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Reading this question, I was wondering if, at some point early in aviation history there may have been airplane designs or concepts replacing or anticipating variable swept wing by "expendable wingspan wing"?

For example, some heavily loaded bomber airplane barely able to take off with its full wingspan, could jettison part of its wingspan once its mission is completed (having dropped bombs & burnt most of its fuel), in order to flee more quickly from enemy skies.

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    $\begingroup$ Interesting concept! In reality, the lowered weight was used to climb higher, so the pursuit became harder. $\endgroup$ – Peter Kämpf Aug 14 '19 at 21:12
  • $\begingroup$ So, I'm flying an aircraft peppered with holes, and who knows what other damage. Do I really want to take a chance that part of one wing will detach while part of the other doesn't? $\endgroup$ – CatchAsCatchCan Aug 15 '19 at 3:20
  • $\begingroup$ Does the Short Mayo Composite count? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Short_Mayo_Composite $\endgroup$ – Robin Bennett Aug 16 '19 at 16:11
  • $\begingroup$ I guess yes, nice find ! $\endgroup$ – qq jkztd Aug 16 '19 at 17:04

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