Wing configuration

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For aircraft configurations in general, including fuselage, tail and powerplant configuration, see Aircraft. For rotary-winged aircraft types, see Rotorcraft. For direct-lift and compound or hybrid types, see Powered lift.
Wing configuration
Spitfire.planform.arp.jpg
the Spitfire wing may be classified as a conventional low wing cantilever monoplane with straight elliptical wings of moderate aspect ratio and slight dihedral.

Fixed-wing aircraft, popularly called aeroplanes, airplanes or just planes may be built with many wing configurations.

This page provides a breakdown of types, allowing a full description of any aircraft's wing configuration. For example the Spitfire wing may be classified as a conventional low wing cantilever monoplane with straight elliptical wings of moderate aspect ratio and slight dihedral.

Sometimes the distinction between types is blurred, for example the wings of many modern combat aircraft may be described either as cropped compound deltas with (forwards or backwards) swept trailing edge, or as sharply tapered swept wings with large "Leading Edge Root Extension" (or LERX).

All the configurations described have flown (if only very briefly) on full-size aircraft, except as noted.

Some variants may be duplicated under more than one heading, due to their complex nature. This is particularly so for variable geometry and combined (closed) wing types.

Note on terminology: Most fixed-wing aircraft have left hand (port) and right hand (starboard) wings in a symmetrical arrangement. Strictly, such a pair of wings is called a wing plane or just plane. However in certain situations it is common to refer to a plane as a wing, as in "a biplane has two wings", or to refer to the whole thing as a wing, as in "a biplane wing has two planes". Where the meaning is clear, this article follows common usage, only being more precise where needed to avoid real ambiguity or incorrectness.

Number and position of main-planes[edit]

Fixed-wing aircraft can have different numbers of wings:

  • Monoplane: one wing plane. Since the 1930s most aeroplanes have been monoplanes. The wing may be mounted at various positions relative to the fuselage:
    • Low wing: mounted near or below the bottom of the fuselage.
    • Mid wing: mounted approximately half way up the fuselage.
    • Shoulder wing: mounted on the upper part or "shoulder" of the fuselage, slightly below the top of the fuselage. A shoulder wing is sometimes considered a sub-type of high wing.[1][2]
    • High wing: mounted on the upper fuselage. When contrasted to the shoulder wing, applies to a wing mounted on a projection (such as the cabin roof) above the top of the main fuselage.
    • Parasol wing: raised clear above the top of the fuselage, typically by cabane struts, pylon(s) or pedestal(s).
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Low wing
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Mid wing
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Shoulder wing
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High wing
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Parasol wing

A fixed-wing aircraft may have more than one wing plane, stacked one above another:

  • Biplane: two wing planes of similar size, stacked one above the other. The most common configuration until the 1930s, when the monoplane took over. The Wright Flyer I was a biplane.
    • Unequal-span biplane: a biplane in which one wing (usually the lower) is shorter than the other, as on the Curtiss JN-4 Jenny of the First World War.
    • Sesquiplane: literally "one-and-a-half planes" is a type of biplane in which the lower wing is significantly smaller than the upper wing, either in span or chord or both. The Nieuport 17 of WWI was notably successful.
    • Inverted sesquiplane: has a significantly smaller upper wing. The Fiat CR.1 was in production for many years.
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Biplane
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Unequal-span biplane
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Sesquiplane
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Inverted sesquiplane
  • Triplane: three planes stacked one above another. Triplanes such as the Fokker Dr.I enjoyed a brief period of popularity during the First World War due to their manoeuvrability, but were soon replaced by improved biplanes.
  • Multiplane: many planes, sometimes used to mean more than one or more than some arbitrary number. The term is occasionally applied to arrangements stacked in tandem as well as vertically. The 1907 Multiplane of Horatio Frederick Phillips flew successfully with two hundred wing foils, while the nine-wing Caproni Ca.60 flying boat was airborne briefly before crashing.
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Triplane
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Quadruplane
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Multiplane

A staggered design has the upper wing slightly forward of the lower. Long thought to reduce the interference caused by the low pressure air over the lower wing mixing with the high pressure air under the upper wing however the improvement is minimal and its primary benefit is to improve access to the fuselage. It is common on many successful biplanes and triplanes. Backwards stagger is also seen in a few examples such as the Beechcraft Staggerwing.

