Why Do Backwards Wings Exist?

  • Published on Jul 20, 2019
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    Writer/Narrator: Brian McManus
    Editor: Stephanie Sammann (www.stephanie-sammann.com/)
    Animator: Mike Ridolfi (www.moboxgraphics.com/)
    Sound: Graham Haerther (haerther.net/)
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    [1] hugojunkers.bplaced.net/junkers-ef131.html
    [2] www.nasa.gov/centers/armstrong/news/FactSheets/FS-008-DFRC.html apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a124715.pdf
    [3] www.dept.aoe.vt.edu/~mason/Mason_f/ConfigAeroTransonics.pdf
    [4] bit.ly/2Y17MM2
    [5] apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/271130.pdf
    [6] www.srmuniv.ac.in/sites/default/files/downloads/class5-2012.pdf
    [7] www.nasa.gov/centers/armstrong/news/FactSheets/FS-081-DFRC.html
    [8] repository.lib.ncsu.edu/bitstream/handle/1840.16/2141/etd.pdf?sequence=1
    [9] page 18 www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/files/Sweeping_Forward.pdf
    [10] usclip.net/video/LOmvrk3LPGc/video.html
    [11] apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a124715.pdf
    [12] www.nasa.gov/centers/dryden/pdf/88172main_H-1574.pdf
    [13] page 24 www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/files/Sweeping_Forward.pdf
    [14] www.nasa.gov/centers/dryden/pdf/120266main_FS-008-DFRC.pdf
    [15] Page 124 www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/files/Sweeping_Forward.pdf
    [16] Page 127 www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/files/Sweeping_Forward.pdf
    [17] Page 208 www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/files/Sweeping_Forward.pdf
    Thank you to AP Archive for access to their archival footage.
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Comments • 3 702

  • brian silva
    brian silva 15 hours ago


  • Razor E
    Razor E 15 hours ago +1

    4:17 ... Saints?

  • oriolesfan61
    oriolesfan61 15 hours ago

    The real story is an aerospace engineer brought home a model of a new aircraft in his briefcase and his son found it and broke off the wings playing with it and snapped them back on backwards and put it back and the next day the engineer went to give his presentation and was horrified but the wind tunnel supervisor was intrigued and gave it a try..

  • M00N YIN
    M00N YIN 16 hours ago

    I'm only shocked and curious on how the Nazi are intellectual while being a bigot.

  • reschhhhhh
    reschhhhhh 23 hours ago

    7:20 nice flying cog

  • shahrom ab rahman

    To look cool.

  • FBI
    FBI Day ago

    It has backwings so it can fly backwards.

  • Jolan XBL
    Jolan XBL Day ago

    ***** The Documentary website subscription is billed annually so you aren't paying 'only 2.99(USD) but actually 19.99USD after the first month.

  • I'm peech
    I'm peech Day ago

    wow! amazing!

  • Khanh Nguyen Phi

    I find backwards wings's aircraft and fighters kinda...........sexy

  • AnubisXIII
    AnubisXIII Day ago

    Because the whole world is running backwards

  • nicholas flamegun

    This video presupposes a fair amount of aerodynamic knowledge in the viewer.His description of the different characteristics of straight/swept wings comes across as meaningless jargon if one does not posess this knowledge..I would appreciate a more intuitive exposition of the physics involved.

  • Toby Cornwall
    Toby Cornwall Day ago

    Fair play. If you have to get into aeroelasticity then you know it's going to be difficult to explain.

  • TMoD7007
    TMoD7007 Day ago

    7:35 What the fudge???

  • 90 Lancaster
    90 Lancaster Day ago

    I like the idea of the merger of FSW with Blended wing designs - seen in the Sci-fi Movie stealth.

  • Mov
    Mov Day ago

    Could you not just put the ailerons closer to the wing root, rather than sweeping the wings forwards?

  • some boi who just don't give a damn no more

    And people say war represents the greatest failure of man...

  • vgpe gana
    vgpe gana Day ago

    fluids mechanics, applied aerodynamics

  • deks räikkönen

    Yeah the SU47 Berkut is so much cooler, like any ACE player knows.

  • -SMP- scientific method perspective

    This is super interesting. Thank you

  • TheCaptainRudy
    TheCaptainRudy 2 days ago

    Why does the spanwise flow occur?

  • DJAlbertzz 123
    DJAlbertzz 123 2 days ago

    My favorite plane in Jane's fighters anthology was the x-29

  • Andrew C.
    Andrew C. 2 days ago

    Incredible direct firehose explanation, well done- but that squeaky hinge sound is PURE EAR RAPE. Do engineers not have ears?

