Questions tagged [wing]

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67 votes
12 answers
50k views

How do wings generate lift?

Just the basic question that every aviation enthusiast must be curious about: exactly how does a wing generate lift?
Jae Carr's user avatar
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36 votes
3 answers
13k views

How does an aircraft form wake turbulence?

This question discusses how wake turbulence can affect planes flying in formation. It got me wondering, how do aircraft (the wings in particular) form wake turbulence to begin with? It can't be as ...
Jae Carr's user avatar
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49 votes
3 answers
21k views

Why does supersonic flight detach airflow from a wing?

I've read in several answers to questions that when a wing passes the speed of sound the airflow will become detached from the craft towards the rear quarter of the wing (thus making things like ...
Jae Carr's user avatar
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20 votes
3 answers
20k views

What dictates the aspect ratio of an aircraft's wing?

When designing an aircraft, there has to be a decision as to the aspect ratio of a wing. It's been said that having a higher aspect wing will reduce drag for the same wing area, however most of the ...
Qantas 94 Heavy's user avatar
18 votes
2 answers
29k views

How does chord length affect wing design?

In comments on the answer to a question about transonic speeds and control surfaces I came across this comment and I'm having a hard time understanding it. If you increase the chord, lift goes up ...
Jae Carr's user avatar
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11 votes
3 answers
12k views

Does the downwash created by induced drag increase or decrease lift?

According to the theory I know, lift is produced by accelerating air downwards at the trailing edge (downwash). Hence, as downwash increases so does lift. Induced drag is due to vortices at the wing ...
Selva's user avatar
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26 votes
3 answers
4k views

Is wingtip design mature?

There are many wingtip design, all made to reduce vortex related drag, and neither boeing nor airbus seems to prefer one over another. They move from one design to another at each new aircraft, always ...
Manu H's user avatar
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14 votes
3 answers
51k views

How does wing sweep increase aircraft stability?

I was told at one point that the sweep of a wing can help with the straight line stability of the craft, in fact I think it's one of the main systems that keeps flying wings flying straight (like the ...
Jae Carr's user avatar
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37 votes
9 answers
41k views

Why does An-225 have anhedral wings though it is a cargo aircraft?

What are the rationale behind this anhedral high mounted wing configuration? Is that usual for very large carge aircraft?
menjaraz's user avatar
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24 votes
4 answers
17k views

How does a flying wing keep from going into a flat spin when maneuvering?

How do flying wings, like the B-2 Stealth bomber, actually keep themselves from yawing out of control without a vertical stabilizer? For the record, I assume this has to be a simple mechanics process....
Jae Carr's user avatar
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73 votes
4 answers
85k views

What is the purpose of the sharp pods under airliner wings?

What are the pods with the sharp trailing edges underneath the wings of large airliners, as shown in the image below? My best guess would be fuel tanks
Jonny's user avatar
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13 votes
2 answers
32k views

How does the raked wingtip of the Boeing 787 work?

The wing tips are very different on these airplanes. The wingtip on a Boeing 787 is a sharp triangle, while the wingtip on a Boeing 737-300 is flat. British Airways Boeing 787-8 G-ZBJC wingtip | by ...
Ethan's user avatar
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23 votes
2 answers
83k views

What are the different wing planforms? What are each's advantages? Where are they commonly used?

I remember reading that there are four common wing planforms: Rectangular Eliptical Tapered Sweptback I'm sure there are more. What are the different types of planform out there? Each must have its ...
ryan1618's user avatar
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34 votes
5 answers
59k views

What are the advantages of a forward-swept wing over a rearward-swept wing?

What are the advantages of a forward-swept wing vs. a rearward swept one? Image credit: NASA Image credit: Paul Maritz / Wikimedia
flyingfisch's user avatar
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22 votes
7 answers
20k views

Do box-wings suffer from induced drag the same way as normal wings?

Most wings suffer from induced drag due to a pressure difference above and below the wing causing air to sneak around the tip, forming a vortex. There are various methods to minimize these effects, ...
falstro's user avatar
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16 votes
4 answers
4k views

Why are swept wings better for breaking the sound barrier?

I'm told that swept wings perform better when an aircraft is trying to break the sound barrier. I was wondering why that would be?
Jae Carr's user avatar
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16 votes
2 answers
10k views

Is airflow ever laminar in the boundary layer, near the wing leading edge?

I often see images of the boundary layer over a wing indicating the airflow is laminar over the first portion of the wing: Transition from laminar to turbulent flow over the wing. Left: source, right:...
mins's user avatar
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12 votes
3 answers
9k views

What is the mechanism by which condensation forms above wings?