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Unstaggered biplane
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Forwards stagger
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Backwards stagger

A tandem wing design has two wings, one behind the other: see Tailplanes and foreplanes below. Some early types had tandem stacks of multiple planes—see the article on multiplanes.

Wing support[edit]

To support itself a wing has to be rigid and strong and consequently may be heavy. By adding external bracing, the weight can be greatly reduced. Originally such bracing was always present, but it causes a large amount of drag at higher speeds and has not been used for faster designs since the early 1930s.

The types are:

  • Cantilevered: self-supporting. All the structure is buried under the aerodynamic skin, giving a clean appearance with low drag.
  • Braced: the wings are supported by external structural members. Nearly all multi-plane designs are braced. Some monoplanes, especially early designs such as the Fokker Eindecker, are also braced to save weight. Braced wings are of two types:
    • Strut braced: one or more stiff struts help to support the wing. A strut may act in compression or tension at different points in the flight regime.
    • Wire braced: alone (as on the Boeing P-26 Peashooter) or, more usually, in addition to struts, tension wires also help to support the wing. Unlike a strut, a wire can act only in tension.
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Cantilever
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Strut braced
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Wire braced
A braced multiplane may have one or more "bays", which are the compartments created by adding interplane struts; the number of bays refers to one side of the aircraft's wing panels only. For example, the de Havilland Tiger Moth is a single-bay biplane where the Bristol F.2 Fighter is a two-bay biplane.[3]
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Single-bay biplane
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Two-bay biplane
  • Non planar wing or closed wing[citation needed]: two wings in different planes are joined structurally at or near the tips in some way. This may stiffen the structure, and can reduce aerodynamic losses at the tips. Variants include:
    • Box wing: upper and lower planes are joined by a vertical fin between their tips. The first officially witnessed unaided takeoff and flight, Santos-Dumont´s 14-bis, used this configuration and some Dunne biplanes were of this type as well. Tandem box wings have also been studied (see Joined wing description below).
    • Annular box wing: A type of box wing whose vertical fins curve continuously, blending smoothly into the wing tips. An early example was the Blériot III, which featured two annular wings in tandem.
    • Annular (cylindrical): the wing is shaped like a cylinder. The Coléoptère had concentric wing and fuselage. It took off and landed vertically, but never achieved transition to horizontal flight. Examples with the wing mounted on top of the fuselage have been proposed but never built.[4]
    • Joined wing: a tandem layout in which the front low wing sweeps back and/or the rear high wing sweeps forwards such that they join at or near the tips to form a continuous surface in a hollow diamond or triangle shape. The design has recently seen a revival of interest where it is referred to as a joined wing. The Ligeti Stratos is a rare example.[5]
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Box wing
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Annular box wing
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Cylindrical wing
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Joined wing
  • Annular wing (planar)
    • Flat: the wing is shaped like a circular disc with a hole in it. A Lee-Richards type flew shortly before the First World War.[6]
    • Rhomboidal wing: an annular wing consisting of four surfaces in a diamond arrangement. The wing planform looks similar to the joined wing, however here the two wings are in the same plane. The Edwards Rhomboidal biplane of 1911 failed to fly.[7] The Small Diameter Bomb, a smart guided bomb, has a rhomboidal wing.
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Flat annular wing
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Rhomboidal wing

Wings can also be characterised as:

  • Rigid: stiff enough to maintain the aerofoil profile in varying conditions of airflow. A rigid wing may have external bracing and/or a fabric covering.
  • Flexible: usually a thin membrane. Requires external bracing and/or wind pressure to maintain the aerofoil shape. Common types include Rogallo wings and kites.
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Rigid delta wing
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Flexible Rogallo "sailwing"

Wing planform[edit]

The wing planform is the silhouette of the wing when viewed from above or below.

See also Variable geometry types which vary the wing planform during flight.

Aspect ratio[edit]

Main article: Aspect ratio (wing)

The aspect ratio is the span divided by the mean or average chord.[8] It is a measure of how long and slender the wing appears when seen from above or below.

