What Are Strakes on Aircraft and Their Common Types?

For an aircraft to optimally and safely fly, it must rely on its various systems and flight surfaces for the means of properly manipulating airflow to maintain lift and a desired attitude. While the engines provide power for thrust and wings create significant lift, they are not the only important elements for flight. Strakes are an often overshadowed flight surface found on fixed-wing aircraft, and typically are featured on the fuselage for managing airflow or establishing a simple stabilizing effect. In this blog, we will provide a brief overview of strake aircraft components and their use, allowing you to better understand their importance for standard operations.

Strakes are small, blade-like devices that are mounted on the body of an aircraft, and they act similarly to a wing as they regulate airflow that passes across them. As discussed before, strakes are either used for vortex creation or airflow stabilization, and they will be specifically implemented for one of these two reasons. When strakes are intended to create vortices, they will be mounted on each aircraft nacelle in a pair. With this placement on the nacelle of the jet engine, the strake devices will produce vortices that assist in managing the flow separation on the wing, influencing lift capabilities.

When strakes are intended to be used for stabilization, they will often be placed on areas such as the nose for subsonic and supersonic aircraft. Generally, these strakes are smaller than other versions, and they are placed toward the front of the fuselage so that better control may be established during high angles of attack. This often promotes more enhanced directional stability, ensuring more optimal flight for the benefit of pilots.

Beyond such examples, strakes may also be found in numerous other areas as well. For instance, wing strake devices are common, especially on delta wing aircraft such as the Boeing 2707 and the Tupolev Tu-144. On these aircraft, strakes come in the form of a forward extended leading edge. With this design, leading edge suction will occur while at a high angle of attack, creating additional vortex lift. For other aircraft, large vortex generators known as ventral strakes may be placed under the fuselage, and these devices are used for increasing tail surface efficiency. Typically, these central strakes are found on aircraft like the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter and models belonging to the SOCATA TB family.

The last major type of strake aircraft device is the rear strake, and these will generally be larger fins that are implemented under the rear fuselage or below the empennage. With rear strakes, aircraft can ensure stability while traveling at high angles of attack where the tail fin is blocked from the main stream of air because of the fuselage. Also known as tail fins, these devices may be found on aircraft such as the Learjet 60, Beechcraft 1900D, and Piaggio P.180 Avanti. Anti-spin strakes are fairly comparable to rear strakes in their placement, though they are most often used as anti-spin devices.

If you own or operate an aircraft and require strake components for vortex generation or stabilization, let the team at Purchasing Synergy help you secure everything you need while saving you time and money. We choose to only stock items from leading global manufacturers that we trust, and every purchased item undergoes varying levels of quality assurance to guarantee its reliability and caliber. To begin the purchasing process, first begin with a competitive quote for your comparisons which you may receive through the submission of an RFQ form as provided on our website. See why customers steadily choose to rely on Purchasing Synergy for all their operational needs when you get in touch with a representative. 


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