View Full Version : Best technique for modeling a airplane wing

05-04-2003, 09:30 AM
Hello All;
I need to model an airplane wing and am wondering what the best technique is to do this. I have created a cube of the correct length, width, and height of the wing. Then, I made many cuts from the top view to shape the profile but when I subdivide, it doesn't look smooth at all, the edges don't look nicely rounded, and the overall appearance doesn't look very good. Can someone give me some tips, and ideas that may help. Thanks so much.


Tom Speed
05-04-2003, 08:22 PM

I'd go about this differently depending on the wing type/shape, but how about this as a basic start to get a decent profiled wing.

Use Spline Draw to create a simple wing profile, extrude it out, then select the end points and scale them down, and move them to define the sweep of the wing.

Check the attatched pics to see what I mean.


05-04-2003, 11:47 PM
Hi Tom;
Thanks for your suggestions. Actually, your technique would work if I were making regular aircraft wings. But I am making the set of elevator wing's for the 1903 Wright Flyer that controls the pitch of the aircraft. I need to attain a nice rounded curvature all of the way around the wing. There is a good picture of the elevator wing (at the left of the picture) at this web page - http://www.aviation-central.com/famous/ab1a0.htm ! I need to create this oval structure with a little bit of thickness (but not much) and a nice rounded edge all of the way around. I am able to make the oval shape by tracing an actual blueprint drawing but am not sure how to make the rounded end all of the way around. I have thought of many approaches such as converting the spine into a polygon, extruding it, and then using bevel several times, but I could never obtain the rounded edge after subdividing. I have actually gotten close when I started with a cube (The length, width, and height of the wing) which I subdivided, and then shaped ... perhaps this is the approach I need to take. This exercise is partly for a non-critical project at work, and partly to help me learn Lightwave so any ideas and suggestions anyone may have would be helpful. Tim

Elmar Moelzer
05-04-2003, 11:58 PM
I would probably use splinepatching for this.
It is mostly the best solution when one needs to do precise modeling of curvy surfaces. The only drawback of splinepatching is that it is not very interactive to use in LW and without the right reference- material it can be a bit diffcult to learn too.
A good free start for learning splinepatching can be found here:
You may need to scroll down a bit until you reach the free tutorials.
This is actually the page of Larry (SplineGod) Shultz and I can tell you that he has earned himself that name...
Hope that helps