SNAFlyboy
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Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2007 5:42 pm

Wwii Era Wing Designs

Sun Nov 04, 2007 7:04 pm

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
 
2H4
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RE: Wwii Era Wing Designs

Sun Nov 04, 2007 7:14 pm

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
Intentionally Left Blank
 
SNAFlyboy
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RE: Wwii Era Wing Designs

Sun Nov 04, 2007 7:45 pm

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
 
jetstar
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RE: Wwii Era Wing Designs

Sun Nov 04, 2007 10:30 pm

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.
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Wwii Era Wing Designs

Sun Nov 04, 2007 11:49 pm

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." - John Ringo
 
OldAeroGuy
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Joined: Sun Dec 05, 2004 6:50 am

RE: Wwii Era Wing Designs

Sun Nov 04, 2007 11:50 pm

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
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Wwii Era Wing Designs

Mon Nov 05, 2007 12:01 am

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." - John Ringo
 
SNAFlyboy
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RE: Wwii Era Wing Designs

Mon Nov 05, 2007 1:47 am

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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