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Old 10-26-2005, 07:00 AM   #1
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Wing Loading explained?

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Could someone explain what wing loading is all about, every model has this in the specs eg 23oz/sqft. What exactly does this mean? If I add up the area of the wing in sqft and multiply it by 23 oz's does that give me the total weight the plane can be before the wings fold up on a nice high speed dive?

any info is appreciated

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Old 10-26-2005, 07:48 AM   #2
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My understanding is that wing loading is the weight (in ounces) divided by the wing area of the aircraft (in square feet) of the aircraft.

The lower the wing loading, the more lift you get at a given speed, and the slower the aircraft can fly. Conversely, a high number indicates the aircraft will have to maintain a higher speed to maintain sufficient lift to stay airborne.

A trainer has much lower wing loading than a pattern plane or a jet for instance.
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Old 10-26-2005, 08:06 AM   #3
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My (crude ) understanding is the same........but then I start thinking about bipes,and the affect frontal area has on speed .........and then there are multiple engines
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Old 10-26-2005, 12:28 PM   #4
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Wing loading is just as it is explained above. Wing loading is what keeps a 600 ton airplane flying.

The lower the wing loading, the slower the stall speed, so the plane will fly and land at much slower speeds.

Higher wing loadings will cause a plane to have a much higher stall speed, so it will need to fly faster and will land much faster. Usually the higher the wing loading, the more spare shorts you need in your field box.

When talking about bipes, we need more power not because of the wing loading, but because of drag.

And multi-engines are due to a combination of a few factors, namely drag, wing loading and power loading. Not to mention design issues when dealing with available powerplants...but lets not get into that
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Old 10-26-2005, 01:26 PM   #5
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Wing Loading


You may want to go to the list of acronyms etc. at:

This has a definition of wing loading and other useful information.

Hope this helps.


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Old 10-26-2005, 02:42 PM   #6
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Wing loading is simply a number indicating (in our case) how much work each square foot of wing has to do in order maintain level flight. A lightly loaded wing can do more work at slower speed than a heavier loaded one. all other things being equal...but they are seldom equal. Flaps, slats, slots, and efficient airfoils can be used on highly loaded wings to make them perform equally as well at slow speeds.

Like all numbers, wingloading can be manipulated by counting in the area covered by the fuselage. Some manufacturers even count the horizontal stab area (even though in a lot of cases, it is providing negative lift).

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Old 10-26-2005, 05:06 PM   #7
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but then there is the wrench that an airfoil can throw into the mix ... different airfoils will have different sweet spots for efficiancy based on wing loading. I have had a couple of gliders that needed ballast in order to fly well. (in no wind)
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