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Schatzberg, Eric, 1956- / Wings of wood, wings of metal : culture and technical choice in American airplane materials, 1914-1945

6. Neglected alternative i: plywood stressed-skin construction,   pp. [114]-134

Page 121

Figure 6.3. Internal structure of a Fokker F-10A wooden wing, which was later
covered with plywood. National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution (SI
neg. no. 96-15634).
levered wing. Lockheed's initial advertising for the Vega credited Anthony
Fokker with the development of the fully cantilevered plywood-covered
wing.19 Fokker first used plywood-covered wings on the V-1 experimental
monoplane fighter of 1916, the first of his airplanes to use a thick, fully
cantilevered wing. A subsequent design of this type went into production
near the end of the war as the D-VIII fighter. After the war, Fokker built a
series of passenger airplanes with plywood-covered monoplane wings and
steel-tube fuselages. The standard Fokker wing was based around two ta-
pered box spars. The spars were deepest at the wing root, where the largest
loads occurred, and became thinner toward the wing tips to correspond
with decreasing loads. The flanges (top and bottom) of the spar consisted of
solid or laminated spruce, joined by plywood on the sides to make a hollow
rectangle. Solid plywood ribs connected the two spars, and a plywood skin
covered the whole wing assembly (figure 6.3).20 The Vega wing structure
followed Fokker's twin-box-spar design, but with truss ribs instead of solid

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