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Elephant Ear?

Tue Apr 30, 2002 11:17 am

Last night a WN B737 lost what the media called an "Elephant Ear" on approach to MDW. It hit someone's house. It looked like a drain mast to me. Does anyone know what this piece of aircraft was?
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RE: Elephant Ear?

Tue Apr 30, 2002 12:00 pm

In a classic sense, the B737, doesn't have a real "Elephant Ear" like the DC-9 does, I believe they are mistaken. The elephant ear is more or less a fairing connected to the inner most portion of the inboard flap. This fairing (elephant ear), when flaps are retracted, fairs with the aircraft lower wing to body fairing, creating an aerodynamic fit with the flap and aircraft fairing.

This parts looks like a portion of the lower wing to body fairing. Elephant ears are classic back bruisers when flaps are down. Often a mechanic will hit his/her back on it doing inspections in that area looking for flap damage from the main tires.

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RE: Elephant Ear?

Tue Apr 30, 2002 12:20 pm

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Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Gregg Stansbery

If you look very close at this DC-9, at the left inboard flap, you will notice what is called an elephant ear, hanging down slightly. You have to actually rig this in C Check and a gap check is required to the aircraft body.

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Photo © Kai-jens Meyer

Now look at the B737 here same place no fairing on the flap. If I am not mistaken this is the panel that gets crunched sometimes when flaps are extended/retracted and it catches the flap in transit. You can see it on the aircraft side in this picture clearly.

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RE: Elephant Ear?

Tue Apr 30, 2002 12:35 pm

Whatever it's called, I know exactly which piece that is...right on the inner-most part of the flaps against the's barely 2 feet if that...

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Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2002 1:14 am

RE: Elephant Ear?

Tue Apr 30, 2002 1:09 pm

Hmmm, isn't the elephant's ear the thing that the elephant uses to listen with? Gives me an idea for a new thread........

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Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2002 9:51 pm

RE: Elephant Ear?

Tue Apr 30, 2002 8:10 pm

perhaps Dumbo had a structural failure in flight?  Big grin

I thought I was doing good trying to avoid those airport hotels... and look at me now.

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