Flying Wings

By Deane Barker on March 31, 2004

Flying wing – Wikipedia: Here’s a really interesting Wikipedia article on why “flying wing” aircraft are attractive. Fascinating and well-written.

[A traditional aircraft with a long fuselage and a tail], while simple and safe, has several drawbacks. Locating the control surfaces at the end of the tail means that the plane is longer than it “needs” to be, and much of this extended fuselage cannot carry a load due to balance considerations. Moreover the control surfaces’ mere existence causes drag on the plane, lowering its performance. But the biggest problem is that these surfaces are pushing down on the plane, in effect making it weigh more. This trim drag requires extra engine power in order to provide extra lift over and above the “dry weight” of the plane.