Definition of empennage in English:



  • An arrangement of stabilizing surfaces at the tail of an aircraft.

    • ‘The gunner never had a chance as the whole empennage of the aircraft had separated resulting in the bomber spinning out of control.’
    • ‘The empennage boom formed a tail cone to the aft beam.’
    • ‘The empennage was built integral with the fuselage to ensure absolute rigidity.’
    • ‘The forward empennage boom supported the horizontal and vertical stabilizers, and housed the actuating linkage of the rudder and elevator controls.’
    • ‘A workstand on the ramp was hurled deep into the left wing and the empennage was severely damaged when the airplane was blown back against a concrete wall.’
    • ‘The empennage was all-metal with three fins and rudders attached to the full-cantilever stabilizer.’
    • ‘The Cessna's fuselage was wrinkled and the Stinson had its empennage cut off and its left wing destroyed.’
    • ‘The postflight inspection found oil covering the port nacelle and running down the entire empennage.’
    • ‘The main wreckage consisted of the engine assembly, empennage section, and the center carry-through wing section.’


Early 20th century from French, from empenner ‘to feather an arrow’, from em- ‘in’ + penne ‘a feather’ (from Latin penna).