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Aluminum wings


Well-Known Member
Jun 20, 2008
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A question for you engineer and experienced builder types. Most of the recently designed airplanes that expect hard use seem to have steel tube fuselages and aluminum wings. Bearhawk, Sherpa and Northstar to name a few. The Carbon Cub people claim that one of the reasons their Sport Cub is so light is the metal wing (still fabric covered). The Laser airplanes use steel tube fuselage with wood wings with carbon fiber on the spar caps. The almost all carbon fiber MX2 isn't a lot lighter than the Lasers. Several high performance biplane guys are selling aluminum alierons and claim a weight savings. So.... Why are almost all our biplanes using wood primary structure for the wings? Tradition? Ease of build? Progressive failure modes? Could aluminum wings be lighter? A discussion of pros and cons would be interesting.


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