  • Mastacheifa 118
    Mastacheifa 118 2 days ago +16

    Came here to learn about backwards wings. Instead learned how to make better forwards wings on KSP.

  • Drew Hurst
    Drew Hurst 2 days ago

    Sure it wasn't all those antennas on the nose causing instability? 12:12

  • WellBeSerious12
    WellBeSerious12 2 days ago

    Shame these inventions are only used for war.

  • AriffNZR 2005
    AriffNZR 2005 3 days ago +1

    Got lost somewhere in the video.
    Not knowing is a knowledge.

  • Raw Bird
    Raw Bird 3 days ago

    Your video needs some oil, my ears are bleeding. Great video otherwise.

  • Disquette
    Disquette 3 days ago

    The amount of effort in this video, goodness gracious... well done, Real Engineering, well done.

  • patrick O'flannigan
    patrick O'flannigan 3 days ago

    Why the nails on chalkboard man!

  • Info Hub
    Info Hub 3 days ago

    God bless! needGod.com

    • Black
      Black 2 days ago

      Ray Comfort? Really?

  • GraniteCityCarguy
    GraniteCityCarguy 4 days ago +9

    Can't stop watching these videos, so informative and well edited. Great content mate, keep it up!

  • Leon Manson
    Leon Manson 4 days ago

    OK befor I even watch this they are not backwards wings as they are positioned forwards (-_-)

  • RevMatch26
    RevMatch26 4 days ago

    Awesome video! I have piece of information Id like to add about the P-38. The hydraulics on the P-38 had enough advantage to be able to overcome any aerodynamic stiffening, so that was not the issue. The airflow separation that came from main wing by exceeding the max mach number caused the tails control surface to be caught in a "vacuum". With the hydraulic boosted controls the pilot would have been capable of full elevator deflection, but he lack of air flow over the control surface would make it too ineffective to change the pitch of the aircraft. The only time the P-38 could reach these speeds was when it entered a dive, so if this mach number was reached in the dive to cause the shock wave to form, then there would be almost nothing the pilot could do to regain control as he would be stuck in the dive, unable to pull up with the now useless elevator. From colder (higher) dives the speed of sound is slower, so most of the time get out of the high altitude dive would be that the higher temperatures at lower altitudes would raise the mach number enough to get them out of trans-sonic speeds and regain elevator authority. You can actually find experimental P-38 with an up curved tail boom to try and keep the elevator clear of the "vacuum area", but it proved to be too weak of a structure. The Germans, with there hydraulically advanced aircraft, would eventually figure this out and used this knowledge to be able to escape by diving, knowing the P-38 would not be able to follow them in the dive. Where as the Japanese Zeros did not have hydraulic assistance, so they too were unable to enter a high speed dive, but for the reason of aerodynamic stiffening, so the P-38 dominated the sky where the enemy fighters had no way out.

  • The Batman
    The Batman 4 days ago

    Can-ards not ka-nards

  • Midnight Mechanic
    Midnight Mechanic 4 days ago

    I would like to see an analysis of the ADF-01 Falken's airframe design, and whether it would be the amazing machine that it's shown to be. Gigantic 3D thrust vectoring engines, a vertical airfoil that extends out when landing gear is up, and a glassless cockpit with a long, sharp nose to divert oncoming radar.

  • Rajat Sinha
    Rajat Sinha 5 days ago

    Not once did u mention su 47

  • Muhammad FaiZ
    Muhammad FaiZ 5 days ago +2

    Let me make it easier for you
    The Video Says:"Blah Blah Blah vlah vlah yur mam fet vlah blah "

  • Sky Bound
    Sky Bound 5 days ago

    Top of the morning to ya

  • Cipher Galm 1
    Cipher Galm 1 5 days ago


  • Darkfire Project
    Darkfire Project 5 days ago

    Because they look awesome that's why.

  • Pete Beatminister
    Pete Beatminister 5 days ago

    May be we see this kind of design again in the future, for example on hypersonic planes and ultra high altitude planes. The computer stabilising is much less of a problem today as it was in the 80s and 90s. The computers back then just weren't fast enough to handle it properly. The early all-wing planes struggled with that as well, since they were also very unstable when flown manually. Similar the first Apache helicopters.
    But today any good cell phone has more umphf than the high end computers in the 80s, so its much less of an issue to design a electronic stabiliser system.

