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What is the advantage of the gull wing design?


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Two of the famous aircraft of WWll were the Stuka and the Corsair. Both were designed with gull wings. I wonder what the advantage of that design was over the usual horizontal design.

 

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Wings with dihedral have improved roll stability. The gull wing design allowed for shorter and stronger undercarriage with a very large diameter prop.

In the case of the Corsair, the gull wing facilitated folding the wings into taking up a smaller area - a crucial design point for aircraft carriers, where room is always at a premium.

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Onetrack is right, but it also means the wing exits the fuselage at about right angles, minimising interference drag. It also allows for considerable dihedral where it's most effective, on the outer wing.

I discovered another benefit of this: when you ground loop or do a radical wing-down landing, the outer wing has greater clearance from the ground.

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2013/2/25/1188962/-Cranked-wing-not-a-Stuka-or-a-Corsair-it-s-G-BVEH-a-Jodel-D112

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You need a certain amount of prop clearance on all planes This way of doing it suites folding wings and short(er) U/c legs. It certainly wasn't to save build costs. Nev

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Just about every aeroplane has wing diherdral. The only one I've really looked at that doesn't as the Ford Flivver.

https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/henry-fords-flying-flivver-the-model-t-of-the-air/

 

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As for the Corsair, I can see that the gull wing would reduce the overhead space when the wings are folded.

 

As for allowing the wing to join the fuselage to join the fuselage at 90 degree, neither the Corsaid not Stuka have their wings attached at 90 degrees. Look at the 3-views.

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At the risk of being a smartass: them's not gull wings, them's inverted gull wings. If in doubt, check a passing gull???

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Perhaps they regard us as gullible or just work inverted. I think the "inverted" got left out. it's an interesting structure. New Zealand had a lot of them and were a competent fighter. Would not have been cheap.. Nev

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I can see the advantage in gull wings for flying boats, and the wonderful Piaggio P.166B,

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but where's the advantage in the inverted gull wing for the Stuka?

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The F4U Corsair was designed around a P&W R2800 matched to a 13' 4" prop. The cut and paste from wiki explains what pretty much every doco I've read or seen says about why they have the inverted gull wing. Consider also that it was designed from the start to be a carrier based fighter and needed solid landing gear.

 

To accommodate a folding wing the designers considered retracting the main landing gear rearward but, for the chord of wing that was chosen, it was difficult to make the landing gear struts long enough to provide ground clearance for the large propeller. Their solution was an inverted gull wing, which considerably shortened the required length of the struts.[24] The anhedral of the wing's center-section also permitted the wing and fuselage to meet at the optimum angle for minimizing drag, without using wing root fairings.[24] The bent wing, however, was heavier and more difficult to construct, offsetting these benefits.

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...As for allowing the wing to join the fuselage to join the fuselage at 90 degree, neither the Corsaid not Stuka have their wings attached at 90 degrees. Look at the 3-views.

I disagree, OME. Those diagrams confirm that their wing roots exit the fuselage closer to 90 degrees than other low-wing aircraft, which require complex filleting to minimise the resulting form drag.

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We get a Corsair sometimes at air shows here: it makes some of the other fly-by war stuff look like dinky toys....helluva impressive!

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We get a Corsair sometimes at air shows here: it makes some of the other fly-by war stuff look like dinky toys....helluva impressive!

My favourite aircraft ever....I have yet to see one in the flesh though.

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The RNZAF had 424 Corsairs in 13 squadrons in WW2. 155 were lost but only 17 to enemy action, the rest were from operational and training accidents. Only a few ended up back in NZ at the Rukuhia Boneyard. A lot of USAF Corsairs ended up there after being flown there at the end of the war complete with guns, ammunition, morphine in the first aid kits, fuel etc.

 

There were all sorts including P40 Kittyhawks, Avengers, Venturas, Hudsons etc totalling 400 or so. A local bloke Jim Larsen paid 12,000 quid for the lot & they were dismantled & melted down over 20 years. How about a fully operational Corsair for $60.00. His son Lou Larsen remembers running from wing to wing for hundreds of metres and firing the guns with his mates for entertainment until the local police got a bit upset about it. Gun turrets ended up as Tomato green houses, aluminium was melted down & ended up as washing machines & lawnmowers & hydraulic rams fitted to tractors to make front end loaders. They drained the Avgas out & fueled the family Daimler with it. He said it went like a rocket.

 

There were still plenty of parts left & I remember seeing engines , propellers, fuselages etc at a scrap yard there in the 70s.

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KGW - Gee, that's a shocking loss rate for the Corsairs, particularly when you say nearly 90% were lost in operational and training accidents. Just goes to show what a handful the Corsair was.

How many of the RNZAF Corsairs operated off carriers? Did NZ actually have any carriers during WW2? Did all the Corsairs operate out of NZ, or were they spread around the Pacific?

I'm guessing some of the NZ Corsairs would have operated off British and American carriers?

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12,000 Quid would buy 30 houses. What are you going to do with such an aircraft? I had an opportunity to get a Mustang with 4 hours TT on it for 200 quid. You couldn't legally fly one, back then . Nev

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