  • Low aspect ratio: short and stubby wing. More efficient structurally and higher instantaneous roll rate. They tend to be used by fighter aircraft, such as the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter, and by very high-speed aircraft (e.g. North American X-15).
  • High aspect ratio: long and slender wing. More efficient aerodynamically, having less induced drag. They tend to be used by high-altitude subsonic aircraft (e.g. the Lockheed U-2), subsonic airliners (e.g. the Bombardier Dash 8) and by high-performance sailplanes (e.g. Glaser-Dirks DG-500).
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Low aspect ratio
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Moderate aspect ratio
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High aspect ratio

Most Variable geometry configurations vary the aspect ratio in some way, either deliberately or as a side effect.

Wing sweep[edit]

Wings may be swept back, or occasionally forwards, for a variety of reasons. A small degree of sweep is sometimes used to adjust the centre of lift when the wing cannot be attached in the ideal position for some reason, such as a pilot's visibility from the cockpit. Other uses are described below.

  • Straight: extends at right angles to the line of flight. The most structurally-efficient wing, it is common for low-speed designs, such as the P-80 Shooting Star and sailplanes.
  • Swept back (aka "swept wing"): The wing sweeps rearwards from the root to the tip. In early tailless examples, such as the Dunne aircraft, this allowed the outer wing section to act like a conventional empennage (tail) to provide aerodynamic stability. At transonic speeds swept wings have lower drag, but can handle badly in or near a stall and require high stiffness to avoid aeroelasticity at high speeds. Common on high-subsonic and early supersonic designs e.g. the Hawker Hunter.
  • Forward swept: the wing angles forward from the root. Benefits are similar to backwards sweep, also it avoids the stall problems and has reduced tip losses allowing a smaller wing, but requires even greater stiffness to avoid aeroelastic flutter as on the Sukhoi Su-47. The HFB-320 Hansa Jet used forward sweep to prevent the wing spar passing through the cabin. Small shoulder-wing aircraft may use forward sweep to maintain a correct CoG.

Some types of variable geometry vary the wing sweep during flight:

  • Swing-wing: also called "variable sweep wing". The left and right hand wings vary their sweep together, usually backwards. Seen in a few types of military aircraft, such as the General Dynamics F-111.
  • Oblique wing: a single full-span wing pivots about its midpoint, so that one side sweeps back and the other side sweeps forward. Flown on the NASA AD-1 research aircraft.
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Straight
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Swept
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Forward swept
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Variable sweep
(swing-wing)
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Variable-geometry
oblique wing

Chord variation along span[edit]

The wing chord may be varied along the span of the wing, for both structural and aerodynamic reasons.

  • Constant chord: parallel leading & trailing edges. Simplest to make, and common where low cost is important, e.g. in the Piper J-3 Cub but inefficient as the outer section generates little lift. Sometimes known as the Hershey Bar wing in North America due to its similarity in shape to a chocolate bar.[9][10]
  • Tapered: wing narrows towards the tip, with straight edges. Structurally and aerodynamically more efficient than a constant chord wing, and easier to make than the elliptical type. It is one of the most common wing planforms, as seen on the Grumman F4F Wildcat.
    • Trapezoidal: a low aspect ratio tapered wing, where the leading edge sweeps back and the trailing edge sweeps forwards as on the Lockheed F-22 Raptor.
    • Inverse tapered: wing is widest near the tip. Structurally inefficient, leading to high weight. Flown experimentally on the XF-91 Thunderceptor in an attempt to overcome the stall problems of swept wings.
    • Compound tapered: taper reverses towards the root. Typically braced to maintain stiffness. Used on the Westland Lysander army cooperation aircraft to increase visibility for the pilot.
  • Constant chord with tapered outer section: common variant seen for example on many Cessna types and the English Electric Canberra.
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Constant chord
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Tapered
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Trapezoidal
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Reverse tapered
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Compound tapered
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Constant chord,
tapered outer
  • Elliptical: leading and trailing edges are curved such that the chord length varies elliptically with respect to span. Theoretically the most efficient, but difficult to make. Famously used on the Supermarine Spitfire. (Note that in aerodynamics theory, the term "elliptical" describes the optimal lift distribution over a wing and not the shape).
    • Semi-elliptical: only the leading or trailing edge is elliptical with the other being straight, as with the elliptical trailing edges of the Seversky P-35.[11] Seen in low-aspect-ratio tailless form on the Arup S-1 and subsequent types.
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Elliptical
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Semi-elliptical
  • Bird wing: a curved shape appearing similar to a bird's outstretched wing. Popular during the pioneer years, and achieved some success on the Etrich Taube where its planform was inspired by the zanonia seed.
  • Bat wing: a form with radial ribs. The 1901 Whitehead No. 21 has been the subject of claims to the first controlled powered flight.
  • Circular: approximately circular planform modified with a horizontal tail. The Vought XF5U used large propellers near the tips to dissipate its wingtip vortices.
    • Flying saucer: tailless circular flying wing. The Avrocar demonstrated the inherent instability of the design, while the Moller M200G used computers to provide artificial stability in hover mode.
    • Flat annular wing: the circle has a hole in, forming a closed wing (see above). Several Lee-Richards types flew shortly before the First World War.[12]
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Birdlike
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Batlike
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Circular
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Flying saucer
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Flat annular
  • Delta: triangular planform with swept leading edge and straight trailing edge. Offers the advantages of a swept wing, with good structural efficiency and low frontal area. Disadvantages are the low wing loading and high wetted area needed to obtain aerodynamic stability. Variants are:
    • Tailless delta: a classic high-speed design, used for example in the widely built Dassault Mirage III series.
    • Tailed delta: adds a conventional tailplane, to improve handling. Popular on Soviet types such as the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21.
    • Cropped delta: tip is cut off. This helps avoid tip drag at high angles of attack. At the extreme, merges into the "tapered swept" configuration.
    • Compound delta or double delta: inner section has a (usually) steeper leading edge sweep e.g. Saab Draken. This improves the lift at high angles of attack and delays or prevents stalling. Seen in tailless form on the Tupolev Tu-144 and the Space Shuttle. The HAL Tejas has an inner section of reduced sweep.
    • Ogival delta: a smoothly blended "wineglass" double-curve encompassing the leading edges and tip of a cropped compound delta. Seen in tailless form on the Concorde supersonic transports.
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Tailless delta
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Tailed delta
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Cropped delta
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Compound delta
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Ogival delta

