What Are Chevrons and How Are They Used on Aircraft?

When it comes to the realm of aviation, there are many innovations that play a significant role in enhancing the efficiency, safety, and environmental impact of aircraft. One such innovation is the chevron, a concept that has gained prominence in recent years. In this blog, we will explore what chevrons are and how they are used on aircraft, with a particular focus on their application in civil aviation and the Boeing 787.

Understanding Chevrons

Chevrons, in the context of aviation, refer to serrated edges or sawtooth-like patterns placed on the trailing edges of jet engine nozzles. These patterns are carefully designed and engineered to manipulate the flow of exhaust gasses, leading to a range of benefits for aircraft and the environment.

Chevrons in the Combustion Chamber

The primary function of chevrons is to reduce noise, especially during the high-power phases of an aircraft's flight, such as takeoff and climb. The noise reduction process occurs primarily within the combustion chamber of the engine. In a typical jet engine, high-velocity exhaust gasses generate a lot of turbulence and noise as they exit the engine, and chevrons serve to disrupt this turbulence, allowing for a smoother and quieter exhaust flow. This innovation is critical for ensuring a more pleasant flying experience for passengers and minimizing noise pollution around airports.

Chevrons on the Leading Edge

In addition to their role in noise reduction within the engine, chevrons can also be found on the leading edge of aircraft wings. These leading edge chevrons are not there for noise reduction, but for improving aerodynamics and fuel efficiency. When installed on the leading edges of wings, they help to control airflow and reduce drag. The reduction in drag translates to fuel savings, which is a major consideration in today's aviation industry, where fuel efficiency is a top priority.

Civil Aviation and Chevrons

Chevrons are becoming increasingly common in civil aviation due to their many advantages. With the growing demand for air travel and the need to balance the convenience of passengers with environmental concerns, the aviation industry is under pressure to reduce its carbon footprint.

Boeing's Contribution

Boeing, one of the leading aircraft manufacturers globally, has played a significant role in incorporating chevrons into their aircraft. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner, a revolutionary aircraft in its own right, utilizes chevrons in its engine design. This aircraft, known for its fuel efficiency and passenger comfort, features such components on the engine nozzles to minimize noise and improve overall performance.

Benefits of Chevrons on the Boeing 787

The Boeing 787's use of chevrons showcases the benefits this innovation brings to the aviation industry. Passengers on the Dreamliner enjoy a quieter cabin, thanks to reduced engine noise. This quieter environment enhances the overall flying experience, making long-haul flights more comfortable.

Beyond passenger comfort, the Boeing 787 chevron contributes to environmental sustainability. Noise reduction is not only about passenger comfort, but also about reducing noise pollution around airports. Quieter takeoffs and landings mean less disturbance to local communities, which is a critical factor in addressing noise concerns associated with aviation. Additionally, the fuel-efficient design of the 787, partly achieved using chevrons, results in reduced greenhouse gas emissions. This aligns with global efforts to make aviation more eco-friendly and energy efficient.


In conclusion, chevrons represent a remarkable innovation in the field of aviation, serving a multitude of purposes, such as reducing noise within the combustion chamber and minimizing drag along the leading edge of wings. Their utilization has become increasingly prominent in civil aviation, with notable integration into aircraft like the Boeing 787 Dreamliner resulting in a quieter and more environmentally friendly flying experience. As the aviation industry continues its evolution, we can anticipate further advancements in the application of chevrons and other technologies aimed at enhancing the efficiency and sustainability of air travel.

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Posted on November 8, 2023 timothy laura



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