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  • 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 time wings are shorter than they can be. So my question is, what exactly dictates the aspect ratio of a wing, and why don't they make them as long as possible?

  • 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 pulled up. All right. How does that explain a plane flying inverted? If the explanation was right, the plane would pull itself towards earth.

  • 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 lower pressure and bang, plane is flying. Same explanation already back at school. See my other question: if the theory was right, why can planes fly inverted? So here's the follow up: why is this wrong theory so popular and still part of books? Wouldn't it make sense to teach students how a wing really works? I mean just look at any RC plane meeting - you'll be amazed what weird designs

  • 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?

  • What are the advantages of a forward-swept wing vs. a rearward swept one?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 other airfoil parameters are suitably chosen. I also read that the better configuration yields isobars that are parallel to the leading edge. I already know that there are several techniques to get the isobars aligned with the leading edge (area ruling, adapting the sweep angle, extra care in the design of the junction between the fuselage and the wing), but why is this configuration better than

  • I'm just wondering because the wing isn't fixed, but they aren't rotary-wings either.

  • 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 awa...

  • 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...

  • 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 AREA" line. What are these hooks used for? Why is the single hooked attachment outside the "safe" walking area line?

  • Would it be technically feasible to install the Pneumagic inflatable wing on the Silent glider?

  • 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, such as winglets. However, looking at the Synergy aircraft as an example, box wings have no wing tips. Disregarding any other parts of the aircraft, are the wings actually free from induced drag... to the wings interfering with each other (apparently something addressed by the synergy aircraft by placing the upper wing further back or something), and the upper wing is actually more of a tail-plane

  • I recently came across this picture of the Boeing 787 series aircraft's incredible wingflex: I suppose this is a consequence of using very light CFRP wings, but how does the wingflex itself improve...