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:
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,