Spoiler vs Wing: Difference and Comparison

The Spoiler and wing are parts of an aircraft or an automobile.

A spoiler is a device attached to an aircraft that deliberately reduces the lift component in a controlled way. In an automobile, the primary work of a spoiler is to spoil unwanted air pressure across the body of the car in motion. 

Key Takeaways

  1. Spoilers reduce lift by disrupting airflow, while wings generate downforce to improve vehicle stability and traction.
  2. Spoilers are found on passenger cars, while wings are more common on high-performance and race cars.
  3. Wings have an adjustable angle of attack, allowing for customization of downforce levels, while spoilers lack this feature.

Spoiler vs Wing

The difference between a Spoiler and a wing is that in an aircraft, the Spoiler is part of a wing, but the difference is that the wing creates the lift in the airfoil, whereas the Spoiler reduces it. If we talk about automotive, Spoiler and wings are two different components, some cars contain wings, whereas others control spoilers. 

Spoiler vs Wing

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Spoiler in an aircraft is of two types: those that are positioned at specific angles during flight to increase the rate of gain of vertical height per unit of time (descent rate) of an aircraft, and those that are fully positioned immediately on landing to reduce lift and increase pull highly. 

The wing in an aircraft is a streamlined cross-sectioned component that acts as an airfoil. In a car, a wing is a big part attached to the back of many racing or supercars to create downforce.

The wing in a car creating downforce is the same as a wing in a plane making a lift, except in reverse.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonSpoilerWing
They are small, joined plates on the top portion of the wings. They are streamlined, I.e., bent on top and leveled on the bottom.It looks in an automobile
It is attached to the bottom with two stands and a rectangular one-sided curved plate on top.Looks like an inverted aeroplane wing.To reduce unwanted airflow and lift in cars and aircraft, respectively.
Primary FunctionTo create lift in an aircraft and to generate negative charge in an automobile.It makes the drive of the car easy and helps to land easily for an aircraft.
AdvantageIt helps to increase a car’s braking stability and create lift in an aircraft.They do nothing in low-speed cars.
DisadvantageSometimes it works oppositely and makes conditions worse.They do absolutely nothing in low-speed cars.

What is Spoiler?

A spoiler in aircraft is a component attached to the wing which reduces the unnecessary lift generated by the branch in an aeroplane.

You have observed that in an aeroplane, a plate is attached to the wing’s top surface that sometimes extends upward to spoil the airflow. That plate is also spoilers most often.

There is a myth among people that Spoiler and airbrakes are the same things, but airbrakes are designed to increase pull without affecting the lift, whereas Spoiler reduces the charge.

Spoilers are used in all modern-day aircraft, including Boeing and Airbus air crafts. In supercars, spoilers reduce unwanted airflow, making the drive easy even at high speeds.

In passenger cars, spoilers are added only for styling purposes and not for aerodynamics.

Some people think that Spoiler and wing are the same things in a car, but it’s not accurate as the function of the wing in the vehicle is to generate downforce as air passes around it.

Spoilers in cars are fitted in high-performance sports cars; they are also common in standard passenger cars but only for styling purposes. Most supercars, especially Formula One vehicles, use spoilers to increase their performance.

aeroplane spoiler

What is a wing?

The wing in aircraft is a component used to create lift in the plane while travelling in the air and even in water. The wing’s body is streamlined due to aerodynamic forces and acts as an airfoil.

Aircraft wings contain the components such as Spoilers, Ailerons, Wing fences, Folding wings, Variable-sweep wings, Strakes, Chine, Leading-edge droop flaps and Fairings, Airbrakes, Flaps, Leading edge extensions, Leading edge cuff, Rolleron, Spar, Stall strips, Variable-chamber wing, Vortilon, Wet wing, Wing fence, wing root, and Wingtip.

Apart from aircraft, applications of the shape of wings include Hand gliders, Kites, flying model aeroplanes, Helicopters, Propellers, Some space shuttles, Formula One cars, and sailboats.

In automobiles, a wing allows the vehicle to generate negative lift. Attachment in cars fall under two categories,: Whale tails with slightly raised edges, and Gurney Flap, which is primarily used to increase downforce for better action. 

As we know, a wing’s function is to create a downforce,, but the wing’s downforce in a car instead of an aircraft forces the vehicle towards the ground.

Some supercars contain wings on their back while some control spoilers, but some cars contain spoilers wings.

plane wing

Main Differences Between Spoiler and Wing

  1. In aircraft, the Spoiler reduces the lift generated by the wing, whereas the wing creates lift in an aircraft.
  2. Spoiler in cars spoils the unwanted air generated in high-speed drive, whereas the wing in a car is used to push rear wheels into the ground and increase grip.
  3. Spoiler in cars is of five types Front, Lighted, Pedestal, Roof, Lip and Truck. Whereas Wing in cars is of two types Whale Tail and Gurney Flap.
  4. The mechanism of a Spoiler can only be used in an aircraft or a car, whereas the mechanism of a wing can be used in most flying devices, including a kite.
  5. The design of a spoiler in an aircraft is like a plate, while wings are designed to be streamlined to generate lift in aircraft.
Difference between Spoiler and Wing
  1. https://www.bostonfed.org/-/media/Documents/neer/neer498c.pdf

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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