Aircraft Empennage: Meaning, Synonyms, Antonyms, Translation, Use Cases

aircraft empennage

The empennage has a very important role to play in an aircraft as it helps gives it stability. You might have been wondering what an aircraft empennage is, and today we will be looking at what the phrase stands for.



An aircraft empennage is referred to as the tail section of any aircraft. It usually consists of a vertical stabilizer and horizontal elevators or horizontal stabilizers.

It is a component in the back of an aircraft that acts as a stabilizing force during flight, much to the feathers on an arrow.

Also, it means the tail assembly of an aircraft.

The grouping of stabilizing surfaces is known as aircraft empennage.

It refers to the complete tail part of an aircraft, which includes the elevator, rudder, and both horizontal and vertical stabilizers.

The entire tail unit, which is located at the very back of the fuselage and gives the aircraft stability and directional control.



Horizontal tail.

Vertical tail

Airplane tail


Aeroplane back





Aircraft middle

Airplane head

Helicopter level




French – empennage d’aéronefs

Dutch – vliegtuigen staartvlakken

Spanish – empenaje de aeronaves

Greek – αεροσκάφη

Italian – empennage aeronautico

Russian – оперение самолета


Etymology Of Use

The phrase comes from the French verb empenner, which literally represents “to feather an arrow.”

the phrase was first used in 1908.


English Pronunciation

Aircraft Empennage (/er-ˌkraft/, /äm-pə-ˈnäzh/) noun, noun


Use Case

  • With the A-10, America obtained a single-seat, low-wing, straight-wing aircraft with two high-mounted, non-afterburning turbofan engines that were situated under the wing and in front of a twin-vertical-stabilizer aircraft empennage.
  • To prevent harm to the vertical and horizontal tail surfaces, guides had to be placed to the aircraft empennage.
  • For the purpose of keeping airflow coupled to the aircraft empennage, the fuselage has been somewhat enlarged behind the wing.


Frequently Asked Questions

How does the aircraft’s empennage help support stability?

It does not support stability; rather, it ensures stability. Period. Without it, stability is impossible unless the engineer comes up with some significant CG, wing, etc. gimmicks. Although without an empennage, a plane can be made, it won’t be stable.

For positive stability, most aircraft have a tail-down force generated by the horizontal stabilizer, and the center of gravity is forward of the center of lift on the wing.

Therefore, once balanced, if the nose rises, the center of lift rises, the center of gravity stays the same, and the tail down force drops, which causes the nose to pitch forward and restores balance.


What part of an aircraft is the empennage?

The tail cone, the horizontal stabilizer and elevators, the vertical stabilizer and rudder, and the trim tabs on any of these surfaces make up this structure.

The empennage essentially consists of everything that is located behind the rear pressure bulkhead, which divides the empennage from the fuselage.



The aircraft empennage is found in most airplane that houses control surfaces as well as vertical and horizontal stabilizing surfaces that stabilize the yaw and pitch flight dynamics.

It acts as a multiple stabilizer for most if not all commercial airplanes and remains very important in the building of any aircraft.



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