Ask an Explainer


Does the shape of a wing's surface affect how much lift is generated?


Yes. Wings that can cause a bigger differnece in air pressure from the top to the bottom of the wing will create more lift. For example, a wing that has relatively little curve to it will not create much lift. However, a wing with a large curve on the top will create more lift. Also, a perfectly symetrical airfoil will not create lift on its own, as the pressure on the top and the bottom of the wing would be the same. Planes with symmetrical airfoils have to rely on angle of attack to create a pressure difference and gain lift.  

Categories: Forces of Flight