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I know that gull wings are shaped how they are for maximum help with a decrease in induced drag and increase in lift, but how do they do it? This is my homework!!!

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marked as duplicate by Pondlife, Ralph J, kevin, xxavier, Jamiec Nov 8 '18 at 8:32

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  • $\begingroup$ I think they were more to get the engine higher off the ground for prop clearance. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vought_F4U_Corsair $\endgroup$ – CrossRoads Nov 8 '18 at 1:58
  • $\begingroup$ The wings on the Navy 4FU Corsair are actually REVERSE gull wings. Gliders and real seagulls have them the other way around. For birds, the anhedralled wing tips would give better roll control in side gusts and make the wing stronger to positive G loading, helping them work the wind to stay aloft. Possible benefit to a sinking glider may be to "trap" a bit more high pressure under the wing. They are seen on the Fafnir of Dr. Alexander Lippisch in the early 1930s. Dr. Lippisch knew a thing or two about gliding. $\endgroup$ – Robert DiGiovanni Nov 9 '18 at 23:59
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Aside from the ground clearance thing Crossroads mentioned, the main aerodynamic benefit of gullwings is to achieve a clean 90 degree intersection with the fuselage, which eliminates the need for a big wing root fillet fairing.

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Gull wings are a solution to two problems.

Requirement for increased speed will require a big propeller. The problem would be the propeller tips would hit the ground. You can solve this by either having longer landing gear (aircraft sits higher) or pushing the engine further out infront.

The problem with longer landing-gear is it needs to be heavier to ensure sufficient strength. Pushing the engine out further increases the overall length of the fuselage, good for stability but not in a fighter which needs to make tight turns.

Looking at the corsair you can see how the forward part of the fuselage is quite long with the engine stuck on the end. I believe this was the most they could do without sacrificing maneuverability. To get additional clearance without a heavy landing gear the gull-wing brought the gear height to a more manageable length.

The second issue is the fact that the Corsair was intended for carrier landings, which meant the landing gear had to be strong. A long landing gear would need to be very heavy to have the required strength. The gull-wing allowed a shorter (lighter) landing-gear.

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