Air Transport World

Centennial of flight.

Roll control through wing war ping is one of the most famous inventions of the Wright Brothers. Also virally important but largely unheralded was their understanding and taming of center of pressure travel on a curved surface, in this case a wing.

Center of pressure is the point where the forces of lift balance on a surface. Take a flat surface--a board, for example--and stand it upright, the broad side facing a wind. When wind blows against it, the center of pressure is in the middle of the impacted surface. When the top of the board is rotated toward the source of the wind, the center of pressure moves forward until, when the edge of the board is presented to the wind, the center of pressure has moved all the way to the leading edge and all lift is in the opposite direction. …

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