Sign up ×
Physics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for active researchers, academics and students of physics. It's 100% free.

Consider a delta-wing plane whose wing spread angle is 61 degrees (the plane looks like a flying equilateral triangle). What would happen if a cross-wind hits it, so that the direction of motion relative to the air suddenly changes, so that the nose is tilted in the horizontal flight-plane by 30 to 45 degrees?

This is on a real jet aircraft, and an educated response would help us understand what we are seeing on a simulation.

share|cite|improve this question
My first reaction is to close this as "too localized" to be of use to any future visitor. Thoughts from the commentariat? – dmckee Jul 22 '12 at 18:20
it can be reformulated to be more general (just replace numbers by letters), but I think it would be a miracle if there is anybody capable of answering the question here. Ian, I bet you know someone in person who could answer it or recommend someone else to help. – Yrogirg Jul 22 '12 at 20:02
This uses some jargon I had to look up, so I rephrased it so it doesn't look so intimidating. I wasn't sure about one thing (probably irrelevant)--- is the full angle of the wings from one end of the plane to the other about 120 degrees or 60 degrees? The obvious guess is that you get a tendency to roll because the lift on the two wings is no longer balanced by symmetry. – Ron Maimon Jul 23 '12 at 6:11
Thanks for the replys, I thought it might be a bit of a long shot . To clarify the wing leading edges are swept back 61 degrees {122 degree full angle). I guess I was looking for someone with the grounding in aerodynamics that we could work with regarding cross controlled inputs between the rudder and the elevons and their interaction in behavoir we are seeing. Ron your answer about the wing dropping is correct but it goes farther than that , I know in the Delta Dart they experienced a similar problem and had a onboard sliderule type calculator to keep the pilot informed . Thanks again – Ian Mclaren Jul 24 '12 at 14:44
I am not sure of the background to the question, so it is hard to formulate an answer that can help you resolve your issue. However, in asking "What would happen if a cross-wind hits it...?" are you considering the pilot of the plane can adjust the Yaw and Roll to counter the cross wind, or are you assuming the Yaw, Pitch and Roll stays constant? – Killercam Aug 21 '12 at 10:51

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.