How Much Stress Can a Wing Take?

I’ve had friends come back from vacations with harrowing stories about turbulence so bad they thought the wings were going to fall off. Of course, it didn’t happen, and it’s extremely unlikely that it could happen.

I came across this video this morning which is a 3:35 piece of the PBS series “21st Century Jet” about the 777 showing what kind of testing they did on the 777 wing.

As you can see, they bent that wing up more than 24 feet from level and only then did it break, at more than 150% of the strongest force that could expected in flight.

And this isn’t the only wing testing they do. They also flex the wings up and down for long periods of time to simulate sustained periods of turbulence.

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