Wings are airfoils that, when moved rapidly through the air, create lift. They are built in many shapes and sizes. Wing design can vary to provide certain desirable flight characteristics. Control at various operating speeds, the amount of lift generated, balance, and stability all change as the shape of the wing is altered. Both the leading edge and the trailing edge of the wing may be straight or curved, or one edge may be straight and the other curved.
One or both edges may be tapered so that the wing is narrower at the tip than at the root where it joins the fuselage. The wing tip may be square, rounded, or even pointed. Figure 22.16.1‑1 shows several typical wing leading and trailing edge shapes.
The wings of an aircraft can be attached to the fuselage at the top, mid-fuselage, or at the bottom. They may extend perpendicular to the horizontal plain of the fuselage or can angle up or down slightly. This angle is known as the wing dihedral. The dihedral angle affects the lateral stability of the aircraft. Figure 22.16.1‑2 shows some common wing attach points and dihedral angle.