The angle of sweep may also be varied, or cranked, along the span:

  • Crescent: wing outer section is swept less sharply than the inner section. Used for the Handley Page Victor.[13]
  • Cranked arrow: similar to a compound delta, but with the trailing edge also kinked inwards. Trialled experimentally on the General Dynamics F-16XL.
  • M-wing: the inner wing section sweeps forward, and the outer section sweeps backwards. Periodically studied, but never used on an aircraft.[14][15]
  • W-wing: A reversed M-wing. Studied even less than the M-wing and likewise never used.[15]
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Crescent
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Cranked arrow
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M-wing
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W-wing

Asymmetrical[edit]

On a few aircraft the port and starboard wings are not mirror-images of each other:

  • Asymmetrical loading: the Blohm & Voss BV 141 had a nacelle offset to one side to give the crew a good field of view.
  • Asymmetrical planform: on several Italian fighters such as the Ansaldo SVA, one wing was slightly longer than the other to assist in counteracting engine torque.
  • Oblique wing: one wing sweeps forward and the other back. The NASA AD-1 had a full-span wing structure with variable sweep.
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Asymmetrical Torque counteraction
by asymmetric span
Variable-geometry
oblique wing

Tailplanes and foreplanes[edit]

The classic aerofoil section wing is unstable in pitch, and requires some form of horizontal stabilizing surface. Also it cannot provide any significant pitch control, requiring a separate control surface (elevator) mounted elsewhere.

  • Conventional: "tailplane" surface at the rear of the aircraft, forming part of the tail or empennage.
  • Canard: "foreplane" surface at the front of the aircraft. Common in the pioneer years, but from the outbreak of World War I no production model appeared until the Saab Viggen appeared in 1967.
  • Tandem: two main wings, one behind the other. Both provide lift; the aft wing provides pitch stability (as a usual tailplane) . An example is the Rutan Quickie. To provide longitudinal stability, the wings must differ in aerodynamic characteristics : wing loading and aerofoils must be different between the two wings.
  • Three surface:[16] both conventional tail and canard auxiliary surfaces. Modern examples include the Sukhoi Su-33 and Piaggio P.180 Avanti. Pioneer examples included the Voisin-Farman I and Curtiss No. 1.
  • Tailless: no separate surface, at front or rear. The lifting and stabilizing surfaces may be combined in a single plane, as on the Short SB.4 Sherpa whose whole wing tip sections acted as elevons. Alternatively the aerofoil profile may be modified to provide inherent stability. Aircraft having a tailplane but no vertical tail fin have also been described as "tailless".
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Conventional
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Canard
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Tandem
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Three surface
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Tailless

Dihedral and anhedral[edit]

Angling the wings up or down spanwise from root to tip can help to resolve various design issues, such as stability and control in flight.

