Why airplane wings ‘twist’ in the flight — and why it is a good thing

Without a way to balance the force of the wind, the wings would actually separate from the aircraft body.


Do not panic, but there is something you need to know about the next plane you fly: Airplane wings actually twist in flight.

Although this concept may seem frightening, in theory, it’s actually a good thing that they do. For engineers devised a better, twistier wing of the plane stalling and spinning has actually led to many accidents.

The concept of the circular wing was designed by the Dutch engineer Anthony Fokker, who was working for Germany during the first world War, after he noticed that the load (or force) is applied to fighter jet wings, causing them to break.

Wing to twist, also known as wash, is actually an ingenious piece of aerodynamic design. In short, the wings are subject to a large part of the force by the wind, and if there is not a way to balance this strength and wings would actually separate from the aircraft body, bend, or lead to a spin.

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Here is how it works: The wing of the “root” or where it attaches to the airplane is mounted at a higher angle than the tip of the wing. So, if you look at a plane from the side, at the bottom of the wing from tip to root, you might notice that the tip looks a bit “flatter” than to the body. It also looks thicker in the direction of the front of the plane.

This is to ensure that the wing tip is the last part of the airplane in a stall, meaning, when the wing loses lift. The wing twist is very important to keep the plane during the flight, especially at low altitude. In fact, if there is a aircraft wing root were the same angle as the tip of the wing would just bend and down in the wind — that is not exactly what you would like to see through the window.


Of course, the direction of the spin matters. The angle and construction of the wing actually makes sure that the front side (the thicker edge) of the wing to lift just slightly while the back to keep it stable from the plane during the flight. If you go the other way, the plane might not be able to fly for very long.

Plane wings, in a way are built not unlike a bird’s feathers, with a thick beam running horizontally through them closer to the front of the wing, and with a similar, thinner beam closer to the back to bend and twist.

If these beams were directly in the middle, the force of the wind would be too much bending and twisting at the same time, that would also be bad news.

So if you’re ever in the window seat and watch the wing looking for a small, winding, do not be afraid. The plane is just doing its job.

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