I was wondering why the fuselage of a passenger airplane is not built along with the nose? It might be difficult to build fuselage and wings together as one unit, but nose is a small part. Then why is it made separately?

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    $\begingroup$ Do you mean just the radome (it is quite obvious there; it is completely different material), or the whole forward section (this depends on the manufacturer how many parts of the fuselage are built separately before final assembly)? $\endgroup$
    – Jan Hudec
    Commented Apr 28, 2016 at 13:09
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    $\begingroup$ Yes, the radome. $\endgroup$
    – nk379
    Commented Apr 28, 2016 at 13:13
  • $\begingroup$ Well, then it should be kinda obvious. The radar must be mounted under it before it is attached to the fuselage and that is done fairly late in the manufacturing process. $\endgroup$
    – Jan Hudec
    Commented Apr 28, 2016 at 13:16
  • $\begingroup$ See if you can find a picture that show what you're asking about. If you're not sure how to embed the picture, just edit your post and paste the link in, someone will come along and embed it for you. Realistically, though, the entire aircraft is made up of a whole lot of sub-assemblies that are then put together to make the final whole, the same way cars, ships, and many buildings are. The "nose" is just another sub-assembly that's tacked on in the final assembly process. You can see some of the Airbus process here. $\endgroup$
    – FreeMan
    Commented Apr 28, 2016 at 13:17
  • $\begingroup$ Here is one really good reason why they are separate components it happens quite often actually. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Commented Apr 28, 2016 at 14:34

1 Answer 1


A radome, or nose cone, is essentially a structural cover serving a different purpose than the fuselage. These are made separate because they a special material invisible to the radar mounted beneath them. They are different shapes or sizes depending on the customer specific component they cover (radar antennas) and can be easily removed or replaced.

The radome serves two essential purposes. 1) It covers electronic equipment mounted to the forward bulkhead of the fuselage to protect it from weather, or from view. 2) It acts as an aerodynamic cover for the leading edge of the aircraft.



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