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Part image
Airbrakes by
C7 Aerospace Division
Cost (total) 500.00 Funds
Mass (total) 0.05 t
Drag 0.02
Max. Temp. 2000 K
Volume  ?
Impact Tolerance 8 m/s
Research Advanced aerodynamics.png Advanced Aerodynamics
Unlock cost 10 000 Funds
Since version 1.0
Part configuration Airbrake.cfg
Airbrake deployed

The A.I.R.B.R.A.K.E.S are the first, and so far only, stock speed brakes, introduced in version 1.0.

They fulfill two main functions:

  • When activating braking (default key: B) they deploy to deliberately increase air drag which reduces airspeed when flying through an atmosphere. This is especially useful for planes during landing, or spacecraft which are aerobraking, and want to decelerate faster.
  • Airbrakes also act similar to control surfaces on the pitch and yaw axes and will steer a vehicle while flying through the atmosphere by selective deploying and undeploying. This makes them an alternative to winglets for stabilizing rockets during ascent. They have the advantages of creating far less drag while they are not used but far more drag when they are deployed, making them the most effective control surfaces in the game. Unfortunately the large amounts of drag generated to turn a craft quickly also has the effect of decelerating it quickly, thus diminishing their usefulness for rotational control on planes which greatly depend on speed to remain airborne. They also adjust slowly compared to other control surfaces, which can make them difficult to steer with. Their use as control surfaces can be toggled independently for pitch and yaw by right-clicking them in the SPH or VAB, or in flight.

They also work as a aero surface, with a lift rating of .38.

By default they are bound to the brakes action group, and any attempts to remove them from this action group will be reverted if the craft is launched or saved and loaded.

Safety first

Product description

Research into feasible ways to slow down a plane in mid-air showed that loose hull panels are pretty great as drag-inducing deceleration devices. The discovery led to the invention of the Aerodynamically Integrated Retrograde Braking Robustly Armed Kinetic Extending System (A.I.R.B.R.A.K.E.S.), which is now popular mostly as a cheap alternative to longer runways. C7 Engineers are still trying to come up with a shorter name for such a long acronym.


Real-world comparison

The A.I.R.B.R.A.K.E.S appear to be inspired by the airbrake on the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle fighter aircraft. It shares a similar shape, operation, and function with its real life counterpart.


  • Initial release