsion of wing the Wright Brothers.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:10, 5 October 2011‎

Re: Bell's research work on ailerons and lateral control: Alexander Graham Bell had apparently been subscribing to the journal L'Aérophile, as several volumes going back to the late 19th century were scanned to the Internet Archives by the Smithsonian, provenanced to Bell according to their listings (for example, as can be seen here). Assuming that Bell received those copies during their years of publication then that would explain how the Aerial Experiment Association developed their aileron used on the White Wing, which several have asserted was invented by the AEA. In the aileron article I've previously noted: "The French journal L’Aérophile published illustrations of ailerons of Esnault-Peltérie’s glider in June 1905, and its ailerons were widely copied afterward" (with cites).
What makes the issue of the aileron's first use (as opposed to being first to patent the aileron, which was apparently done by Boulton in 1868, with wing warping patented by Count D'Esterno in 1964) so muddied is that I've seen complaints by his wife, Mabel Bell, in letters to A.G. complaining of Glen Curtiss profiting from the AEA's invention of the aileron, so it appears that she, at least, believed that the AEA invented ailerons, independent of Esnault-Peltérie, Boulton, etc... Apparently many were unaware of Matthew Boulton's 1868 patent (a copy of that patent would be highly illuminating -can anyone provide it to Wikimedia?). The Parkin's work, Bell and Baldwin, has excellent material on Bell's research work on aileron's and lateral control with 'horizontal rudders', starting around pg. 64, and in other sections as well. Highly revealing is this paragraph on p. 65:
Any further info on Bell's research into the aileron would be appreciated. Comments? HarryZilber (talk) 18:29, 16 December 2012 (UTC)
Britain and the US had no patent agreement until 1906, when one was finally signed. Until then British patents had no protection in the US, and vice-versa. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:23, 10 June 2015 (UTC)

Extreme stability[edit]

"Some early aircraft such as the Fokker Spin lacked any type of roll control. The Spin used an extreme amount of dihedral which made the aircraft so stable that a skidding turn could be made."

This kind of aircraft does not lack any type of roll control, but any type of ailerons. The roll is controlled by the rudder.
"Extreme stability" ? The more dihedral, the more unstable is the aircraft : the slighest assymetry in yaw (controled or not) gives a roll movement. Stability is the aptitude of the aircraft to maintain his trim in spite of external destabilization.

"On a conventional aircraft, turns using just the rudder typically result in adverse roll, rolling to the outside of the turn, a very inefficient and uncomfortable maneuver."

On a conventional aircraft, turning the rudder gives normally a yaw followed by an induced roll in the right direction. Sometimes using just the ailerons may give some adverse yaw. Plxdesi dec 1012 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:57, 23 December 2012 (UTC)

Santos-dumont 14 bis ailerons, control in flight[edit]

"it was never fully controllable in flight, likely due to its unconventional wing form and forward-mounted elevators and rudders."

This remark does not apply to aileron page.
Many "first to fly" aircraft were not fully controllable in flight, including the Flyer 1903.
"Unconventional wing form and canard elevator/rudder" do not explain the 14 bis lack of control in flight : there were other potential causes : CG position, inefficient control surfaces, etc... Plxdesi dec 2012 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:11, 26 December 2012 (UTC)

"Attached to the trailing edge"[edit]

This is very simply untrue - the aileron is in fact usually "attached" (hinged) from a spar or false spar forward of the trailing edge - its own trailing edge forms part of the trailing edge wing as a whole. There are structural as well as aerodynamic reason for this that we needn't go into here. --Soundofmusicals (talk) 16:02, 10 May 2015 (UTC)

Some Pre-WW1 and WW1 aircraft (such as the Antoinette IV monoplane) in fact did attach the aileron to the trailing edge of the wing, however this was not common practice for the reasons you mention.NiD.29 (talk) 16:56, 10 June 2015 (UTC)