wing" is a wing shaped like a triangle
, with a short wingspan
and a long chord
, and no separate stabilizer
on the tail. Some well-known aircraft
with delta wings include the Concorde
, XB-70A Valkyrie
, B-58 Hustler
, Saab JA 37 Viggen
, Mirage 2000
, Avro Vulcan
, Avro CF-105 Arrow
, and F-102 Delta Dagger
. Most paper airplane
s have delta wings, too, and the Space Shuttle
has a variant of the delta-wing design.
The main advantage of a delta wing is that it reduces the amount of drag on the airplane without compromising lift: that is to say, it keeps the aircraft streamlined without causing it to fall from the sky. At low speeds, in fact, delta wings generate a phenomenal amount of lift, especially when angle of attack is high. The amount of air they displace also creates an air cushion under the aircraft when it's close to the ground, making landings much smoother.
On most aircraft, ailerons on the wings control roll, and elevators on the tail control pitch. On a delta-winged aircraft, there is one set of elevons that controls roll and pitch at the same time.
The first delta-winged aircraft were designed in Germany during World War II, but never made it into production. The Convair XF-92A was the first delta-wing to fly, making its inaugural flight in 1948. Since then, the design has been used in many different high-performance aircraft, and remains popular for both looks and speed.