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The "T" tail of a Boeing 727.

The "T" tail is an aircraft tail configuration which consists in having the horizontal stabilizers in the top of the vertical one. It's name comes from the letter "T" shape it forms.


In commercial aircraft, this type of tail is often seen in planes with their engines in the rear body instead of the wings. However, models like BAe-146 break this rule, which is the same applying in the T-tail freighters like C-17 Globemaster III or the IL-76 which all have the wings with engines in the top of the fuselage.


  • Allows the horizontal tail surfaces to remain clear of jet exhaust.


  • Due to the elevators' height they're more difficult to reach during maintenance.
  • Increased risk of pitch up.


Commercial planesEdit

Regional airlinersEdit

Cargo planesEdit

Business jetsEdit

Military aircraftEdit



  • The Boeing 727 is the only major trijet to have this configuration; however, Russian manufacturers Tupolev and Yakovlev continued the design in some of their aircraft, though they didn't become that popular in the rest of the world.
  • The Britten Norman Trislander is the only aircraft of this type to have three propellers; the tail one is in the top of the vertical stabilizer.
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