Wing Design

Wing Design Day 9: Rib Distribution Revisions

Rib Distribution Revisions

Previously, the wing’s rib distribution was only controlled by a single variable, RibMultiplier, meaning that there was an equal spacing between all main ribs across the entire span of the wing. Since the aileron length is independently controlled by a separate variable, this also mandated that there be two additional ribs placed adjacent to the ailerons to support them adding unnecessary weight. It also didn’t account for the fact that fewer ribs are required closer to the wingtips. This is because ribs function to transfer the load from the skin and stringers to the main spar(s), and since the distribution of lift across a wing decreases from root to tip, so does the required number of ribs. The new rib distribution takes all this into account while eliminating the need for independently placed aileron support ribs by dividing the rib placement into three separate zones at the root, middle, and tip of the wing. The root zone includes the bulkhead rib and extends to include the first aileron support rib. The middle zone is directly in front of the aileron and includes all half ribs. The tip zone includes the outermost aileron support rib and the wingtip rib. Each of these zones has an independent variable for the number of ribs and false ribs and since they are all relative to the adjustable aileron length, additional aileron support ribs are no longer required.


*Editors note: the thought processes and design choices presented in this article don’t necessarily represent those implemented into the final design and are subject to change. Flight Club Aerospace is a group of amateur students with no formal education in any fields of engineering. We present this information for educational purposes only, with the understanding that it is not to be re-created without adequate professional oversight and mentorship. For our latest designs and updates, please see our most recent blog posts.


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