A Variable Geometry is a wing configuration that allows the aircraft to change its physical configuration during flight.

Some types of variable geometry craft transition between fixed wing and rotary wing configurations.

Examples of Variable GeometryEdit

  • Variable-sweep wing or Swing-wing. The left and right hand wings vary their sweep together, usually backwards. The first successful wing sweep in flight was carried out by the Bell X-5 in the early 1950s. In the Beech Starship, only the canard foreplanes have variable sweep.
  • Oblique wing: a single full-span wing pivots about its midpoint, as used on the NASA AD-1, so that one side sweeps back and the other side sweeps forward.
  • Telescoping wing: the outer section of wing telescopes over or within the inner section of wing, varying span, aspect ratio and wing area, as used on the FS-29 TF glider. The Makhonine Mak-123 was an early example.
  • Extending wing or expanding wing: part of the wing retracts into the main aircraft structure to reduce drag and low-altitude buffet for high-speed flight, and is extended only for takeoff, low-speed cruise and landing. The Gérin Varivol biplane, which flew in 1936, extended the leading and trailing edges to increase wing area.
  • Bi-directional wing: a proposed design in which a low-speed wing and a high-speed wing are laid across each other in the form of a cross. The aircraft would take off and land with the low-speed wing facing the airflow, then rotate a quarter-turn so that the high-speed wing faces the airflow for supersonic flight.

Variable Geometry in Thunder ForceEdit

The Syrinx ship from Thunder Force VI uses a "Folding Wing" configuration. The wings are folded when the ship is in "Flight Mode", and when the player uses the Over Weapon, they're deployed changing the ship's mode to the combat configuration known as "Attack Mode"