  • Dihedral: the tips are higher than the root as on the Boeing 737, giving a shallow 'V' shape when seen from the front. Adds lateral stability.
  • Anhedral: the tips are lower than the root, as on the Ilyushin Il-76; the opposite of dihedral. Used to reduce stability where some other feature results in too much stability.

Some biplanes have different degrees of dihedral/anhedral on different wings; e.g. the Sopwith Camel had a flat upper wing and dihedral on the lower wing, while the Hanriot HD-1 had dihedral on the upper wing but none on the lower.

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Dihedral
 
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Anhedral
 
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Biplane with dihedral
on both wings
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Biplane with dihedral
on lower wing

In a polyhedral wing the dihedral angle varies along the span.

  • Gull wing: sharp dihedral on the wing root section, little or none on the main section, as on the PZL P.11 fighter. Sometimes used to improve visibility forwards and upwards and may be used as the upper wing on a biplane as on the Polikarpov I-153.
  • Inverted gull: anhedral on the root section, dihedral on the main section. The opposite of a gull wing. May be used to reduce the length of wing-mounted undercarriage legs or allow a larger propeller. Two well-known examples of the inverted gull wing are World War II's American F4U Corsair, and the German Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber.
  • Cranked: tip section dihedral differs from the main section. The wingtips may crank upwards as on the F-4 Phantom II or downwards as on the Northrop XP-56 Black Bullet. (Note that the term "cranked" varies in usage.[17][18][19][20] Here, it is used to help clarify the relationship between changes of dihedral nearer the wing tip vs. nearer the wing root. See also Cranked arrow planform.)
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Gull wing
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Inverted gull wing
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Upward cranked tips
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Downward cranked tips
  • The channel wing includes a section of the wing forming a partial duct around or immediately behind a propeller. Flown since 1942 in prototype form only, most notably on the Custer Channel Wing aircraft.
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Channel wing

Wings vs. bodies[edit]

Some designs have no clear join between wing and fuselage, or body. This may be because one or other of these is missing, or because they merge into each other:

  • Flying wing: the aircraft has no distinct fuselage or horizontal tail (although fins and pods, blisters, etc. may be present) such as on the B-2 stealth bomber.
    • Bi-directional flying wing: a proposed design in which a low-speed wing and a high-speed wing are laid across each other in the form of a cross. The aircraft would take off and land with the low-speed wing facing the airflow, then rotate a quarter-turn so that the high-speed wing faces the airflow for supersonic flight (see Variable geometry below).
  • Blended body or blended wing-body: a smooth transition occurs between wing and fuselage, with no hard dividing line. Reduces wetted area and can also reduce interference between airflow over the wing root and any adjacent body, in both cases reducing drag. The Lockheed SR-71 spyplane exemplifies this approach.
  • Lifting body: the aircraft lacks identifiable wings but relies on the fuselage (usually at high speeds or high angles of attack) to provide aerodynamic lift as on the X-24.
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Flying wing
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Blended body
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Lifting body

Some designs may fall into multiple categories depending on interpretation, for example one design could be seen as a lifting body with a broad fuselage, or as a low-aspect-ratio flying wing with a deep center chord.

Variable geometry[edit]

A variable geometry aircraft is able to change its physical configuration during flight.

Some types of variable geometry craft transition between fixed wing and rotary wing configurations. For more about these hybrids, see powered lift.

Variable planform[edit]

  • Variable-sweep wing or Swing-wing. The left and right hand wings vary their sweep together, usually backwards. The first successful wing sweep in flight was carried out by the Bell X-5 in the early 1950s. In the Beech Starship, only the canard foreplanes have variable sweep.
  • Oblique wing: a single full-span wing pivots about its midpoint, as used on the NASA AD-1, so that one side sweeps back and the other side sweeps forward.
  • Telescoping wing: the outer section of wing telescopes over or within the inner section of wing, varying span, aspect ratio and wing area, as used on the FS-29 TF glider.[21] The Makhonine Mak-123 was an early example.[22]
  • Extending wing or expanding wing: part of the wing retracts into the main aircraft structure to reduce drag and low-altitude buffet for high-speed flight, and is extended only for takeoff, low-speed cruise and landing. The Gérin Varivol biplane, which flew in 1936, extended the leading and trailing edges to increase wing area.[23]
  • Bi-directional wing: a proposed design in which a low-speed wing and a high-speed wing are laid across each other in the form of a cross. The aircraft would take off and land with the low-speed wing facing the airflow, then rotate a quarter-turn so that the high-speed wing faces the airflow for supersonic flight.
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Variable sweep
(swing-wing)
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Variable-geometry
oblique wing
 
