Encyclopedia  |   World Factbook  |   World Flags  |   Reference Tables  |   List of Lists     
   Academic Disciplines  |   Historical Timeline  |   Themed Timelines  |   Biographies  |   How-Tos     
Sponsor by The Tattoo Collection
Wing
Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Wing

For some other uses of the word "wing" please see Wing (disambiguation).

A wing is a surface used to produce an aerodynamic force normal to the direction of motion by travelling in air or another gaseous medium. The first use of the word was for the foremost limbs of birds, but has been extended to include other animal limbs and man-made devices.

Table of contents
1 Use
2 Artificial Wings
3 External Links

Use

The commonest use of wings is to fly by deflecting air downwards to produce lift, but upside-down wings are also commonly used as a way to produce downforce and hold objects to the ground (for example racing cars).

Artificial Wings

Terms used to describe aeroplane wings

Design Features

Aeroplane wings may feature some of the following:

Wing Types

Science of Wings

At the simplest level, a wing produces lift by deflecting air downward, which propels the flying body upward with an equal and opposite force (see Newton's Third Law). Bernoulli's principle has traditionally been used to explain the functioning of a wing in terms of differing pressure above and below the wing, but this model can often be misleading or depend on false assumptions. See Coanda effect for an alternative explanation of how a wing produces lift.

The amount of lift produced by a wing increases with the angle of attack (the angle between the onset flow and the chord line) but this relationship ends once the stall angle is reached. At this angle the airflow starts to separate from the upper surface, and any further increase in angle of attack gives no more lift (it may actually reduce) and gives a large increase in drag.

Wing design is complicated and very tightly associated with the science of aerodynamics.

Structures with the same purpose as wings, but designed to operate in liquid media, are generally called fins, with hydrodynamics as the governing science.

External Links