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Wing Area (Level 1) Activity
If so instructed by your teacher, print out a worksheet page for these problems.

Open the slide called Wing Area (with text) and read the explanation of why design engineers calculate the area of wing planforms (planform is the total surface of the wing surface from above).

photo image of X-29 Forward Swept Wing in flight 
  1. What is the area of the Wright Brother's rectangular planform?
    A rectangle with two sides measuring 40 feet and two sides measuring six feet

    area = _______________


  2. What is the area of the F-18 (Blue Angels) trapezoidal planform?
    A trapesoid with top side measuring six feet, right side measuring fifteen feet, and bottom side measuring thirteen feet

    area = _______________


  3. What is the area of the Concorde triangular planform? (Note: These are not the actual dimensions.)
    A triangle with it's right side measuring twenty-five feet and bottom side measuring fifty feet

    area = _______________


  4. What is the area of the Space Shuttle's compound planform? (Note: These are not the actual dimensions.)
    A compound planform with it's top side measuring nine feet, right side measuring thirty-one feet, bottom side measuring fourty feet, it's left side is in two sections: the first measures fifteen feet, the second measures twenty-nine-point six feet. There is a thirty degree inside angle between the bottom side and the first left section.

    area = _______________


  5. What is the area of the Boeing 747 trapezoidal planform? (Note: These are not the actual dimensions. The trapezoidal planform cannot be divided into two right triangles. Hint: Divide the figure into two scalene triangles and compute their areas.)
    A trapezoid with it's top side measuring twenty five feet, right side mesuring seventy-nine-point three feet, it's bottom side measuring fifty-six feet, right side measuring ninety-one-point eight feet. It has a height ofseventy-seven feet.

    area = _______________


  6. Which of the wings has the largest area?


  7. Which of the wings has the smallest area? 


  8. Design your own wing including its dimensions.


  9. What is the area of your airplane's planform?


  10. Explain why you designed your planform the way you did.


  11. List the wing types in order from the largest area to the smallest, including your own wing design.

Related Pages:
Lesson Index
Aerodynamics Index


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Editor: Tom Benson
NASA Official: Tom Benson
Last Updated: Thu, Jun 12 04:46:37 PM EDT 2014

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