The planes landing at Sydney Airport have what looks to be sheets of steam pouring off the wings. Larger planes have multiple contrails while smaller regional planes only have these sheets. This is ...
Trigger's user avatar
  • 123
8 votes
1 answer
2k views

How do blow holes compare to other means of tripping the boundary layer?

The DG-300 glider has wing holes to delay flow separation. How do they compare to vortex generators and other means? This wing is 'blown' on the underside by 900 small holes to achieve a ...
user avatar
16 votes
5 answers
29k views

How does the dihedral angle work?

I've been looking for this topic on the internet but I don't have enough concrete answers. Suppose we have a plane with dihedral and it has a suddenly swinging to the right (watching from the nose of ...
kuvala's user avatar
  • 163
10 votes
3 answers
11k views

For the elliptical wing, which property is actually elliptically distributed?

Elliptical wings are sometimes used: One of the 50 Spitfire still flying in the World. Source I read it's because this shape allows a perfect distribution of aerodynamic forces. But actually: What ...
mins's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
7k views

Why does the elliptical wing have the lowest drag?

I read that the elliptical wing has the lowest induced drag. Why is that so? I welcome a mathematical and intuitive explanation.
MrYouMath's user avatar
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18 votes
3 answers
29k views

Why are delta wings not commonly used in commercial airliners?

Delta wings are most commonly seen on military aircraft. I understand that delta wings are ideal for supersonic flight, and provide high maneuverability. Having high maneuverability and speed are ...
Karthick's user avatar
  • 1,081
12 votes
3 answers
8k views

What is the purpose of a wing Yehudi? [duplicate]

Apart from covering the landing gear leg, the Yehudi also increases the wing root cord which allows the build height for the root to increase for the same wing relative thickness. This is useful as ...
user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
10k views

What is the way to calculate the required twist of a flying wing?

I am interested in flying wings and a couple of weeks ago I started researching them. I found mh-aerotools.de website and think it's a great source. The website stated that flying wings need twist ...
SAMPro's user avatar
  • 215
4 votes
1 answer
16k views

What is the effect of airfoil thickness on aerodynamic lift?

More than once I`ve read that the airfoil thickness contributes little to the lift compared to the angle of attack and airfoil curvature and has more to do with airfoil stall characteristics. Could ...
XF-91's user avatar
  • 2,096
22 votes
3 answers
3k views

Why is the trailing edge sweep angle smaller at the wing root?

Many airliners have a distinct unswept part at the wing root at the trailing edge. See for example this image from Wikimedia of a B737-400. Other examples include the B777, A320, Embrear 145, and ...
Sanchises's user avatar
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19 votes
2 answers
17k views

Why do all new European fighter jets have delta wings?

Why do all new European fighter jets - Typhoon, Gripen, Rafale have delta wings? As I know, they were all designed separately. And they are not new either. Is there any particular advantage that ...
user3624251's user avatar
  • 1,679
12 votes
3 answers
7k views

What advantages come with the wing on the Boeing Bird of Prey?

I noticed this picture yesterday of the Bird of Prey and wondered about the wing design and what advantages would come with this unique wing design compared to other aircraft? Source:(www.wired.com)
Ethan's user avatar
  • 9,349
11 votes
3 answers
4k views

How is lift provided by a wing affected by propeller wake?

Does the lift of that section of the wing which is in the wake of the propeller increase (because the airspeed in that section is higher)? If yes, is this fact used actively to improve the lift ...
Raj's user avatar
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11 votes
2 answers
5k views

Why did the CL-400 Suntan have engines on the ends of its wings?

I've been reading more about the development of the A-12, which in turn referenced the CL-400 Suntan. I noticed that the engines are located at the end of the wing, rather than integrated with the ...
Peter's user avatar
  • 223
7 votes
4 answers
21k views

Where is the spanwise flow? How does the span wise flow point the air towards the wingtip?

If you search Google for span wise flow, the first result under the pictures tab is a image of a wing with the span wise flow at the trailing edge: (Source) If you look at some other photos you ...
Crafterguy's user avatar
21 votes
3 answers
24k views

Why do (almost) all military transports have high wings and civilian transports low wings?

I've observed that almost all military transports have high wings (with a pronounced anhedral) and almost all civilian airliners have low wings (with a pronounced dihedral) — why is this? The ...
markvgti's user avatar
  • 311
19 votes
3 answers
5k views

Can any aircraft adjust the wing dihedral in flight?

