MadSci Network: Physics

Subject: how does surface area affect lift on a wing? Broad wing vs long wing

Date: Wed Feb 10 16:08:26 2010
Posted by Matt
Grade level: grad (non-science) School: No school entered.
City: Albuquerque State/Province: NM Country: USA
Area of science: Physics
ID: 1265843306.Ph

My question is: what would happen if we modified a wing, lets say that it is
rectangular and 20ft in wingSpan and 4ft in width (leading to trailing edge) and
stretched the width of the wing so now it was 20ft by 14ft now. But without
changing the thickness (the chamber) stretched from behind the thickest part of
the wing.  Would this affect lift or drag in any way?  If it increases lift and
I guess that would increase the drag as well,  then in theory you can shorten
the wingSpan to have the same amount of lift as before.  Or?  Do you have to
increase the Chamber/thickness of the wing in order to increase the lift?  is
there a ratio that has to be followed?
Examples of flying wings and lifting bodies seem to point to a thick
 or the Northrop N9M-B Flying Wing or Burnelli's flying wedge type designs.
Can it be as broad in width but not as thick?  The B2 doesn't look as thick but
for its size I assume that its quite chunky as well.

So if I really wanted to have a broad wing surface is there any advantage or
disadvantage to stretching the wing from its thickest point back (trailing edge)
even if it doesn't create more lift?  Can it for instance reduce lift and
increase drag or have any other unwanted side effects etc?

loosing sleep ...  must know!

Thank you for your time
(I hope this made some sense)

Matt K

Re: how does surface area affect lift on a wing? Broad wing vs long wing

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