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Aircraft wings - Wing platforms and configurations

Updated on December 27, 2013

The aircraft wing-Wing platforms and configurations

Today several types of wing are in operation on aircraft conducting recreational, commercial military and training flights. I attempt to cover the basics of every wing type, but it`s not the case, that these are all the wings that may be found on aircraft today.

Monoplane-An aircraft that has a one wing on each side.

The monoplanes are further divided In 5 categories in relation to the rooting of the wings to the fuselage.

  • Low wing configuration. The is rooted at the bottom part of the aircraft fuselage, usually just below the pilots seat in GA aircraft. Good for touring and passenger aircraft, low drag, easier to land due to higher ground effect but need fuel pumps.
  • Mid wing configuration. The rooting takes place approximately halfway up the fuselage. Nice very strong wing and fuselage binding for aerobatics, but most of the times make a mess all-round, because conventional doors have to go.
  • High wing configuration. Here the wings are rooted on top of the fuselage. Better ground visibility, gravity fuel feed, but high drag.
  • Parasol wings configuration. In this case the wings are mounted above the fuselage on "cabane" struts, giving a really vintage look to aircraft.

Biplane-Tow planes of wing placed one on top of the other.

Tripleplane- Guess, tree planes of wings

Quadroplane: Same story, 4 planes of wings

Multiplane: Basicly multiple wings but no aircraft has sustained flight with more than 4 planes because of the gargantuan drag. Only Caproni Ca.60 Noviplano briefly flown before crashing in its maiden flight, it had 9 planes J of wing

Now to the hot staff… Wing platforms

  • Straight wings platform: extends at right angles to the line of flight. This type of wing is the most stable, and the comparison to all other type of wing. Easier to build, sturdier and the most common wing for low speed designs, is the most basic wing of all.
  • Swept back wing platform: usually referred as simply swept wing, these wings sweeps from the root, the wing angles backwards towards the wing tip. The sweep is measured in degrees and is called swept degree.
  • Swept forward wing platform: same thing as swept back, but here the sweep instead of backwards is forward of the roots.

Variable geometry wing configuration:

Here the thing gets complicated. The wing can change it`s geometry and sweep, inflight or on the ground and attain deferent characteristics. Mostly used on early supersonic military aircraft it is an easy way to succeed slow takeoff and landing speeds while the aircraft can cruise at mach 2-3-(4) (1 mach= Speed of sound,2 mach twice the speed of sound )

Delta wing configuration:

Triangular planform with swept leading edge and straight trailing edge, most common in supersonic aircraft. Mirage 2000 and Concorde are some grate examples of the delta wing. Delta wing is an alternative answer to the variable geometry wing winning ins simplicity and strength, but lacking the ability to attain the best performance in deferent flight demands.

Flying wing configuration:

Well, inn this case things are very simple. There is a wing, big big wing and that’s all. No really!!! That’s all, no other flight surface is needed, nor fuselage of different shape. No vertical stabilizer, no horizontal stabilizer, no tail at all. The only thing that this aircraft needs is flaperons and a fast computer to fly the aircraft, because almost no pilot can do it all by himself. This platform is very unstable in flight and very sensitive to any changes of conditions, so it needs computer to constantly calculate and compensate. Great platform for stealth aircraft. When the B2 was seen and was confidential, people thought they saw an alien space ship. US government denied the existence of that aircraft for several years and used the alien story as a cover.

Which is the best wing configuration?

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