Nick asked in Cars & TransportationAircraft · 9 years ago

How do cylindrical wings create lift?

For a plane like this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Annular_cylindri...

How does the circle wing create lift? And what if it was smaller diameter, but longer, more like a tube, would it still create lift?

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  • Jeremy
    Lv 5
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    I love questions like these. A few months ago I asked how cylindrical wings still have wingtip vorticies. Fun concept to think of.

    It makes lift the same way as a straight wing. Low pressure air is created on top of the wing while high pressure is created on the bottom. Just in this case there is no dividing line distinguishing between top and bottom. Where the wing is horizontal, it makes the most lift and further up and around lift seems like it would fall off until the vertical points where there would be no lift.

    And as I said, it still makes 2 wingtip vorticies. Just 'wingtip' is misleading. Lift creates a column of decending air in the wake of an airplane, and where the column of decending air meets the rest, it makes a swirling vortex.

    As for a longer, smaller cylinder, yes it would make lift, but Im assuiming the aerodynamic properties of that would start to resemble that of a low aspect ratio wing, a short fat wing. So it might be more useful for highspeed flight, but then you have to include supersonic airflow, so a delta wing or swept wing might be better in the end than a tubular wing.

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