See "W"-shaped wings

Oblique and side views of "W"-shaped wings

Steve Seibel
www.aeroexperiments.org

This page is still under construction!
This page was last modified on August 4, 2006

 

On this page, we'll explore oblique and side views of the "inverted gull wing". As seen from the front, the "inverted gull wing" looks like a stretched-out "W".

On this aircraft (uppermost image), note that we can see the bottom surface of the outboard panel of the aircraft's left wing, but are viewing the outboard panel of the aircraft's right wing almost edge-on.

Note also that we can see the top surface of the inboard panel of the aircraft's left wing, but we can see the bottom surface of the inboard panel of the aircraft's right wing.

Clearly, since the outboard wing panels have dihedral, if the aircraft were moving directly toward the camera, the resulting sideways airflow over the outboard wing panels would cause the outboard wing panel nearest the camera to experience a higher angle-of-attack than the outboard wing panel furthest from the camera. This difference in angle-of-attack and lift would create a roll torque away from the camera.

Equally clearly, since the inboard wing panels have anhedral, if the aircraft were moving directly toward the camera, the resulting sideways airflow over the inboard wing panels would cause the inboard wing panel nearest the camera to experience a lower angle-of-attack than the inboard wing panel furthest from the camera. This difference in angle-of-attack and lift would create a roll torque toward from the camera.

Even if the inboard wing panels were similar in area to the outboard wing panels (which they are not), a sideways airflow over this wing would still create a strong "downwind" roll torque--i.e. a roll torque away from the camera, if the aircraft were flying directly toward the camera in this illustration--because the outboard wing panels (with dihedral) are so much further from the aircraft's CG than are the inboard wing panels (with anhedral).

(Important note: for the moment, we're only considering the roll torque arising from the anhedral/ dihedral wing geometry, not the roll torque from the aerodynamic interference between the fuselage and the wing and other related effects, which can create a strong anhedral-like effect in a low-winged aircraft.)

Here are more illustrations. In every one, note how we can see more of the bottom surface (or less of the top surface) of the outboard wing panel nearest the camera, and we can see less of the bottom surface (or more of the top surface) of the outboard wing panel furthest from the camera.

Note also that in every illustration, we can see more of the top surface (or less of the bottom surface) of the inboard wing panel nearest the camera, and we can see less of the top surface (or more of the bottom surface) of the inboard wing panel furthest from the camera.

Corsair 2 (lowermost image), Corsair 3, Corsair 4, Corsair 5, Corsair 6, Corsair 7, Corsair 8

 

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