The distinctive upward curve of the Boeing 787’s wing is the shape of the future. The graceful lines are a consequence of the wing’s more flexible carbon-fiber structure for light weight and long, slender planform for low drag. These are characteristics that will become more pronounced with the next generation of wings as designers push for even higher levels of performance. The 787 wing has a higher aspect ratio (AR)—the relation of span to chord—than its ...

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