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A tandem wing aircraft has two main wings, with one located forward and the other to the rear. Both wings contribute to lift. In cases where the rearmost tandem wing is smaller than the forward wing, such that it resembles an oversized tailplane, it is referred to as a "Delanne wing" - from Maurice Delanne, a French designer of tandem wing aircraft. In a tandem wing design the lift vectors on the two wings are spread far apart longitudinally, allowing them to act together to achieve stability and control.
This is different from a biplane, in which the wings are stacked more or less vertically, one above the other, such that their lift vectors are very close together and a separate horizontal stabiliser surface is required, placed well forward or aft of the main wings; and from the canard or "tail-first" configuration in that the forward wing contributes a major part of the lift, typically more than 50%.
Designers using tandem wings
- Langley Aerodrome - 1890s-1900s, Langley's first tandem wings were steam-powered unmanned aircraft, manned attempts in 1903 failed to achieve take-off.
- Montgomery Aeroplane and The Santa Clara tandem wing gliders - 1903-1905.
- Blériot VI - 1907, designed by Louis Peyret
- Caproni Ca.60 - 1921
- Peyret Tandem - 1922 - winner at the first British Glider Competition at Itford in 1922
- Mignet Pou-du-Ciel - 1933 - the most popular and imitated pre-World War II design
- SFCA Taupin - 1936
- Mauboussin Hémiptère - 1936
- Arsenal-Delanne 10 - 1940
- Westland P.12 Lysander Delanne - 1940, modification of a Lysander observation aircraft with a gun turret replacing the conventional empennage
- Miles M.35 Libellula and Miles M.39B Libellula - 1942-1945, an experimental fighter and a scaled bomber design
- Curtiss-Wright X-19 - 1963 - Four rotor convertiplane
- Lockspeiser LDA-01 - 1971 - utility transport sub-scale research aircraft
- Rutan Quickie - 1978
- Viking Dragonfly - 1980
- Scaled Composites ATTT - 1986
- Scaled Composites Proteus - 1998
- Miles, George H (27 April 1944). "The Tandem Monoplane Its Merits and Drawbacks Compared with those of Tailless, Tail first and Allwing Designs : Libellula Suggested as Name for Class" (pdf). Flight.
- Spreadsheet detailing math analysis of tandem wing aerodynamics
- More math, including Flying Flea tandem wing design
- The Tandem Monoplane Does it Still Have a Future? : Some Past Experiences Recalled
- Reviving the Tandem
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