Difference between Spoiler and Wing

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

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

Spoiler vs Wing

The main difference between spoiler and wing is that in an aircraft the spoiler is a 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 then spoiler and wing are two different components, some cars contain wings whereas some contain spoilers. 

Spoiler vs Wing

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 highly reduce lift and increase pull. 

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

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

Comparison Table Between Spoiler and Wing

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

What is Spoiler?

Spoiler in aircraft is a component attached to the wing which reduces the unnecessary lift generated by the wing in an aircraft.

You have observed that in an airplane, a plate is attached to the top surface of the wing 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 lift.

Spoilers are used in all modern-day aircraft including Boeing and airbus air crafts. In supercars, spoilers are used to reduce unwanted airflow that makes 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 true as the function of the wing in the car is to generate downforce as air passes around it.

Spoilers in cars are often fitted in high-performance sports cars, they are also common in normal passenger cars but only for styling purposes. Most supercars and especially Formula one cars are currently using spoilers to increase their performance.

What is a wing?

Wing in aircraft is a component that is used to create lift in aircraft while traveling in the air and even in water. The body of the wing is streamlined due to aerodynamic forces and act as airfoils.

Aircraft wings contain the components such as Spoilers, Ailerons, Wing fences, Folding wings, Variable-sweep wing, Strakes, Chine, Leading-edge droop flap and Fairings, Airbrakes, Flaps, Leading edge extension, 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 airplanes, Helicopters, Propellers, Some space shuttles, Formula one cars, and sailboats.

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

As we know that the function of a wing is to create a downforce but the downforce that a wing creates in a car instead of an aircraft forces the car towards the ground.

Some supercars contain wings in their back while some contain spoilers but some cars contain spoilers and wing both.

Main Differences Between Spoiler and Wing

  1. In aircraft, the spoiler reduces the lift generated by the wing, whereas the wing generates lift in an aircraft.
  2. Spoiler in cars is used to spoil the unwanted air generated in high-speed drive whereas wing in a car is used to push rear wheels in the ground and increase grip.
  3. Spoiler in cars is of five types are Front, Lighted, Pedestal, Roof, Lip and Truck. whereas Wing in cars is of two types are Whale tail and Gurney Flap.
  4. The mechanism of Spoiler can only be used in an aircraft or a car whereas the mechanism of a wing can be used in the majority of flying devices including a kite.
  5. The design of a spoiler in an aircraft is like a plate while wings are designed streamlined to generate lift in an aircraft.
Difference between Spoiler and Wing


From the above points, we can conclude that there are two different spoilers and wings that are: one used in automobiles and other users in aircraft.

In an aircraft, the spoiler is a part of the wing while a spoiler and wings are two different things in an automotive.

Spoiler and Wing in every aircraft and the most important components in an aircraft that are strictly used for aerodynamic purposes while on the other hand the spoiler and wing in some cars can be used for aerodynamic purposes but every car doesn’t need to use the same.


  1. https://www.bostonfed.org/-/media/Documents/neer/neer498c.pdf
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