What is a Spoiler ?


What is a Spoiler?

what does it do?

do all airplanes have it?

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Pro Member First Officer
Ryan (737FLIER) First Officer

A spoiler is an Airbrake. Only larger airplanes have them. I think there is one prop on FSX thast has them. They are usually used when you land but can also be used in the air to reduce speed quickly. I hope that helps.

Last edited by Ryan (737FLIER) on Sat May 12, 2007 2:35 pm, edited 1 time in total
Pro Member Chief Captain
CRJCapt Chief Captain

737FLIER is correct, here is more information with pictures...everyone likes pictures. 😀


many thanks !!!!

i guess an air brake can be deployed during flight.

but a spoiler can only be deployed at the moment of touch down ? is that correct ?

i have seen this on airliner while traveling.

Pro Member Chief Captain
CRJCapt Chief Captain

No disrespect to 737Flier, please allow me to provide more information. You answered the post first and you were correct. 🙂

Actually no, there are technically different types of spoilers. Spoilers can be used in flight(flight spoilers) or armed for auto deploy upon landing(ground spoilers). Ground spoilers normally consist of the same panels that deploy when you extend flight spoilers plus additional panel that only deploy on the ground. Air brakes are panels that deploy into the air stream to cause extra drag to slow the aircraft. They don't spoil lift as spoilers do, just add drag. Air brakes are normally found on military aircraft only but there are a few exceptions.

Columbia Flyer Guest

here's a picture of an air brake on the Columbia 400

Pro Member First Officer
Ryan (737FLIER) First Officer

No disrespect taken at all. If a person knows more information they can post it and the person asking the question will have a better answer.

Pro Member Trainee
alleskalle Trainee

737FLIER wrote:

A spoiler is an Airbrake. Only larger airplanes have them. I think there is one prop on FSX thast has them. They are usually used when you land but can also be used in the air to reduce speed quickly. I hope that helps.

Yes it is a prop Aircraft in FSX.
That is Money Bravo


Roll Spoilers Help Jets and Turboprops Make Their Turns


Pro Member Chief Captain
CRJCapt Chief Captain

Roll spoilers(spoilerons) are a different thing than flight spoilers, it can get complicated.


everything you want to ask about spoilers, but afraid to ask...


Pro Member Chief Captain
Tailhook Chief Captain

How come nobody is mentioning the dive brakes -- gone out of fashion?

Pro Member Captain
Ian Stephens (ianstephens) Captain
Ian Stephens is an expert on this topic. Read his bio here.

Hello there! I'm glad to see you're interested in learning more about flight simulators and aviation terminology. Let me explain what a spoiler is, its function, and its presence in different types of aircraft.

A spoiler is an aerodynamic device typically installed on the upper surface of an aircraft wing. Its primary purpose is to disrupt the smooth airflow over the wing, which in turn reduces lift and increases drag. This is particularly useful when the aircraft needs to descend more rapidly or slow down during the approach and landing phase.

There are two main types of spoilers:

  1. Flight spoilers - These are used in-flight to control the aircraft's roll (bank angle) or to increase drag for speed management. They can be deployed asymmetrically to aid in roll control or symmetrically to increase drag and decrease lift.
  2. Ground spoilers - These are deployed upon touchdown during landing to rapidly dump lift, ensuring the weight of the aircraft is fully on the wheels for better braking performance. Ground spoilers also help slow down the aircraft by increasing drag.

Not all airplanes have spoilers, as their necessity depends on the specific design and operational requirements of the aircraft. For instance, smaller general aviation aircraft often rely on other devices such as flaps or ailerons for their speed and descent management. However, spoilers are more commonly found on larger commercial aircraft and high-performance jets, where their functions are essential for maintaining precise control and safety during various flight phases.

I hope this explanation has helped you understand the role and importance of spoilers in aviation. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask. Happy flying!

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