  • Mifune Takumi
    Mifune Takumi 6 days ago

    They make anime planes backwards wing a real thing? 🤔

  • Optillian
    Optillian 6 days ago +1

    Because it looks cool.

  • NooBMasteR69
    NooBMasteR69 6 days ago

    The fact that if usa and Russia didn't defeat the nazi's non of their plaens would exist now

  • Otto Von Bismarck
    Otto Von Bismarck 6 days ago

    Sorry but i am unable to understand this nerdy bullshit.

  • molluscturtle
    molluscturtle 6 days ago

    What a beautiful plane that X-29 is. Great video.

  • bong Scott
    bong Scott 6 days ago

    Air burst jets to interrupt the air burst build up by using a small extremely high micro reverse air pressure set around the wings and points to see if you could cancel the sonic boom affect at the point off the bang???and you could add a parachute for RC craft??????

  • nj1911
    nj1911 6 days ago

    shouldn't the title be: Why Do Forwards Wings Exist?
    I guess it's backwards from the norm but they point forwards
    in the video itself you also call them forward swept wings

  • Stone Ruano Singh
    Stone Ruano Singh 7 days ago

    Skip to 8:45.

  • IAmAgainst
    IAmAgainst 7 days ago

    Is there any military technology that wasn't invented by the Germans?

  • Nonmassmedia
    Nonmassmedia 7 days ago

    That awkward moment when the narrator says "BUT".

    SCARSAC 7 days ago

    absolute great programing thank you , you just got a new subscriber

  • Jaydeep Das
    Jaydeep Das 7 days ago


  • Smoothie Cris
    Smoothie Cris 7 days ago

    Can someone explain how modern jets like the f22 deal with supersonic air problems?

  • Rampy
    Rampy 7 days ago

    The chordwise/spanwise flow theory is total bollocks! It's a simple explanation that doesn't explain how the normal shock wave is diminished using sweep. It can be easily disproved.

  • WgoodT - with good taste

    Looks like the "Mockingbird" from Robotech.

  • Ashja Keira Loberiano

    reverse engineering..hahaha

  • Linus Kardell
    Linus Kardell 8 days ago

    There is a ton of interlacing in the video.

  • Linus Kardell
    Linus Kardell 8 days ago

    What about delta wings?

  • Brad Figiel
    Brad Figiel 8 days ago

    Look up Hansa Jet HFB320. My former boss imported 3 from Germany and flew Air Cargo in them for many years. More volume then a Lear jet, UPS and FedEx used to stuff em full during the busy season.

  • PT Hamilton
    PT Hamilton 10 days ago

    FSW not 'backwards' dumb sounding title for an engineering channel

  • Phy
    Phy 10 days ago

    I'll stick with my KitFox, thanks.

  • Tenth Origin Vlogs
    Tenth Origin Vlogs 10 days ago

    4:57 meh brin hrts

  • Clark Hernandez
    Clark Hernandez 10 days ago

    Ask superman how he fly

  • Ethan Fairweather
    Ethan Fairweather 11 days ago

    Anyone who reads would know why forward swept wing is bad for stealth. The F-22 uses platform alignment as one of its stealth characteristics. Next to impossible to do that with a forward sweep because of the opposing angle of the wing relative to other structures on the aircraft.

  • secondgman1201
    secondgman1201 11 days ago

    Static Stability of an aircraft is determined by the relation of the aerodynamic center (AC) to the center of gravity (CG). Not the relation of the horizontal stabilizer to the CG. The issue with canards is during stall or near stall conditions pitch control can be reduced or lost.

  • -_- some guy
    -_- some guy 12 days ago

    now watching just started, im sure its the shape that gives lift not so much the direction of the wings pointed towards lol

  • Chippy Steve
    Chippy Steve 12 days ago

    Clear explanations supported by top-knotch graphics and serious amounts of research.Spot on.Thanks dude!.

  • Jexy Diamondback
    Jexy Diamondback 12 days ago

    G.I. JOE used the Conquest X-30. Seems funny when you know in reality the design was a fail.

  • Artur Czerwiński
    Artur Czerwiński 13 days ago

    Don't you think that they actually looke like FORWARDS wings...?

  • JJ
    JJ 13 days ago

    The P38 lightning was developed before the war.

  • antoninus lucretius
    antoninus lucretius 14 days ago

    Because someone got drunk ?

  • John Mehaffey
    John Mehaffey 14 days ago

    It's so that you don't know if the plane is coming or going

  • Every Day Biking
    Every Day Biking 14 days ago

    How are you so smart