Leading Edge

The leading edge is the part of the wing that first contacts the air; alternatively it is the foremost edge of an airfoil section. The first is an aerodynamic definition, the second a structural one. As an example of the distinction, during a tailslide, from an aerodynamic point-of-view, the trailing edge becomes the leading edge and vice-versa but from a structural point of view the leading edge remains unchanged.

The structural leading edge may be equipped with one or more of the following:

  • Leading edge boots
  • Leading edge cuffs
  • Leading edge extensions
  • Leading edge slats
  • Leading edge slots
  • Krueger flaps
  • Stall strips
  • Vortex generators.

Associated terms are leading edge radius and leading edge stagnation point.

Seen in plan the leading edge may be straight or curved. A straight leading edge may be swept or unswept, the latter meaning that it is perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the aircraft. As wing sweep is conventionally measured at the 25% chord line an unswept wing may have a swept or tapered leading edge. Some aircraft, like the General Dynamics F-111, have swing-wings where the sweep of both wing and leading edge can be varied.

In high-speed aircraft, compression heating of the air ahead of the wings can cause extreme heating of the leading edge. Heating was a major contributor to the destruction of the Space Shuttle Columbia during re-entry on February 1, 2003.

Read more about Leading Edge:  Sail Boats

Other articles related to "leading edge, edge, edges":

Leading Edge (company) - Products
... The first known computer to be produced by Leading Edge is the Model M, released in 1982 ... They also produced the Leading Edge Word Processor ... In 1984, Leading Edge also released an innovative database application called Nutshell (developed by a company called Nashoba Systems and distributed by Leading Edge) ...
Leading Edge Slats - Operation
... of the wing, or they may cover the entire leading edge ... are The slat effect The velocities at the leading edge of the downstream element (main airfoil) are reduced due to the circulation of the upstream element (slat ... The dumping effect The discharge velocity at the trailing edge of the slat is increased due to the circulation of the main airfoil thus alleviating separation problems or increasing lift ...
Leading Edge Group - Leading Edge Electronics
... Leading Edge Electronics is a buying group of around 48 former Dick Smith Electronics (DSE) stores ... LEE's major suppliers is Jaycar Electronics, who supply their products to Leading Edge via Electus distribution ...
Leading Edge - Sail Boats
... The term leading edge refers to the part of the sail that first contacts the wind ... A fine tapered leading edge that doesn't disturb the flow is desirable since 90% of the drag on a sailboat owing to sails is a result of vortex shedding from the edges of ...
Leading Edge Partnership
... The Leading Edge Partnership programme was established in 2003 by the Department for Children, Schools and Families in the United Kingdom ... There are currently over 300 Leading Edge schools within the programme, representing some of the most outstanding and innovative practice nationally ...

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