Questions tagged [wing]

For questions on an airplane's main wing

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64
votes
2answers
65k 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
21
votes
3answers
20k 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 ...
36
votes
9answers
34k 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?
23
votes
2answers
5k views

What was the first aircraft that could fly inverted?

I'm taking a guess and assuming the Wright Flyer was incapable of flying upside down. I'm just guessing it probably lacked the power... ;) So what was the first plane that could fly inverted for a ...
44
votes
3answers
18k 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 ...
19
votes
2answers
23k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
11k 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?
17
votes
3answers
26k 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 ...
16
votes
4answers
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?
32
votes
6answers
10k views

Why is it rare for small aircraft to have winglets?

I've noticed that winglets are very rare on small aircraft. I wonder why this is the case. Wouldn't they have the same advantages, especially because they travel at low speed? Or is it just a wrong ...
12
votes
4answers
4k views

What is a 'Wing Loop Fault' on an A320 series Aircraft?

I was recently involved in a flight that had issues before take off. The plane was an Airbus 321. It was explained to me as being a "wing loop fault". The problem was that the ECAM messages were ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

What is this extension/device on top of the wing of this ultralight?

This a shot of the Aero Synergie Papango ultralight, the succesor of the Aero Synergie J300 Joker. The wings are more elaborate compared to its predecessor's and include on their top two additional ...
20
votes
6answers
17k 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, ...
3
votes
1answer
520 views

Could an inflatable wing be installed on a Silent glider aircraft?

Would it be technically feasible to install the Pneumagic inflatable wing on the Silent glider?
16
votes
5answers
5k 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.
17
votes
3answers
5k views

Why does the Beech Staggerwing have its low wing ahead of the high wing?

Why does the Beech Staggerwing have its low wing in ahead of the high wing? What are the aerodynamic ideas behind this? Other biplanes of the era had the opposite, low wing behind the high one.
38
votes
3answers
20k 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 ...
32
votes
5answers
53k 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
21
votes
4answers
13k 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....
19
votes
5answers
3k views

What does the zig-zag pattern on Hawker Hunter's leading edge represent?

On some Hawker Hunters, there is a zig-zag on the leading edge of the wing, as shown below. Why do only some Hawker Hunters have this feature, and what is it for?
8
votes
1answer
323 views

Where can I find nice animations of flutter? [closed]

Where can I find nice flutter animations/videos (other than YouTube) to add to a presentation without violating Copyright regulations ? It can either be for wings as well as blade arrays. Are you ...
24
votes
2answers
4k views

Why is the wrong explanation of "air travels a longer distance and creates a lift" so popular?

When I was learning for my license, one of the first diagrams I remember was about the wing profile. The air going around the wing and on the upper side it has to travel a longer way, thus generating ...
27
votes
5answers
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
879 views

Do Grumman F-14s, Panavia Tornados, and other swing-wing airplanes count as "fixed-wing aircraft?"

I'm just wondering because the wing isn't fixed, but they aren't rotary-wings either.
22
votes
3answers
19k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Why should isobars be aligned with the leading edge of the main wing for a transonic cruiser?

When designing an airplane meant to cruise at transonic speeds (or supersonic speeds), I heard that one should look at the isobars on the main wing in order to assess if the shape, sweep angle and ...

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