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How Small can a wing be?

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posted on Oct, 10 2006 @ 03:18 PM
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I'm not talking about aerodynamic surfaces, I'm talking about the Unit! As we know in the military a wing can refer to a group of arcraft that is divided into squadrons. I know the 509th Bomber Wing which flyes the B-2 only has 21 aircraft listed in its fleet, the 49th fighter wing which flies the F-117 has 54 (I think).

So what is the fewest number of aircraft (or missiles) a wing can have and still be listed as operational/active?

Tim




posted on Oct, 10 2006 @ 03:26 PM
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None. A unit doesn't have to have any aircraft to be called a "Wing". It is an arbitrary grouping used by the Air Force.



posted on Oct, 10 2006 @ 06:44 PM
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Shoot I thougth you where talking actual "wing" as in part of the plane and I was going to say CF-104 starfighter. Anyways JIM is right there doesn't need to be any planes etc to actually be labeled as a wing.



posted on Oct, 11 2006 @ 03:51 AM
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If my memory is correct the united states air force actually had an "air force" with no aircraft assigned to it, just a headquaters way back in the 1980's.

Australia has a wing that is soley for control and reporting of aircraft - 41st. It does have an aircraft on order though, the 737 AEW&C



posted on Oct, 11 2006 @ 10:51 AM
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Thanks for the answers. Now I have another question:

If a wing dosen't need any aircraft, what makes it a Wing?

Tim



posted on Oct, 11 2006 @ 11:57 AM
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Originally posted by ghost
Thanks for the answers. Now I have another question:

If a wing dosen't need any aircraft, what makes it a Wing?

Tim


I don't know exactly. If I were to guess I would say that the Air Forces are trying to be different. (I said Air Forces because more than one country's Air force uses the term Wing) The majority of original Air Force terms were borrowed from the Naval forces. Terms like "ship" and "squadron" were initially naval terminology. I think that use of Wing caught on to avoid confusion when forces operate jointly. Try to use the term squadron when dealing with an Air Force and Naval operation. Are you talking about an Air force squadron, a Naval Air squadron or a squadron of naval ships? If you use the term Wing the only thing you can be talking about is an Air force unit.



posted on Oct, 11 2006 @ 12:52 PM
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In the UK a wing consists of more than one squadron, normally three squadrons but it can vary. For example all the fighter squadrons based at Duxford during the Battle of Britain were collectively known as the Duxford Wing.

Don't know about anywhere else though.

[edit on 11-10-2006 by waynos]



posted on Oct, 11 2006 @ 03:37 PM
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Best way to summerise would be to say that a wing would contain usually two or more units either at the same location or performing simular roles but located at different bases grouped together for administrative purposes.

Three examples i can give are 82 Wing in the RAAF has all the F-111's under it's control at RAAF Amberley in two sqns, 1 & 6 which are both at the same base.

86 wing is based at RAAF Richmond but controls transport aircraft located at Amberley (38 sqn) and Richmond (36 & 37 sqn) flying three stypes of aircraft, DHC-4, C-130H & CC-130J

41 Wing is a non flying wing at present and controls 1 Radar Surveillance Unit at RAAF Edinburgh, 3 Control and Reporting Unit at RAAF Williamtown, No. 114 Mobile Control and Reporting Unit at RAAF Darwin and Surveillance and Control Training unit at RAAF Williamtown. Its soon to also have 2 sqn with the 737 AEW&C under its control.



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