747-600X
Topic Author
Posts: 2494
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2000 3:11 am

Wing Slants

Sun Feb 06, 2000 12:10 pm

Why do some airplanes have wings which slant steeply upwards as they go out, i.e. 777, and others have wings which are almost perfectly level, i.e. MD-11?
 
flyf15
Posts: 6633
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 11:10 am

RE: Wing Slants

Sun Feb 06, 2000 12:27 pm

The basic rule is as follows: The greater the wing slant (called dihedral), the greater the inherient stability of the aircraft in that axis.

This is hard to explain without diagrams. Imagine a wing that has no dihedral. As the aircraft banks, both wings are producing the same amount of horizontal and verticle lift. Now imagine a wing that has considerable dihedral. As the aircraft banks, the inside (low) wing is more level than the outside (high) wing. Since the inside wing is more level, it produces more verticle lift than the outside wing. Because of this inequality in lift, the inside wing goes back up and the wings become pretty much level again.

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