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Telescoping wing
 
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Extending wing
 
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Bi-directional flying wing
 
  • Folding wing: part of the wing extends for takeoff and landing, and folds away for high-speed flight. The outer sections of the XB-70 Valkyrie wing folded down, to increase lift and reduce drag through generation of 'compression lift' during supersonic flight. (Many aircraft have wings that may be folded for storage on the ground or on board ship. These are not folding wings in the sense used here).
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Folding wing

Variable chord[edit]

  • Variable incidence: the wing plane can tilt upwards or downwards relative to the fuselage. The wing on the Vought F-8 Crusader was rotated, lifting the leading edge on takeoff to improve performance. If powered prop-rotors are fitted to the wing to allow vertical takeoff or STOVL performance, merges into the powered lift category.
  • Variable camber: the leading and/or trailing edge sections of the whole wing pivot to increase the effective camber and sometimes also area of the wing. This enhances manoeuvrability. An early example was flown on the Westland N.16 of 1917.[24]
  • Variable thickness: the upper wing centre section can be raised to increase wing thickness and camber for landing and take-off, and reduced for high speed. Charles Rocheville and others flew some experimental aircraft.[25][26][27]
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Variable incidence
wing
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Variable camber
aerofoil
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Variable thickness
aerofoil

Polymorphism[edit]

A polymorphic wing is able to change the number of planes in flight. The Nikitin-Shevchenko IS "folding fighter" prototypes were able to morph between biplane and monoplane configurations after takeoff by folding the lower wing into a cavity in the upper wing.

The slip wing is a variation on the polymorphic idea, whereby a low-wing monoplane was fitted with a second detachable "slip" wing above it to assist takeoff, which was then jettisoned once aloft. The idea was flown on the purpose-built Hillson Bi-mono before being applied to a single Hawker Hurricane however it was not continued with.

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Polymorphic wing
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Slip wing

Minor independent surfaces[edit]

Different kinds of strake

Aircraft may have additional minor aerodynamic surfaces. Some of these are treated as part of the overall wing configuration:

  • Winglet: a small vertical fin at the wingtip, usually turned upwards. Reduces the size of vortices shed by the wingtip, and hence also tip drag.
  • Strake: a small surface, typically longer than it is wide and mounted on the fuselage. Strakes may be located at various positions in order to improve aerodynamic behaviour. Leading edge root extensions (LERX) are also sometimes referred to as wing strakes.
  • Chine: long, narrow sideways extension to the fuselage, blending into the main wing. As well as improving low speed (high angle of attack) handling, provides extra lift at supersonic speeds for minimal increase in drag. Seen on the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird.
  • Moustache: small high-aspect-ratio canard surface having no movable control surface. Typically is retractable for high speed flight. Deflects air downward onto the wing root, to delay the stall. Seen on the Dassault Milan and Tupolev Tu-144.

Additional minor features[edit]

Vortex generators, root fillet, flap, anti-shock body and wing fence
Leading edge extensions

Additional minor features may be applied to an existing aerodynamic surface such as the main wing:

