SNAFlyboy From United States of America, joined Oct 2007, 86 posts, RR: 0 Posted (7 years 4 months 4 hours ago) and read 1659 times:
I spent some time at an airshow yesterday which featured a number of older (and very beautiful!) fighter planes from the WWII era. On a number of them, the wings seemed to be polyhedral, in that they appear anhedral near the root and dihedral near the tips in almost an inverted gull-wing design. Here's a picture of an F4U-4 to illustrate my point:
On some aircraft, the "bend" is pronounced, on some it's barely noticeable, and on others it's not there at all. However, it seems to me that the majority of the older planes that had wings shaped in such a way belonged to the Navy. Now for the questions...
First of all, would I be correct in assuming that this wing design was implemented to stabilize the rolling motion of these aircraft? Perhaps specifically during carrier operations?
Secondly, does anyone out there know what happened to the design? It seems it's not used anymore on modern fighters (save for maybe the F-4 Phantom II, though I'm pretty sure that in addition to being able to fold, the unusual design was also used for stability purposes).
SNAFlyboy From United States of America, joined Oct 2007, 86 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (7 years 4 months 4 hours ago) and read 1642 times:
Ah, it does seem that was the case... I honestly hadn't considered propeller clearance...and if that is exactly what the design was for, it would make perfect sense that it would dissappear once turbine engines and nose wheels rolled around (no pun intended!).
Thanks for the quick reply, 2H4!
I still wonder, however, what the aerodynamic advantages/disadvantages were for the inverted gull-wing design...
Jetstar From United States of America, joined May 2003, 1668 posts, RR: 10
Reply 3, posted (7 years 4 months 1 hour ago) and read 1599 times:
Your right 2H4, on the Corsair because of its large prop they needed a long landing gear, but to minimize the size of the landing gear they designed most of the wing lower than the fuselage as to fit a normal sized landing gear.
Interestingly, the Me-262 prototype was a taildragger. Footage of the first flight shows how it could not get airborne until the pilot tapped the brakes to get the nose down. This got the wing into the correct angle of attack. Gutsy move.
After that, they wisely decided on a tricycle arrangement.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."