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what are the big fairings on jet wings?

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Well-known member
Nov 29, 2001
I got a ride on an ATA 737 to miami a couple hours ago.

i consider myself a veteran pro pilot, but I wasn't sure what the big fuel tank looking fairings are under the wings. there are 3 on each side.

i've heard they're fuel tanks and I've also heard they just improve aerodynamics (maybe that was just on the convair 880)

They just fair the flap tracks. Every once in a while you'll see a DC-9 flying around without one, looks just like the hinge on a Piper.
They are there for in case of ditching, once in the water, they are used just like canoes, paddles are attached on the inside.
The ones on the DC-9 are called vortilons they are there for aerodynamic enhancement. They are also required. If you see a -9 without them it is in violation of the type cert. They are on the leading edge of the wing, if you are refering to the fairings on the bottom of the wing between the wing and flap, they would be for the flap hinges. I don't know diddly squat about 737's.
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Love your work Deiterly

Yeah they are canoes - especially to little pygmies, or little asian types - hey you better alert customs, there may be an influx of illegal immigrants using 747-400 flap track fairings as means of sea transportation. Maybe Tom Hanks would of got off the Island quicker in that movie Castaway if he had of used them?

Hypoglycemia is a bad thing - makes one drink more beer.

I like the detacable canoe idea...

The fairings on the convair 880 and 990 are there to help 'area rule' the aircraft for lower transonic drag. I belive they also hold fuel.


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