View Full Version : Gull Wings

03-28-2005, 10:39 PM
I have had trouble tracking down the reason why some ww2 aircraft had gull-wings, such as the Corsair and the Stuka. I've read various reasons for this, such as stability, higher ride height for the undercarriage etc, but haven't been able to find a definitive answer. Can anyone direct me to a source that can answer this?

03-28-2005, 10:41 PM
I may be wrong, but here's what I remember:

Stuka - to have space for a bomb under fuselage

Corsair - to accomodate large diameter prop. Also, to reduce drag at fuselage joints and something to do with wing folding.

03-28-2005, 10:46 PM
Thanks Hristos- that's the info i have seen before. I wondered if it made any difference to the performance of the aircraft (i assume not as the design never seemed to continue beyond the 1950's).

03-28-2005, 10:49 PM
I think gull wings contributed to roll rate in a small manner. But powered ailerons are more effective at that then by simply using gull wings. Probably not used now for supersonic aircraft because of structural reasons.

Corsair's main thing was the propeller and landing gear considerations.

Stuka was for bomb reasons as well as the want to keep the under carriage small and reduce drag.

03-29-2005, 12:36 AM
yeah the gullwungs helped reducing the required length of the landing gear on the Corsair(due to that mega bombastic prop), with it came quite good visibility to the sides. Still the landing gears were considered too long an fragile.

03-29-2005, 12:50 AM
A more interesting question is why they're called gull wings. No gull has wings that shape.

03-29-2005, 12:55 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Burbage1966:
A more interesting question is why they're called gull wings. No gull has wings that shape. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

If you turn it upside down it has http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

03-29-2005, 01:04 AM
Must've been named in Australia then.

03-29-2005, 01:42 AM
I have been always thinking that gull wings were those of P-11c or I-153.

They were introduced in the Polish P series to increase visibility - badly represented in the game.

03-29-2005, 04:29 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Burbage1966:
A more interesting question is why they're called gull wings. No gull has wings that shape. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Actually, the proper term for the wing on the Stuka and Corsair is "inverted gull wing". Planes like the PZL P.11 have a "conventional" gull wing design.

03-29-2005, 05:08 AM
Why is the wingspan of a gull halved when flying directly towards the sun?

(Gull with left wing shading eyes, right wing flapping strenuously)"Gordon Bennett, it's bright round 'ere innit?

03-29-2005, 05:42 AM
Gull wingss


03-29-2005, 08:32 AM
The F4U was a series of compromises. Orheim got it right, the bent wing was to shorten the struts and allow for the size of the prop. That helped visibility from the cockpit in the prototype. But when they changed the armament to six 50 cal Brownings, they lost fuel capacity in the wings and had to add a tank in front of the cockpit. That moved the cockpit back, and made visibility worse. It was this decision that made the Corsair such a b***h to land on a carrier -- long nose.

So the Navy initially gave up on carriers for the a/c. Strange deal. The entire concept was to build a carrier bird, and all the design compromises kept it off. But, of course, the RAF figured out the landing scheme and it was primarily a carrier plane by the end of the war.

I suspect we're about to learn a lot more.

03-29-2005, 08:57 AM

Famous for its bent gull-wings and its high kill ratios. The Vought Corsair was the first U.S. single-engine fighter to exceed 400 m.p.h., and had much better performance than the F4F Wildcat, which was the current top-of-the-line Navy fighter when the Corsair was introduced. Unfortunately, due to its very long nose (which limited pilot visibility, especially during take-offs and landings), it was believed by the Navy high command to be unsuitable for carrier operations. Typically, when the Navy had an aircraft that it did not want, it gave them to the Marines (the F2A Buffalo, and later the F7F Tigercat being further examples).

This is what happened to the Corsairs, as they were restricted to land bases. The Marines were happy to replace their old Wildcats with this hot new fighter, and soon showed everyone what the Corsair was capable of. Pappy Boyington and his Black Sheep Squadron was one of many who used the Corsair's abilities to its fullest. Later in the war it was proven that the Corsairs could operate safely off of carriers, and the "bent-wing birds" were used very successfully in helping to thwart the kamikaze raids in the war's final months. Demand for the Corsairs was such that they were also produced by Brewster and Goodyear.

Corsairs were built for more than ten years, and they remained in service until 1965; total production was 12,681 aircraft. The Vought F4U Corsair was the best carrier-based fighter of World War II and in some respects was an even better plane than the superlative North American P-51 Mustang. Yet, despite these fine qualities, the Corsair spent nearly half its wartime career at land bases. For almost a year the naval authorities considered it unsuitable for carrier duty. This formidable plane racked up an impressive number of victories. In the Pacific theater alone, in the course of 64,051 missions, Corsairs downed 2,140 enemy planes while only 189 Corsairs were lost - a ratio unmatched in the history of air warfare.

The Corsair was developed early in 1938, at the request of the U.S. Navy, which ordered the construction of a prototype on June 30. The head Vought designer, Tex B. Beisel, set to work with the idea of building the smallest body compatible with the most powerful engine available. He chose Pratt & Whitney's XR-2800 Double Wasp, a new 2,000-h.p. 18-cylinder radial then receiving some finishing touches.

This powerful engine required a large-diameter propeller to absorb the power, and this in turn led to the inverted gull-wing that characterized the Corsair. Thus the propeller disk was at a safe distance from the ground, and the landing gear struts were reduced in length. This last feature was extremely important for safe landing on carrier decks. The prototype, the XF4U-1, first took to the air on May 29, 1940. It was an outstanding success from its first test flights. On October 1, during a transfer flight, it became the first American fighter to break the 400-m.p.h. barrier.

The finishing touches, however, took a long time. To begin with, the armament was increased, and this required repositioning the fuel tanks and adding one on the fuselage. This in turn meant that the cockpit had to be moved back almost three feet, creating problems of visibility for the pilot. It was the question of visibility that made authorities hesitate to use the plane on carriers. Nevertheless an initial contract for 584 F4Us was signed on June 30,1941, and the first production model was ready a year later. By the end of 1942 the navy had received delivery of 178 aircraft, but the planes were not considered suitable for use on carriers until April, 1944. The Corsair became operational first with the Marine Corps, which used Vought Corsairs at Guadalcanal on February 13, 1943. Subsequently they were used as land-based planes by the Navy..... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/heart.gif

03-29-2005, 09:31 AM
All aircraft with the R-2800 engine had some form of funkyness with their landing gear.

The F4U used inverted Gull wings.

The P-47 had telescoping struts, so it could have enough room to fit guns in its wings.

The F8F had double hinged landing gear, that folded both outwards and inwards, to get long enough gear.

I don't know what the F6F did. I think it may have had telescoping struts, but I'm not sure.

Harry Voayger

03-29-2005, 11:30 AM
i could be wrong(as i usaully am) but i thought the gull wing had one of the most aerodynmically efficient designs possible thats why they were used,something about reducing eddies and drag

03-29-2005, 08:37 PM

Now THOSE are gull wings.