Take the 2-minute tour ×
Aviation Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for aircraft pilots, mechanics, and enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

On some Hawker Hunters, there is a zig-zag on the leading edge of the wing, as shown below.

hawker hunter with zig zag on leading edge

Why do only some Hawker Hunters have this feature, and what is it for?

share|improve this question
    
most military dog fighters have unconventional design choices for better response, –  ratchet freak Mar 13 at 12:59

4 Answers 4

After doing a little more research I found the answer.

The zig-zag on the leading edge is a type of leading edge extension called a dogtooth extension.

Quote from wikipedia:

A dogtooth is a small, sharp zig-zag break in the leading edge of a wing. It is usually used on a swept wing, but also on straight wings ("Drooped Leading Edge" arrangement), to generate a vortex flow field to prevent separated flow from progressing outboard at high angle of attack. The effect is the same as a wing fence.

Where the dogtooth is added as an afterthought, as for example with the Hawker Hunter and some variants of the Quest Kodiak, the dogtooth is created by adding an extension to the outer section only of the leading edge.

share|improve this answer

Update: The hawker hurricanes wings are better describes as dogtooth extension as flyingfisch points out.


These features are known as a Leading edge cuff and aims to reduce spin tendencies by delaying the onset of stall.

share|improve this answer

Cirrus incorporates this design into their wings as well. Quoting from their site:

The outboard section of the Cirrus wing flies with a lower angle of attack than the inboard section. When the inboard section, which produces much of the lift, stalls the outboard section, where the ailerons are, is still flying. The result is that a stalled Cirrus airplane can be controlled intuitively using aileron.

share|improve this answer
    
You wouldn't happen to know why not all pictures of Hawker Hunters show this feature? –  flyingfisch Mar 13 at 13:47
    
My only guess is that not all customers requested the feature in their Hunter wings. As with anything, there are tradeoffs, and some customers may have not liked the side-effects of this version of wing. –  Garrison Neely Mar 13 at 14:03

As an added piece of information, this feature may have something to do with the fact that the Hawker Hunter, for many years, was the only swept wing fighter that could be reliably recovered from an inverted spin.

For this reason the Empire Test Pilot School at Boscombe Down used one for advanced training purposes (and may still do so).

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.