2
October
2014

Wings Bend

Hello everyone!

World class teams of engineers from around the world design these beautiful works of art. These jets are made to extremely finite specifications and massive testing is done to ensure that they meet the planned criteria and limits. The wings are the key components in building the most efficient, stable, and safe aircraft. They allow us to soar through the skies and fly high above the earth’s surface to our far away destinations!

I know that it can be a bit concerning to see the wings flex up and down when we are in a bit of bumpy air. I want to put you at ease about this because the wings are designed to do just that! During the testing phases, the aircraft are put into test rigs, wired up, and analyzed as the wings are continuously, sporadically, and dynamically put to the extremes. This is to ensure that they will meet their “maximum design loads”. As pilots, we never fly anywhere near these limits but the aircraft are tested way beyond this to their “ultimate load” which is the point at which the wing break. This can be as much as 50% beyond the maximum design load!

In celebration of football season, I want to give you another visual picture to put in your mind. An entire NFL football team can be stand on top of these wings and they would not budge! Have you ever heard of a jet just breaking apart in flight that was not harmed by non-aviation forces? No, because airplanes do not come apart in flight! They are built like newer skyscrapers – they are created to absorb the pressures and forces of the air

Boeing 787 Wing Bend Test

Boeing 787 Wing Bend Test

 

Boeing 787 showing flex ability of 26 ft high

Boeing 787 showing flex ability of 26 ft high

Boeing 787 Wing Flex

Boeing 787 Wing Flex

so they sway with flexibility. Next time you fly, notice the upward wing flex as the airplane flies, its magic!

Thank you to all the engineers, assembly workers, testers, manufacturers, mechanics, and FAA for working hard to keep us safe!! I talk more in detail about jet design and testing in my book “Remove Before Flight” which will be published soon! Blue Skies! Z 6

One thought on “Wings Bend

  1. Nasir

    I have read that during takeoff, the wing tip drops and during high speed, the the wing tip rises. Never heard that the wing tip drops during take off.

    Reply

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