Are there any aircraft that can mechanically modify the dihedral angle of the wings whilst in flight? Would this solution give any advantage?
Fabrizio Mazzoni's user avatar
16 votes
5 answers
6k views

Do airplanes need wings?

Couldn't you just generate lift with a long body? Maybe a little broader than a normal plane. As a design enhancement, we would need a heavier bottom, so the plane doesn't flips to a side.
Quora Feans's user avatar
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15 votes
4 answers
21k views

Are NACA airfoils used in modern aircraft design?

I know that NACA is famous for its ducts: Gratuitous Ferrari F-40 from Wikipedia. Mmmm... pretty... It is also well known for its airfoils, and many planes in the early years of aviation used NACA ...
FreeMan's user avatar
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7 votes
3 answers
5k views

Can a steady flow have stagnation points?

I am confused by this idea. If a flow is steady, its streamlines are unchanging. Taking the typical example of an airfoil, there is (at least) one streamline which will hit the leading edge of the ...
midnightBlue's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
14k views

What is the chord of a wing?

In the answer to this question the author mentions the chord of a wing. What exactly is that, and how is it used in wing design?
Jae Carr's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
4k views

Does an elliptical wing planform have an elliptical lift distribution, and is that the most efficient shape?

I know that there are similar topics already here, but after reading them I still do not understand everything. From what I know an elliptical lift distribution gives the least amount of induced drag. ...
Konrad's user avatar
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2 votes
3 answers
3k views

Why is a rectangular wing planform less efficient than others?

I read somewhere that a rectangular wing is inefficient compared to other wing planforms. Can someone clarify why this kind of wing planform is inefficient compared to other planforms and what causes ...
Konrad's user avatar
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56 votes
3 answers
57k views

What's the advantage of the F4U Corsair's gull wing design?

What is the advantage of the F4U Corsair's gull wing design? Is there also a disadvantage to this? The wing design just seems odd, and as far as I know it is one of the only planes to use this design....
user avatar
48 votes
2 answers
10k views

Why does one of the Boeing 777's spoilers deploy differently from the rest?

There is one spoiler that isn't totally deployed. Look: Source: Airliners.net And also on this other picture: Source: Airliners.net Why aren't they deployed at the same angle?
user13197's user avatar
  • 11.4k
39 votes
3 answers
25k views

What are these hooks on the A320's wing used for?

I was flying on an A320 (equipped with sharklets) the other day, and I found these hooks on the wing's surface: Note that the single hooked attachment is outside the wing's "DO NOT WALK OUTSIDE THIS ...
shortstheory's user avatar
  • 3,996
30 votes
6 answers
5k views

Why isn't the wing span of a certain airliner longer with the longer fuselage versions?

The Boeing 737 next generation models (700,800,900ER) all have the same wingspan at 117ft 5 in. Why doesn't the wingspan increase with bigger and longer models? With the 737-900 wouldn't you need a ...
Ethan's user avatar
  • 9,349
27 votes
5 answers
5k views

If the profile of a wing pulls a plane up, why can planes fly inverted?

I'm simplifying here, but every introduction to flying shows us that the profile of a wing leads to lower pressure on the upper side of the wing, hence the wing and the plane attached to it will be ...
Krumelur's user avatar
  • 1,331
9 votes
3 answers
7k views

What is the optimal wing sweep angle for a passenger airliner?

There are many different types passenger planes, but is there a optimal wing angle for these planes, that improves the plane's take off speed for example, or the fuel efficiency The Boeing 747 has a ...
user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
7k views

Is the low air pressure on top of the wing the major contributor to lift?

I am kind of old time flyer. Started to fly with those primitive hang-glides with titanium frame and the yoke control, around 1966 and then after a few close calls and getting older I switched to ...
kamran's user avatar
  • 995
4 votes
1 answer
62k views

How much fuel does an A380 hold and where?

How much fuel does an A380 usually carry (in litres) and what is the maximum? How much is in each wing? How much is in other fuel tanks and where are they?
securitydude5's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
24k views

How are Cd and Cl calculated from Cp data?

Given pressure coefficient data for corresponding x/c (position along chord) values on a wing, I am looking to calculate coefficients of drag and lift. Here's what I have: b, MAC, S, sweep angles at ...
user26989's user avatar
  • 111
4 votes
1 answer
1k views

How is wing area defined?

When the plain "wing area" is given in basic aircraft specifications, what area does it usually refer to? Is the same area used for calculating the wing loading? For example I have a fuller ...
Guy Inchbald's user avatar
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