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Are there any planes that can fly without wings? How do they produce lift? How do they control the attitude?


marked as duplicate by Ralph J, ymb1, jwzumwalt, GdD, Jamiec Jun 5 at 7:57

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  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to aviation.SE! Can you give an example or picture of an airplane without wings so that we can see what you mean? And the tour might be useful if you're new to the site. $\endgroup$ – Pondlife Jun 5 at 4:20
  • $\begingroup$ Do you mean aircraft in general? A plane (short for airplane) is defined as "a powered heavier-than-air aircraft with fixed wings from which it derives most of its lift" according to Merriam-Webster. $\endgroup$ – Bianfable Jun 5 at 6:25
  • $\begingroup$ @pondlife, that's what the OP is asking! $\endgroup$ – Michael Hall Jun 5 at 15:28

There is a certain class of aircraft that are lifting bodies, which do not have wings but instead rely on airflow over a peculiarly-shaped fuselage to generate lift. However, this method is very inefficient and requires high airspeeds to make enough lift to support the plane. This means that the plane would have to carry an enormous engine to propel it, and its takeoff and landing speeds would be very high.

Several experimental lifting-body planes were built and flown as gliders ~50 years ago for research purposes, and a search on lifting body will furnish you with more information on them.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I was thinking bags of helium ... $\endgroup$ – CrossRoads Jun 5 at 1:25

An aircraft's fuselage can provide significant amounts of lift. An Israeli pilot famously landed an F-15 with one wing completely missing.


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