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The Most Lift On A Wing  
User currently offlineUALPHLCS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (13 years 9 months 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 4183 times:

Where is the most lift being generated on the wing? Is it near the wing root, where the wing is thickest and the air has to move the fastest or farther out on the wing? Or is lift generated equally along the whole wing?

6 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineFredT From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2002, 2185 posts, RR: 26
Reply 1, posted (13 years 9 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 4116 times:

Ideally, you have an elliptical lift distribution. I e, if you plot the lift distribution along the wing, you'll end up with one quarter of an ellipse. With this lift distribution, you get the best efficiency out of the wing. That is why the wings of the Spitfire have the famous elliptical shape even though it is a lot harder to manufacture efficiently.

Most wings are built as compromises between this ideal lift distribution and other factors though.


I thought I was doing good trying to avoid those airport hotels... and look at me now.
User currently offlineUALPHLCS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (13 years 9 months 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 4057 times:

So for example the greatest lift on a 777 wing is somewhere just past the engine nacelle to somewhere just inside the wingtip?

User currently offlineJRSLim From United States of America, joined May 2002, 9 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (13 years 9 months 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 4025 times:

Well heres the little info I know:

The lift generated by any portion of a wing will depend on its airfoil, chord and angle of attack. If you look at most airliners, they have high lift airfoils and longer chords near the root of the wing, this should be where the most lift is generated. One factor to keep in mind is wing twist. Most wings, and I believe this includes most airliners, have a wing twist where the end of the wings has a smaller angle of incidence (angle of wing to the fuselage centerline) than the roots. This is so when the inside of the wings reach the angle of attack where they will stall -- the ends of the wing will still be generating a little lift -- this is for stability and predictability during a stall.
Hope this info helps --

Go Where Eagles Dare
User currently offlineUALPHLCS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (13 years 9 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 4002 times:

Ok this is great and Iv'e learned alot. But to put this in the simplest terms, Ive got to explain this to my wife, IS most of the lift being generated in the middle of the wing just outboard of the engines?

If I had a model of a 777 and my hands supported the plane just past the engines, would that be an accruate (if crude) display of what is supporting the plane in flight?

User currently offlineAeroguy From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 69 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (13 years 9 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 3956 times:

Put simply, no. With an elliptical lift distribution, the maximum lift is at the wing root. Everywhere else along the span (including near the engines and the tip), the lift will be less than at the root.
Why all this talk about elliptical lift distribution? Ideally, you want as close to an elliptical lift distribution as possible in order to minimize induced drag. Regardless of planform, induced drag is a function of spanload only. It's probably a safe assumption to say that airliner wings are designed for near-elliptic lift distributions since minimizing drag is so crucial.

User currently offlineUALPHLCS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (13 years 9 months 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 3935 times:

So the ellipsis runs from wingtip to wing tip with the fuselage at the Perigee (correct term? or apogee I get them mized up). Not as I previously understood from wingroot to wingroot independent of one another? Is this correct? So if we picture an arch from wingtip to wingtip the fuselage is in the middle supported by the arch, which is just a simple representation of the amount of lift the wings are creating. Is that the simplest explaination?

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