Mr Spaceman
Topic Author
Posts: 2723
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2001 5:09 am

Aircraft With Folding Wings?

Wed Jul 31, 2002 4:18 am

Hi guys.

I have a few questions about aircraft with the ability to fold their wings.

I understand that this feature is found exclusively (I think) on aircraft that land on aircraft carriers for the purpose of allowing more space on the carrier's deck.

My main question is about fuel that remains in the folding part of the wing.

Do the pilots have to transfere or dump fuel from the folding part of the wing to other tanks due to the weight of the fuel and thus the extra strain on the hinge mechanism (which I assume is hydraulic) before the wings are folded back?

Also, what aircraft with folding wings has the longest wingspan? Could it be the E-2 Hawkeye?

Finally, how do the wing locks work on these types of aircraft? I've always wondered about this, ever since my father told me about a scenic flight he was going on as a passenger in an Avenger. He was in the Canadian Navy Reserve back in the 1950's, and as the pilot was just about to rotate off the runway at CFB Toronto (Downsview Airbase), an alarm went off in their headsets to warn them that a lock had come lose or broke. My dad said he looked at the left wing and could see it bouncing up and down, it was also starting to fold. Thank God for the ringing alarm...or they could have been killed! Plus I wouldn't be here to ask these questions!

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Thanks,

Chris  Smile

"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"
 
pacificjourney
Posts: 2659
Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2001 9:12 pm

RE: Aircraft With Folding Wings?

Thu Aug 01, 2002 12:12 am

Good questions spaceman. I have no answers but actually a further question.

Some - possibly all these days - planes have their wings folded by some internal hydraulics. My question is why ?

Why bother with having some mechanism on board the plane, with it's added weight and complexity when presumably the plane will land somewhere with crew who could do the job just as well manually. Is it something to do with turn-around times or something of that nature ?
" Help, help ... I'm being oppressed ... "
 
FredT
Posts: 2166
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2002 9:51 pm

RE: Aircraft With Folding Wings?

Thu Aug 01, 2002 5:16 am

Pacific,
would YOU want to be the poor sod who was to lift the wing manually?  Smile

Waiting for a ground crew to get to the aircraft and perform the operation would also take some time - during which the aircraft would be blocking the deck of the carrier.

Cheers,
Fred
I thought I was doing good trying to avoid those airport hotels... and look at me now.
 
Mr Spaceman
Topic Author
Posts: 2723
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2001 5:09 am

RE: Aircraft With Folding Wings?

Fri Aug 02, 2002 3:26 am

Hi guys.

Thanks for your replies.

Regarding my question about whether or not it is nessesary to remove fuel from the part of the wing that's going to be folded back, before it's folded....does anyone know if this is a required procedure or not? A question of pure curiosity.

If there is still a fully loaded fuel tank/tanks in the folded part of the wings, then the mechanisms (is that a word?) in the hinge assembly must be mighty strong....stronger than they look.

Any info about how these aircraft fold their wings would be great.

Thanks for the input Pacificjourney and FredT.

Chris  Smile

"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"
 
2912n
Posts: 1978
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2001 2:12 pm

RE: Aircraft With Folding Wings?

Fri Aug 02, 2002 8:13 am

I think that in many of the a/c with folding wings the fuel cells are inboard of the fold junction, keeping the weight that moves to a minimum.
 
Spacepope
Posts: 3136
Joined: Tue Dec 28, 1999 11:10 am

RE: Aircraft With Folding Wings?

Fri Aug 02, 2002 11:21 am

I believe that the hinges are exceptionally strong, as I seem to remember seeing Hornets with wings folded, Sidewinders still on the launch rails. I'd suggest checking cutaway views of various aircraft to settle this once and for all. I have ones from the A-7 and F-4 around here somewhere, but can't seem to find them.

On the whole, carrier aircraft are overbuilt in general. My girlfriends father was telling me the other day about how great the F-8 crusader was, and how they once launched one off of a carrier with the wings folded. The thing managed to get airborne, circle back and land safely. Don't try that with a C-2.

T.J.
The last of the famous international playboys
 
schreiner
Posts: 909
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2001 7:50 am

RE: Aircraft With Folding Wings?

Sun Aug 04, 2002 12:52 am

SPACEPOPE: Never heard that story of the launching with wings folded. I can hardly believe it. Althought it could be done. The percentage of folding on a crusader is alot less then on a C-2.

Cheers,
Schreiner
Soaring the internet...
 
j.mo
Posts: 652
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2002 12:29 am

RE: Aircraft With Folding Wings?

Sun Aug 04, 2002 7:19 am

As far as the largest plane with the ability to fold it's wings...Boeing 777. It was offered as an option when the plane began production. I don't know of anybody that ordered it. Anyway, back to military aircraft.
 
Mr Spaceman
Topic Author
Posts: 2723
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2001 5:09 am

RE: Aircraft With Folding Wings?

Wed Aug 07, 2002 2:04 am

Thanks for your replies guys.

If these aircraft have fuel in the folded part of their wings, whether before a carrier launch or after a recovery, well, then those hinges must be dam strong!

Take Care,

Chris  Smile
"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"

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