The History Of Airplane Wing Design

history of airplane wing design

The history of airplane wing design is a fascinating one. It is the story of how planes began to take shape from the air into the sky. There are several theories about this process, and one of them is that an object flying through the atmosphere created large ripples on its surface. This caused this rippling effect to occur across the length of the entire wing, which is what we know as the wings of an aircraft.

As it was going through its evolution, this would cause the wing to be further compressed. When the compression was complete, it would be much stiffer. In the early days, this made the wing much more difficult to guide, as its tips would deflect off course quite regularly. Eventually, someone would figure out that by adding an extra chord to the wings, this would solve the problem. With this extra chord, the tips of the wing would always stay on course, while the cross-section of the wing (the part that supports the whole weight of the aircraft) would grow in size, like the ripples on the shore when you take a fall on the shore.

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The first type of airplane wing design that aircraft designers used was the “diverging” wing. This means that the leading edge of the wing was not perfectly perpendicular to the overall direction of flight. Instead, the wings were diverged to the right and left, allowing for some thrust. This was useful, but it soon led to problems. If the diverged wing’s tip were to come in contact with the ground, it would cause a catastrophic accident.

The second type of wing structure that aircraft designers used was the “stabilizing” wing. This type of wing offers much better directional stability and allows for tip control during flight. In addition, the abilities offered by this type of wing design are similar to the advantages offered by rudders on a ski boat. The main difference is that a stabilizer does not turn but simply remains level when the plane is traveling at high speeds. This is the favored configuration by most pilots.

Working On Stability Issues

A close up of a car

During the design phase of an aircraft project, many engineers spend hours working on stability issues. The wing’s position in relation to the center of gravity, drag, air speed, and altitude all play important roles. Eventually, after much work, a flight test is performed to determine if the new wing is going to be worthy of flight. If the flight test is positive, the new wing is approved for use. If it is negative, it is rejected.

Difference Between The Two Types Of Wing Design

There is one major difference between the two types of wing design. The experimental aircraft wing, which is used in research projects only, is much simpler in structure. Its main components are much simpler, requiring only ten bolts for attachment to the main wing. The stably designed wing is not nearly as complex.

Summing Up

When airplanes were first designed, stability was not an issue because the airspeed was not high enough to cause structural stress. This made the air practically buffet the wing, which resulted in large wakes. However, as the air travel increased, the air pressure above the wing became less, causing the formation of air ridges. The introduction of steeper wing profiles, coupled with steeper angles of attack, eventually solved the problem.

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