I am flying with thomson soon and want to be able to tell what position the flaps are in. How can i figure this out?

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    $\begingroup$ I thought that there was different positions for flaps? e.g. 1,2,3,4 $\endgroup$ Jul 31, 2017 at 10:03
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    $\begingroup$ @L.Halfpenny sure, different aircraft number it different though, with different visual effects as well. And to see anything you need to be seated in just the right place or you can't see the flaps at all. $\endgroup$
    – jwenting
    Jul 31, 2017 at 11:34
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    $\begingroup$ 1. Launch a flight simulator with a quality addon for the aircraft in question. 2. Set the flaps and remember the appearance in the simulator. 3. Compare with observed visual. $\endgroup$
    – kevin
    Jul 31, 2017 at 12:02
  • $\begingroup$ @L.Halfpenny indeed there are, but the difference is usually quite noticeable on most airframes. The common settings are cruise (retracted), takeoff and landing. Slightly less common are variations on those, like climb (a bit less extended that take-off) or short-field landing (on aircraft that sometimes operate on unusually short or improvised airfields) $\endgroup$ Jul 31, 2017 at 12:40
  • $\begingroup$ See also the answers to aviation.stackexchange.com/questions/39634/… $\endgroup$
    – AdrianHHH
    Jul 31, 2017 at 13:15

1 Answer 1


If you are seated behind the wings, but close, you can usually see black markings (thick line and a number) near the inboard side of the engine pylon which indicate their extension. Some might not be visible when the wing is in cruise configuration.

Same goes for leading edge slats, only you'd need to be seated near the overwing emergency exit to see those.

I've personally seen them on both Airbus and Embraer jets (no recent flights on Boeing airframes so can't confirm if they mark them too).

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ bombardier doesn't have markings $\endgroup$
    – dalearn
    Jul 31, 2017 at 14:22
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    $\begingroup$ I think Embraer has consecutive numbers and not degrees. $\endgroup$ Jul 31, 2017 at 15:40
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    $\begingroup$ FWIW, I don't recall ever seeing these markings on a Boeing aircraft. $\endgroup$
    – reirab
    Jul 31, 2017 at 15:47
  • $\begingroup$ @reirab: Me either. $\endgroup$
    – Vikki
    May 6, 2019 at 2:55

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