Different Types of Aircraft Wing and Tail Mods

Airplane owners and operators have long been making modifications to their planes to improve their capabilities in a range of ways. One central way is the mitigation of drag that comes from installing fairings that form a smooth surface over joints and fasteners. Reduced aircraft drag has a wide array of benefits, from lowered fuel consumption to higher achievable speeds, and more. In addition, there are also modifications that purposely affect airflow to heighten the maneuverability of control surfaces. Altogether, there is a variety of wing and tail mods which have found use on modern aircraft, each with their own special purpose. To learn more about these versatile parts, read on as we discuss the most common down below.

Gap Seal Kits: Gap seals are used to create a pressure barrier between the high pressure air on the bottom of the wing and the low pressure air on the top of the wing. This difference in pressure causes air to flow upward through control surface gaps which creates significant drag and reduced control. Gap seals are used to stop the flow of air through the control surfaces and smooth the airflow traveling along the bottom of the wing. A good gap seal kit can increase cruise speed, rate of climb, and aileron control, all while reducing stall speed.

Wingtip Fairings: The most popular wing tip design in general aviation today is the Hoerner wing tip. It has become a standard piece of equipment on many production aircraft and is also used extensively on homebuilt planes. When used to modify existing aircraft, the Hoerner tip is either added to the wing tip or replaces it. The design makes for a larger surface area to generate lift while reducing the high pressure build-up of air near the trailing edge of the wing tip. As a result, Hoerner wing tips provide increased cruising speeds, stability and handling, and improved rates of climb, alongside reduced stall speeds and take-off rolls.

Flap Hinge Fairings: Flap hinge fairings reduce drag by smoothing the airflow over protruding flap hinges and bolts.

Wing Root Leading Edge Fairings: Wing root leading edge fairings are installed at the junction of the leading edge of the wing and aircraft fuselage. The fairings smooth the junctions of the wing and provide an increase in cruise speed, an increase in rate of climb, and improved low-speed handling.

Vortex Generators: Vortex generators on aircraft are small fins placed on the top of the wings to help create vortices like wingtips do. They are an integral part of many aircraft to lower stall speed and improve safety.

Wing Fillets: Wing fillets are placed at the junction of the wing flaps and fuselage as a way to improve landings by smoothing vortices coming from the connection. To do this, fillets make it so that air over the stabilator is less disturbed, ensuring the device can be easier to control.

Tail Fin Cap Fairings: Similar to other fairings, tail fin cap fairings are used to smooth the junction between the tail fin and fuselage so that there is less drag and more steady control.


Each of the modifications that pilots use to enhance their vessels work by affecting the airflow across the wings and tail of the plane. By interrupting that flow or reducing the effect of protruding parts, wing and tail mods can add greater maneuverability and safety to various control surfaces. When you are in need of high-caliber wing and tail mods, or other aviation components, Integrated Aviation Hardware invites you to explore our inventory of over 2 billion new, used, obsolete, and hard-to-find parts. All of the items you will find in our catalogs have been sourced from trusted manufacturers who adhere to the same high quality of service that we do in our own facilities. To begin the purchasing process on any items of interest, simply submit an RFQ form on our website with details about your specific needs, and one of our dedicated representatives will respond with a quote in 15 minutes or less.


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