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Airplane Wing Geometry and Configurations

17DEC
____ Anhedral, Aspect Ratio, delta wing, Dihedral, Wing configurations, wing geometry
Plane wing configurations and wing shapes
Aircraft wings are built with many shapes and sizes for desired flight characteristics of an airplane to achieve greater
lift, balance or stability in flight.
Here are some different wing types:

delta wing
Thin triangular wing that is especially
aerodynamic.

variable geometry wing


Arrow-shaped wing found on combat aircraft;
the angle it forms with the fuselage can be
changed in flight.

tapered wing
Wing that is perpendicular to the fuselage and
whose width decreases toward the tip.

straight wing
Long wing of consistent width and perpendicular
to the fuselage; it is found on low-speed planes
such as cargo and light planes.

swept-back wing
Arrow-shaped wing that is found on jet planes.

The figure below also shows the common wing forms and configuration.

Wing configurations
The F-14 Tomcat is a supersonic aircraft with a variable geometry wing. This aircraft wing geometry changes according
to flying speed by swinging the wings forward and backward.

Aspect Ratio

Aspect ratio is an indicator of the general performance of an aircraft wing. In aerodynamics, the aspect ratio of a wing
is defined as the square of the span divided by the wing area. It is a measure of how long and slender a wing is from tip
to tip.

For high aspect ratio aircraft wing indicates long, narrow wings, whereas a low aspect ratio wing indicates short
and stubby. Higher aspect ratio has the effect of a higher rate of lift increase, as angle of attack increases, than lower
aspect ratio wings.
Respect ratio2
High aspect ratio wing higher Lift Coefficient
lower stalling angle of attack. eg. Gliders
Low aspect ratio wing lower Lift Coefficient
high stalling angle of attack eg. Fighter Jets
However because wings may have varied plan forms it is usual to calculate aspect ratio as:
Aspect ratio = wing span / wing area = Wing span / Chord length
Dihedral Angle
The purpose of dihedral is to improve the aircraft stability during flight. Dihedral angle is added to the wings for later
or rolls stability. When the aircraft encounters a slight roll displacement caused by distribute from air stream or a gust
of wind. An aircraft wings with some dihedral will naturally return to its original position.
The front view of this wing shows that the left and right wing do not lie in the same plane but meet at an angle. The
aircrafts wing is inclined upward an angle from root to tip. The angle that the wing makes with the local horizontal is
called the dihedral angle.
This is the reason why most commercial airliners such as the 747 or 737 have a dihedral wing for stability.
Anhedral Angle

Highly maneuverable fighter planes, on the other hand do not have dihedral but rather have the wing tips lower than the
roots giving the aircraft a high roll rate such as the harrier GR7 jets. A negative dihedral angle is called anhedral.

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The Basics of Flight

07MAR
____ aerodynamics, airfoil, basics of rc, Dihedral, rc airplanes, wing loading, wing
location
RC airplane site strictly created to feed your addiction.
Aerodynamics: To fly, an airplanes wing has to overcome gravity by developing lift greater than the weight of the
plane. Since it cant do that standing still, airplanes use thrustforce directed backwardsto drive the wing forward
through the air and generate lift. However, thrust has its own opposition to overcome in the form of dragthe
resistance of the air to a body moving through it. If lift and thrust are greater than gravity and drag, you have the
potential for flightand fun.
Wing Location: Wing placement, for the most part, falls into two major categorieshigh wing design and low wing
design. In a high wing design, the weight of the model is suspended below the wing. When the model tilts, the models
weight tries to return it to a level position. As a result, high-wing models tend to be more stable, easier to flyand
natural choices for trainers. A low-wing model is just the opposite. With its weight above the wing, it tends to be less
stableexcellent for advanced fliers who want to perform rolls, loops and other aerobatic maneuvers.
Airfoil: If you face the wing tip of the plane and cut it from front to back, the cross section exposed would be the
wings airfoil. The Flat-Bottom Airfoil will develop the most lift at low speeds and helps return the model to upright
when tilted. This is ideal for trainers and first-time pilots. A Symmetrical Airfoils top and bottom have the same shape,
allowing it to produce lift equally whether right side up or upside down and to transition between the two smoothly.
This is recommended for advanced pilots. Lastly, a Semi-Symmetrical Airfoil is a combination of the other two and
favored by intermediate and sport pilots.

Wing Area/Wing Loading: Wing area is the amount of wing surface available to create lift. Wing loading is the weight
that a given area of the wing has to lift and is usually measured in ounces per square foot. Generally, a light wing
loading is best for beginners. The plane will perform better and be easier to control.
Dihedral: Dihedral is the upward angle of the wings from the fuselage.Dihedral increases stability and decreases
aerobatic ability.
Wing Thickness: Wing thickness measured from top to bottom determines how much drag is created. A thick
wing creates more drag, causing slower speeds and gentler stalls and is ideal for beginners. A thin wing permits higher
speeds and sudden stalls desirable for racing and certain aerobatic maneuvers.
Landing Gear Location: Tricycle gear includes a nose gear and two wing (main) gears, making takeoffs and landings
easierideal for beginners. Continue reading
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