Why Plane Wings Don't Break

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Even if you don't know anything else about airplanes, you know the wings are a pretty important part of the whole system. It’s the one idea we took from birds, after all. Not counting the absence of feathers, the most significant change human engineers made over the original design was that plane wings tend to not move. Or do they?

In fact, a plane's wings might not flap, but they can certainly bend. In fact, they bend quite a lot for something we're used to thinking of as completely solid and stiff. If you've ever been seated on a plane with a good view of the wings, you might’ve noticed they tend to bounce up a bit during turbulence. What causes this to happen, and how far can a plane's wings bend before they break?

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