Inverse tapered wings are rarely used in aviation. The only legitimate plane I know about with inverse-tapered wings is the XF-91 Thunderceptor. So why aren't they used. What are the disadvantages of these wings? What are the advantages? Why aren't these wings used more in planes?

  • $\begingroup$ Hello! I edited the part about stall characteristics out because it's better to avoid asking two questions in one post. That is a good question though; maybe you could post it separately? $\endgroup$
    – Someone
    Commented Aug 8, 2023 at 3:15
  • $\begingroup$ Some of the arguments that hold for other 'exotic' shapes hold for the inverse-tapered too: Why was the Spitfire's elliptical wing almost uncopied by other aircraft of World War 2? $\endgroup$
    – ROIMaison
    Commented Aug 8, 2023 at 7:22
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Two words: Structural nightmare. $\endgroup$
    – Pilothead
    Commented Aug 8, 2023 at 11:43
  • $\begingroup$ @Pilothead Yes this came to mind when I posted this $\endgroup$
    – Mateo
    Commented Aug 8, 2023 at 16:48
  • $\begingroup$ this is not about aviation but most flying insects use inverse-tapered wings, at least between root and mid-span $\endgroup$
    – user21228
    Commented Sep 15, 2023 at 11:20

1 Answer 1


As I understand it, it was originally designed to solve the problem of wingtips stall at low speed, due to stagnant air, moving outboard along the wing, and altering the angle of attack near the tips. The downside, of course is that larger and heavier wing tips increase the moment of inertia about the longitudinal axis And most likely give the airplane unfavorable stall and spin characteristics not to mention problems with flutter. A lot of the wingtip stall problems were eliminated with improvements to wing design geometry, as well as the inclusion of wing fences to control movement of airflow around the wing.

Basically, an interesting solution to a problem, but it’s not the best answer and the negative aspects outweigh the benefits to the design.

I will wait to see what Peter Kämpf’s opinion is of this..


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