The wingspan (or just span) of an airplane or a bird, is the distance from the left wingtip to the right wingtip. For example, the Boeing 777 has a wingspan of about 60 m (200 feet). The term wingspan, more technically extent, is also used for other winged animals such as pterosaurs, bats, insects, etc, and other winged aircraft such as ornithopters. For example, a Wandering Albatross (Diomedea exulans) caught in 1965 had a wingspan of 3.63 m, the official record for a living bird.
Since the amount of lift that a wing generates is proportional to the area of the wing, planes with short wings must correspondingly have a longer chord. An aircraft's ratio of its wingspan to chord is therefore very important in determining its characteristics, and aerospace engineers call this value the aspect ratio of a wing.
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