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Delta Wings and lift

  1. Nov 11, 2007 #1
    I understand how an ordinary wing works but I cannot find anything on how a delta wing works, the only thing I know is that it creates vortices on the upper wing surface, but how do these vortices create lift?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 11, 2007 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    A delta wing creates lift in the same way an ordinary wing creates lift.

    The vortices created at the wing root only have a big impact at high angles of attack, where they help the airflow stay attached to the wing, delaying a stall.
  4. Nov 12, 2007 #3
    these vorticities impart more energy to the flow and maintain the boundary layer attached to the surface of wing. you might have seen if a ring is imposed on a sphere facing the flow in a flow, boundary layer separation is delayed
  5. Nov 12, 2007 #4
    Is that a bit like the seam on say a baseball if I am right in thinking that can help reduce the turbulent wake, or maybe the fluff on a tennis ball?

    Is the cross section of a Delta Wing similar to that of a normal aerofoil? Does anyone have a link to a picture of it?
  6. Nov 30, 2007 #5
    I think you have a misunderstanding of wings and airfoils. The wing cross section IS an airfoil shape. The difference is that airfoils are essentially infinitely long wings because an airfoil is only 2D (two dimensional).
  7. Nov 30, 2007 #6
    Also, wings can be made up of the airfoil shape needed. A wing doesn't have a predefined cross section. The cross section is whatever the engineers decide it needs to be for various reasons.
  8. Nov 30, 2007 #7
    dimpled golf ball.
  9. Dec 1, 2007 #8
    i didnt give much thought to this problem last time around.
    delta wing is used to keep the craft inside the shockwave cone. thats the reason its is swept back so much to resemble a delta.
  10. Dec 1, 2007 #9
    Since asking the question I found that out, thanks. Sorry for causing confusion, basically I intendted it to be, is the cross section of a delta wing an airfoil? Which it is, I understand that you can have plenty of different designs of airfoils for different purposes.
  11. Dec 2, 2007 #10
    yes, the cross section of a delta wing, too is an airfoil only. but the airfoil changes from a round leading edge to the sharp edge(wedge profile) as we move from subsonic to supersonic flights. but since the wedge shape airfoil is useless for subsonic flights, a supersonic craft designer sweeps the wing back to keep the craft in the shockwave bow, and still have a round leading edge, because even a supersonic crsft starts with a subsonic speed
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