In aircraft a T-tail is an arrangement of the tail control surfaces with the horizontal surfaces (tailplane and elevators) mounted to the top of the fin, rather than the more common location on the fuselage at the base of the fin. The resulting arrangement looks like a T when viewed from the front, hence the name.
There are a number of pros and cons to this arrangement.
The effective distance between wing and tailplane can be increased without a significant increase in the weight of the aircraft. The distance between the two planes gives the "leverage" by which the tailplane can control the aircraft's pitch attitude - with a greater distance, smaller, lighter tailplanes and elevators can be used.
For similar reasons, T-tailed aircraft can be much more difficult to recover from a fully-developed spin.
The fin must be made considerably stronger and stiffer to support the forces generated by the tailplane. This inevitably makes it heavier as well.
The control runs to the elevators are more complex.
The elevator surfaces are much more difficult to casually inspect from the ground.
Some aircraft feature a tailplane that is mounted part way up the fin rather than right at the top. This form of design combines some of the pros of both the T-tail and conventional arrangements, while avoiding the most serious cons. The Sud Aviation Caravelle is one example of an airliner with a mid-fin mounted tailplane.
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