Aircrafts.. Glazing through the skies with their huge wings, transporting people and goods across frontiers. We see/listen to these beasts soaring through the skies on a regular basis.

But almost every time what we are referring to an aircraft, they are fixed-wing aircrafts. i.e their wing configuration does not change flight..

Behold the Variable Sweep Wing

But there are also wing configurations that can be changed during flight and these are known as Variable-sweep wings.

A variable-sweep wing, colloquially known as a “swing wing”, is an airplane wing,
or set of wings, that may be swept back and then returned to its
original position during flight. 


                                Dassault Mirage G with swept wing (top)

Typically, a swept wing
is more suitable for high speeds, while an un-swept wing is suitable for
lower speeds, allowing the aircraft to carry more fuel and/or payload,
as well as improving field performance.

A variable-sweep wing allows a
pilot to select the correct wing configuration for the plane’s intended



Where is it used ?

There is a good chance that you haven’t heard about this, and thats because in this day and age they have been superseded by other advanced versions.

One of the major problems with this concept is that swept wings add weight, radar cross section, and additional mechanical maintenance.

These aircrafts were built for speed. By altering the swept angle, they were able to achieve higher speeds, which was the need of the hour back in those days.


But with
today’s engine technology, stealth tech, and radar systems, our pilots
can maneuver or avoid threats altogether through surveillance aircraft,
rather than depend strictly on speed.

Pretty Cool eh?


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