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Rollerons on the trailing edge of the fins of the AIM-9 Sidewinder missile.
Detail of rollerons on a Sidewinder
Rollerons on the fins of the AA-2 Atoll missile.

A rolleron is a type of aileron used for rockets, placed at the trailing end of each fin, and used for passive stabilization against rotation.[1] Inherent to the rolleron is a metal wheel with notches along the circumference. On one side, the notches protrude into the airflow. During flight, this will spin the wheels up to a substantial speed. The wheels then act as gyroscopes. Any tendency of the rocket to rotate around its major axis will be counteracted by the rollerons: the gyroscopic precession acts to move the rolleron in the opposite direction to the rotation.[2]

Rollerons were first used in the AIM-9 Sidewinder missile.


  1. ^ Rollerons explained, with photos of rollerons on a Sidewinder missile
  2. ^ Rolleron explained by Henry Spencer and Steven Kasow in the newsgroup

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