What are aircraft wings made of?

Turbulence is something that many flyers have experienced, and often can affect various structures, such as the wings. Despite the fears that some may have, it is actually almost impossible for the aircraft’s wings to be greatly affected or impaired by turbulence. This is due to the material and structural breakup of wings, as well as their design that allows them to have the ability to bend without losing any integrity of the structure.

In the first aircraft, wings were often built with wood due to its environmental resistance, and more importantly, its strength to weight ratio. Although we have long moved on from using wood in modern aircraft, the qualities that we found in wood are still the same that we use for picking materials today. One of the most popular materials used in aircraft wings and their structures is aluminum, making up anywhere from 60% to 80% of the aircraft's structural weight. This is due to a specific grade of aluminum, grade 2024, being one of the best known high strength aluminum with a great strength to weight ratio and high fatigue resistance. This aluminum is often used to create an aircraft’s spars, or metal beams that stretch through the entirety of the wing to support the weight load, as well as limit the amount of bending of the wing to maintain structural integrity.

Other metals are popular for other components as well, depending on the qualities desired and the application. Steel is often used for fasteners, landing gear, and the wing ribs due to its strength and ability to maintain long part life. Titanium is important for areas where high temperatures and weight are important, such as around the engines. Composites are also a widely used material for the wing’s panes and fairings.

Altogether, these various materials, both metallic and non-metallic, work to provide plane parts, such as the wings and fuselage, with the strength and flexibility they need to resist environments and corrosion, all while maintaining great strength to weight ratios. We have moved a long way since the first wooden wing planes, and the materials we utilize now ensure that wings can surpass the conditions brought on by turbulence safely and without fail.

At NSN Parts Now, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find the wing components you need, new or obsolete. As a premier supplier of parts for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries, we're always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7x365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at sales@nsnpartsnow.com or call us at +1-780-851-3631.


September 13, 2022
July 28, 2022

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