Encyclopedia > Flap

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Flaps are hinged surfaces on the trailing edge of a wing which, when deployed, increase the lift (and drag) of a wing. They are usually used while landing to allow the aircraft to fly more slowly and to steepen the approach to the landing site, but are retracted in normal flight to minimise drag.

Types include:

  • Plain flap - rotates on a simple hinge
  • Split flap -
  • Fowler flap - slides backwards before hinging downwards
  • Slotted flap -

Flap, in (archaic) computer science jargon, refers to the process for unmounting a magnetic tape. When the system operator commanded a tape drive to unmount a tape, it would rewind the medium and then, as the tape unwrapped from the take-up reel, it would go "flap-flap-flap" as the feed reel spun down. Thus the term.

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