Highly Nonplanar Lifting Systems

Ilan Kroo, Stanford University
John McMasters, Boeing Commercial Airplane Group
and Stephen C. Smith, NASA Ames Research Center

Presented at: Transportation Beyond 2000: Technologies Needed for Engineering Design
NASA Langley Research Center
September 26-28, 1995


This paper deals with nonplanar wing concepts -- their advantages and possible application in a variety of aircraft designs. A brief review and assessment of several concepts from winglets to ring wings is followed by a more detailed look at two recent ideas: exploiting nonplanar wakes to reduce induced drag, and applying a "C-Wing" design to a large commercial transport. Results suggest that potential efficiency gains may be significant, while several non-aerodynamic characteristics are particularly interesting.


  1. Introduction and Background
  2. Some Results: What is Possible?
  3. A Closer Look at Two Concepts
    1. Exploiting Nonplanar Wakes
    2. A Very Nonplanar Wing: The C-Wing Concept

  4. Conclusions and Postscript
  5. References