What Are ‘Lift Dumpers’ on Airplanes and How Do They Work?

Airplane flying

Airplanes feature many different components. While you might be familiar with some of these components, such as the wings and landing gear, there are other components that go unnoticed. Some airplanes feature lift dumpers, for instance. To learn more about lift dumpers and how they work, keep reading.

Lift Dumpers Explained

Lift dumpers are flight surface devices that are designed to reduce lift. They are known as “lift dumpers” because they allow pilots to dump the airplane’s lift.

If a pilot needs to slow down the airplane, he or she may deploy the lift dumpers. The lift dumpers will extend so that the airplane’s lift is reduced. At the same time, the lift dumpers will increase the airplane’s drag.

How Lift Dumpers Work

Most lift dumpers are found on the wings of airplanes. They support two positions: deployed and retracted. Lift dumpers are retracted by default, meaning they don’t affect the airplane’s lift. Pilots can deploy the airplane’s lift dumpers, however, to slow down the airplane.

Deployed means the lift dumpers are extended. They will typically extend over the top and bottom of the wings. The lift dumpers will decrease the airplane’s lift when deployed, and they will increase the airplane’s drag.

It’s important to note that not all lift dumpers are manually deployed. Many of them are deployed automatically during landings. During touch down, the lift dumpers on a typical airplane will deploy automatically. Pilots don’t have to activate them. The airplane will sense the touch down, at which point it will deploy the lift dumpers automatically. Automatic deployment ensures that airplanes reduce their speed during landings.

Lift Dumpers vs Speed Brakes

Lift dumpers are technically categorized as speed brakes. Like other types of speed brakes, they are designed to slow down airplanes. With that said, lift dumpers are used on the ground.

Most airplanes feature lift dumpers to reduce their speed during landings. As previously mentioned, they usually deploy automatically upon touch down. Some airplanes are still equipped with manually controlled lift dumpers, butlift dumpers are used on the ground. Air brakes, in comparison, are used in the air. They are designed to slow down airplanes during flight.

In Conclusion

Pilots don’t rely exclusively on landing gear brakes to slow down when landing. Many airplanes feature lift dumpers as a supplemental braking system. Lift dumpers are deployable devices that are reduce lift and increase drag so that airplanes slow down during landings.

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