There is an online video game called War Thunder that lets you fly various planes from roughly the 30s to the late 50s. It has some pretty detailed models, and I've noticed these lumps on the wings of many planes. The planes are partly modelled on the interior and can be seen in what's called X-ray view. I've noticed that many of these lumps are placed right above where the base of the plane's gun/cannon is. This has led me to believe that they might be placed in these positions to cool the guns as air is swept over these lumps. But it turns out that in many cases these lumps aren't placed where the guns are and seem not to have this purpose. Here are some pictures of what I've talking about, I have circled them in black.

Examples of where they appear over the guns:

Focke-Wulf 190

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Hawker Tempest MkII

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Brewster F2A Buffalo

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Sukhoi Su-6

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Examples where these lump wing features don't appear above the gun/cannon:

Supermarine Spitfire

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Grumman F4F Wildcat

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Gloster Meteor

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de Havilland Venom

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Note that the last two planes are jets and have their guns mounted completely in the centre of the plane, on the nose (ie., there are no guns in the wings). Also, I've noticed that for planes that have no guns mounted in the wings only British planes (in the game) have these, namely the two jets.

I'm am wondering what the function of these things are, and what they are called, if anything? Do they serve an aerodynamic function or are they maybe to cool other parts within the wing?

closed as too broad by ymb1, xxavier, Ralph J, vasin1987, SMS von der Tann Oct 13 at 15:09

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  • 2
    Although the pictures you used were essentially accurate, they are screenshots from that game war thunder right? Just for future reference, don't take what game developers (ESPECIALLY Russian developers of free games) model into their vehicles as fact and expect them to be accurate. I don't really play games, but I've heard some poor comments on war thunder's models specifically, so first try to find real life equivalents of the plane in the game you have the question on and try to refer to those. Interesting question though! – Jihyun Oct 11 at 5:11

They are fairings for one thing or another that projects above the wing skin. Part of a gun or ammo feed system, fuel cap, wing fold mechanism, head of a big bolt, whatever. Usually, components are designed in the original versions of the aircraft to fit within the wing profile, but mods and add-ons later introduce bits that project beyond it, so the easiest thing to do is fair it in with a blister.

  • I see. I tried to look up the original prototypes of these planes to see if they had those lumps, but I realised that they might be there even if not for additional modifications. For example if you want to fit something into a wing and the wing isn't thick enough, then I assume you'd have thicken the entire wing, or just a small part of it. Which is what these small fairings are doing, am I right? One interesting thing I noticed is that I only saw these little fairings (excluding the jets) on single engine piston planes, never twin engine (piston), at least I don't think. – Zebrafish Oct 11 at 6:16
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    In the case of the Spitfire, the original .30 Brownings all fit inside the wings, but when the upgrade to 20mm cannon was done, the receiver of the cannon was too fat and projected above the upper skin, and they're not about to redesign the whole thing, hence the blister fairing. It's safe to say that any time you see a teardrop bump above a skin surface it's a fairing for something underneath that is protruding. – John K Oct 11 at 14:57

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