Is there any no air proof design for the wings? Or are some of the parts are equivalent to outside pressure and some have gauge pressures?

Are some parts airtight and others not?

  • $\begingroup$ Are you asking if wings are airtight? Can you please make the question clearer, for example: what issue are you thinking about if wings are airtight or not. $\endgroup$
    – user14897
    Apr 7, 2018 at 8:49
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, I ask about it and in detail if some parts are airtight or not of the wing structure? $\endgroup$ Apr 7, 2018 at 8:50
  • $\begingroup$ I imagine it depends on the airplane. At least one is so far from being airtight that it's not even cat-tight. $\endgroup$
    – yshavit
    Apr 7, 2018 at 15:30
  • $\begingroup$ If wings were airtight, as the plane climbs to altitude with lower air pressure, the wings would explode. Here’s an example of a chip bag in a commercial airplane with a cabin altitude equivalent to ~ 8,000' youtube.com/watch?time_continue=44&v=5QxOlatS9Fc $\endgroup$
    – JScarry
    Apr 8, 2018 at 0:39

2 Answers 2


No part of my Cessna Cardinal wings are airtight. Even the fuel tanks are vented to allow air in to replace the fuel this is used. The area around the flaps, flap motor aileron control cables, etc., none are airtight.


Structures on aircraft will typically not be air tight. Even pressurized fuselages with outflow valves closed will leak some amount of air that needs to be replaced. The pressurization puts a lot of strain into the skin and supporting structure. Fuel tanks, which have to be liquid tight, have vents to allow air in and out as the fuel level changes, and to allow overflow of fuel.

There would be no purpose to making parts like wings air tight, and as the aircraft climbs and descends the pressure differential would put a lot of force into the parts. The parts will be mostly sealed to prevent things like rain from getting in but will also have drains to allow any liquids to escape and for pressure to equalize.

One exception would be in flexible structures such as inflatable wings and parafoils where the pressure provides some rigidity.


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