Airfield Models Formulas use with Flying Model Aircraft

How to Find the Area of a Straight or Tapered Wing or Flying Surface

May 05, 2015



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Airfield Models (http://www.airfieldmodels.com/)Calculating the Wing Area for Constant Chord, Tapered and Delta Wings

In order to determine the wing loading, you must know the wing area.  Wing area for model aircraft is always given in square inches (in2) with the exception of European kits that give area in metric units such as square centimeters or square decimeters.

Why Wing Area is Important

  • Taken on its own, wing area is not important.  However, the wing area must be calculated to determine wing loading which is very important.

Calculating Wing Area of Multi-Wing Aircraft

  • Calculate the wing area for each wing individually.  Add these areas together to find the total wing area.

Notes

  • If you are building from a kit or a plan then the wing area should be somewhere on the plan, in the instructions or on the kit box.
  • When calculating the wing or stabilizer area, the area that crosses the fuselage is included even if that area does not provide lift.
 
 

Calculating the Wing Area for Constant Chord Wings

The area of a simple rectangular, constant chord wing is found by multiplying the width x the height.  In aircraft terms that is:

Wing Area = Wing Span x Wing Chord

A constant chord wing area is found by multiplying the chord times the wing span.

 
 

Calculating the Wing Area for Tapered Wings

To find the area of a tapered wing, use the formula for a Trapezoid.  Find the average chord and multiply it times the wing span:

Average Chord = ( Root Chord + Tip Chord ) 2

Wing Area = Wing Span x Average Chord

A tapered wing's area is found by multiplying the average chord times the wing span.

Note:  It does not matter if a wing sweeps or not.  The formula for a tapered wing is used with no regard for the sweep.

The area of a swept wing is found by multiplying the average chord times the wing span.

If the wing has multiple tapers then calculate each trapezoidal area and add them together.

 
 

Calculating the Wing Area for Delta Wings

If a Delta Wing has a Tip Chord greater than 0 inches, then use the formula for a tapered wing as above.

A delta wing with a tip chord greater than zero has an area of the average chord times the wing span.

Delta Wing having a Tip Chord greater than 0"

If the Tip Chord is 0" then use the formula for a triangle:

Wing Area = 1/2 x Wing Span x Root Chord

A delta wing having a tip chord of zero has an area of 1/2 times the root chord times the wing span.

Delta Wing having a Tip Chord of 0"

 
 

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Calculating the Dihedral of a Wing
Calculating Wing Area of Elliptical Wings

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Copyright 2003 Paul K. Johnson