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Their function is here: What is the purpose of the serrated trailing edge spoilers on the B52?

While watching this video (around the 1:53 mark), I noticed a number of angled devices on the trailing edge of the spoiler.

Why are they angled like that?

  • $\begingroup$ The tabs are to increase the panel surface area, they are not vortex generators. They were added after the ailerons were removed for the G and H models. $\endgroup$
    – OSUZorba
    Commented Apr 10, 2021 at 1:33

2 Answers 2


The angle of the edge shapes is such, that as the spoilers are stowed, the edge shapes are aligned with the airflow over the upper surface of the wing.

If the shapes were perpendicular to the spoiler trailing edge, they would form an angle of about 35 degrees to the airflow. This would cause turbulence, as the spoilers are not retracted 100% flush with the upper surface of the wing. The turbulence would lessen the lift of the wing and the effectiveness of the flaps (shown extended in the picture), and add drag.


The 'serrations' on the trailing edge of the spoilers are angled to keep them aligned with the airflow over the wing. The reason that they are there is to increase the effectiveness of the spoilers, as the B-52G (retired) and the B-52H do not have ailerons.

  • $\begingroup$ This adds nothing to the accepted answer. $\endgroup$
    – FreeMan
    Commented Nov 16, 2021 at 18:30
  • $\begingroup$ And your comment seems kind of harsh... $\endgroup$
    – Stu Smith
    Commented Nov 17, 2021 at 8:07

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