  • High-lift devices:
    • Slot: a spanwise gap behind the leading edge section, which forms a small aerofoil or slat extending along the leading edge of the wing. Air flowing through the slot is deflected by the slat to flow over the wing, allowing the aircraft to fly at lower air speeds. A Leading edge slat is the extension in front of a slot.
    • Flap: a hinged aerodynamic surface, usually on the trailing edge, which is angled downwards to generate extra lift and drag. Types include plain, slotted, and split. Some, such as Fowler Flaps, also extend rearwards to increase wing area. The Krueger flap is a leading-edge device.
  • Spanwise flow control devices :
    • Vortex generator: small triangular protrusion on the upper leading wing surface; usually, several are spaced along the span of the wing. The vortices re-energise the boundary layer and thereby both reduce the stall speed and improve the effectiveness of control surfaces at low speeds.
    • Wing fence: a flat plate extending along the wing chord and for a short distance vertically. Used to control spanwise airflow over the wing.
    • Vortilon: a flat plate attached to the underside of the wing near its leading edge, roughly parallel to normal airflow, used to increase lift and reduce stalling at low speeds.
    • Notched leading edge.[28]
    • Dogtooth leading edge.[28]
  • Leading edge extensions of various kinds.
  • Anti-shock body: a streamlined pod shape added to the leading or trailing edge of an aerodynamic surface, to delay the onset of shock stall and reduce transonic wave drag. Examples include the Küchemann carrots on the wing trailing edge of the Handley Page Victor B.2.
  • Fillet: a small curved infill at the junction of two surfaces, such as a wing and fuselage, blending them smoothly together to reduce drag.
  • Fairings of various kinds, such as blisters, pylons and wingtip pods, containing equipment which cannot fit inside the wing, and whose only aerodynamic purpose is to reduce the drag created by the equipment.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Taylor, J. (Ed.), Jayne's all the world's aircraft 1980-81, Jane's (1980)
  2. ^ Green, W.; Warplanes of the second world war, Vol. 5, Flying boats, Macdonald (1962), p.131
  3. ^ Taylor, 1990. p. 76
  4. ^ "Nonplanar Wings: Closed Systems". Aero.stanford.edu. Retrieved 2012-03-31. 
  5. ^ Ligeti Stratos joined wing aircraft
  6. ^ Airliners.net, Lee Richards Annular, 2012, retrieved 31 March 2012
  7. ^ Angelucco, E. and Matrciardi, P.; World Aircraft Origins-World War 1, Sampson Low, 1977
  8. ^ Kermode, A.C., Mechanics of Flight, Chapter 3 (p.103, eighth edition)
  9. ^ Garrison, Peter (2003-01-01). "Rectangular Wings | Flying Magazine". Flyingmag.com. Retrieved 2012-03-31. 
  10. ^ 3-view of the Piper J-3 Cub
  11. ^ "Alexander de Seversky". centennialofflight.net. Retrieved 2012-03-31. 
  12. ^ letter from Hall-Warren, N.; Flight International, 1962, p 716.
  13. ^ "swept wing | avro vulcan | 1953 | 0030 | Flight Archive". Flightglobal.com. 1952-12-05. Retrieved 2012-05-29. 
  14. ^ "Aerodynamics at Teddington", Flight, 5 June 1959: 764 
  15. ^ a b Katz, Marley, Pepper, NACA RM L50G31, NACA 
  16. ^ P180 Avanti-Specification and Description. See page 55, Appendix A: "Notes about the 3-Lifting-Surface design".
  17. ^ Ernst-Heinrich Hirschel, Horst Prem, Gero Madelung. Aeronautical research in Germany: from Lilienthal until today. Retrieved 2012-03-31. 
  18. ^ Benoliel, Alexander M., Aerodynamic Pitch-up of Cranked Arrow Wings: Estimation, Trim, and Configuration Design, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, May 1994, retrieved 31 March 2012
  19. ^ "Boeing Sonic Cruiser ousts 747X". Flightglobal.com. 2001-04-03. Retrieved 2012-03-31. 
  20. ^ "WHAT IS IT? Aircraft Characteristics That Aid the Spotter Classified : A Simple Guide for Basic Features in Design the Beginner", Flight, 4 June 1942: 562 
  21. ^ "fs 29 - "TF"". Uni-stuttgart.de. 2012-02-05. Retrieved 2012-03-31. 
  22. ^ "Telescoping Wings On Plane Add To Its Speed", November 1931, Popular Mechanics
  23. ^ "Plane With Expanding Wing, Flies In Tests" Popular Science, November 1932, article center of page 31
  24. ^ Lukins, A.H.; The book of Westland aircraft, Aircraft (Technical) Publications Ltd, (1943 or 1944).
  25. ^ "Adjustable Airplane's Wings Are Changed In Flight", January 1931, Popular Mechanics left-bottom of page 55
  26. ^ Flight, August 15 1929
  27. ^ Boyne, W.J.; The best of Wings magazine, Brassey's (2001)
  28. ^ a b Wing vortex devices

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External links[edit]