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Retractable Wings

plane wings roll up and save room in airports.
  [vote for,

This came from an idea for smaller airports when someone said //" ...Airports I've seen are spaced out so the wingtip of each plane doesn't crash into anothe plane"//

Well, what if, during taxiing and boarding, the airplanes didn't have wings?

The ends of the wings would be made of seperate metal plates joined together by a somewhat mor elastic substance. After landing, the pilot presses the big red button and the wings roll up to even with the turbine and the plane can taxi with almost the manuverability of a big bus. Airports can be plenty smaller than they are now, and passengers who like to sit on the window seat next to the wing have more to watch.

Before takeoff, the wings roll out and strong metal bars slide into place to keep them in shape. The wings contract a little so that the metal plates overlap and don't flop around.

Disadvantages: On an icy day, the pilot might have to say: "We are unable to take off because the airplane lacks useable wings at the moment"

A terrorist hacks into the planes controls and retracts the wings in mid flight and the plane plummets to its death.

jellyfisherman, Jun 13 2008

Lockheed: morphing UAV http://www.dailymot...d-morphing-uav_tech
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Jun 13 2008, last modified Jun 06 2014]


       Hinged wings are Baked. It works well on carrier-borne designs. It could be done on commercial airframes; the section outboard from the engine pylon could be hinged. But military aircraft are built to very different criteria to commercial ones.   


       1. It will add weight, therefore less passengers per crate.   

       2. It's something else to go wrong. And it will need servicing.   

       3. it's trading a cost to the airline (and hence to the passenger) for a cost to the airport (for space). The economics are hard to quantify at a first guess.
8th of 7, Jun 13 2008

       One minor point, commercial airliner wings are used as fuel tanks.
MisterQED, Jun 13 2008

       They could pivot at the centre so that they align with the main fuselage. Only suitable for overwing designs though.
BunsenHoneydew, Jun 06 2014


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