Definitions

Wing tip

Wing tip

The wing tip is that part of the wing most distant from the fuselage of a fixed-wing aircraft.

Because the wing tip shape influences the size and drag of the wing tip vortices, tip design has produced a diversity of shapes, including:

  • Squared-off
  • Aluminium tube bow
  • Rounded
  • Hoerner style
  • Winglets
  • Drooped tips
  • Raked wingtips
  • Tip tanks
  • Sails
  • Fences
  • Non-planar
  • End plates

Wing tips are also an expression of aircraft design style and so their shape may be influenced by marketing considerations as well as by aerodynamic requirements.

Wing tips are often used by aircraft designers to mount navigation lights, anti-collision strobe lights, landing lights and identification markings. On fighter aircraft, they may also be fitted with hard points for mounting drop tanks and weapons systems such as missiles and electronic countermeasures.

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