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Modern Wing Shapes: The Unknown Quantities of the Tapered Wing

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

ISSN: 0002-2667

Article publication date: 1 September 1936



IT is not only feminine attire that is subject to the vagaries of fashion. Anyone who has watched the evolution of the aeroplane over any considerable period of time will have noticed how subject it also is to the dictates of Fashion's decrees. Springing up from no one quite knows where, one suddenly becomes conscious that there has been a subtle change in the appearance of the aeroplanes seen about. There are always, of course, a few “ frumps ” whose type remains readily recognisable owing to its resemblance to its parents and ancestors. But it is none the less the fact that at any given period the bulk of the aeroplanes of the day have a similarity of appearance. This is indeed a constantly recurring pitfall for the enthusiast who for one reason or another does not have the opportunity of making very frequent visits to an aerodrome. On one of the rare occasions when he makes his presence felt he is apt to incur the contempt of his more knowledgeable colleagues by an unfortunate propensity for confusing the aeroplanes produced by the designers of different, and perhaps closely rival, firms. The position in this respect seems to get worse. Twenty‐five years ago no one but the veriest ignoramus could mistake a Blriot, say, for a Farman or an Antoinette. Nowadays, however, it is comparatively easy— or so we confess we find it—to be confused about the make of half a dozen different types of aeroplane. A few years ago it still remained easy at any rate to segregate machines by the eye into their respective classes. There was a stateliness, possibly even a suspicion of clumsiness, about a bomber which distinguished it instantly from a fighter. But even this superficial distinction is nowadays denied to those unfortunates of whom we write.


(1936), "Modern Wing Shapes: The Unknown Quantities of the Tapered Wing", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 8 No. 9, pp. 239-240.




Copyright © 1936, MCB UP Limited

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