In some business jets, I've noticed that the flaps seem to be split into sections. Here is one example on Cessna citation enter image description here

As you can see, the flaps are split into three sections. The Embraer Phenom also has this design but this is because of the planes sweep make requiring the gap. enter image description here

But the citation has a straight wing, so wouldn't it be better to have one piece flaps like the Gulfstream G650? enter image description here


1 Answer 1


If you look at the flap track system carefully on the Latitude, you can see the track system being used occupies the space between the panels when retracted, and that particular configuration required splitting the panels to accommodate the tracks, probably because the vertical space requirement for the track system made it easier to fit in if the panels were split into separate segments. They may have also decided to split the segments up for ease of manufacture of the segments (smaller jigs), and/or for easier/cheaper replacement in the field.

The G650 has a similar internal hidden track system free of vanes or canoes fairings, but they were able to squeeze the track dimension down so that the bottom of the panel could be continuous, gaining a bit of aerodynamic efficiency. The cost may have been tracks that took up less vertical space, but were heavier as a result.

Give different groups of engineering monkeys a particular set of alphabet blocks, and when each group finally throws their blocks in a way that spells a word, each group will have a different word.

  • $\begingroup$ I cannot find any good sources describing the Lattitude flap track system. Do you happen to know any? $\endgroup$
    – ROIMaison
    Commented Mar 13, 2023 at 13:21
  • $\begingroup$ No. I could more or less discern it from the pics. Flap systems were a specialty of mine when I was in the tech support business. It'll be something like the tracks in a Cessna 172, except really fancy machined forgings with big rollers, etc. No small feat to package it all to fit inside the wing mold line. $\endgroup$
    – John K
    Commented Mar 13, 2023 at 14:20

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