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Wwii Era Wing Designs  
User currently offlineSNAFlyboy From United States of America, joined Oct 2007, 86 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 1553 times:

Fellow Anetters,

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:


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Photo © Jan Jørgensen



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).

Thanks in advance,

~SNAFlyboy

7 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offline2H4 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 8955 posts, RR: 60
Reply 1, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 1548 times:
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Quoting SNAFlyboy (Thread starter):
Perhaps specifically during carrier operations?

If I remember correctly, the inverted-gull design was selected to maximize propeller clearance.

Quoting SNAFlyboy (Thread starter):
Secondly, does anyone out there know what happened to the design?

The nosewheel was invented.  Smile

2H4



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User currently offlineSNAFlyboy From United States of America, joined Oct 2007, 86 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 1536 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!  Smile

I still wonder, however, what the aerodynamic advantages/disadvantages were for the inverted gull-wing design...

~SNAFlyboy


User currently offlineJetstar From United States of America, joined May 2003, 1636 posts, RR: 10
Reply 3, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 1493 times:
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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.

User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 16980 posts, RR: 67
Reply 4, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 1460 times:

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 1):
If I remember correctly, the inverted-gull design was selected to maximize propeller clearance.

Indeed. Propeller clearance combined with the need for strong gear. With a straight wing, the gear would have been longer and would have weighed more given the strength requirements.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineOldAeroGuy From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 3473 posts, RR: 67
Reply 5, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 1460 times:

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 1):
If I remember correctly, the inverted-gull design was selected to maximize propeller clearance.

Correct

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 1):
The nosewheel was invented.

Actually, the jet engine was invented.



Airplane design is easy, the difficulty is getting them to fly - Barnes Wallis
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 16980 posts, RR: 67
Reply 6, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 1455 times:

Quoting OldAeroGuy (Reply 5):
Quoting 2H4 (Reply 1):
The nosewheel was invented.

Actually, the jet engine was invented.

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."
User currently offlineSNAFlyboy From United States of America, joined Oct 2007, 86 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 1435 times:

Thank you all for your replies!

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 4):
...combined with the need for strong gear.

I guess this would explain why the design was primarily found on Naval aircraft, as land-based fighters weren't as abused during landings ( or one would hope  Silly )...

~SNAFlyboy


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