Daily Mail

Winging it in the 1950s

- Paul Oliver, Bedford.

QUESTION Why did BAC’s TSR-2 plane have down-turned wing tips?

In avIatIon, dihedral wings slope in a positive (upward) degree in relation to the base, while anhedral wings have a negative (downward) slope.

Passenger airliners use the dihedral configurat­ion because it aids stability. High-performanc­e aircraft, such as fighter jets, adopt an anhedral configurat­ion, which makes them nimble, but more challengin­g to fly.

the British aircraft Corporatio­n tSR-2 was a cancelled Cold War strike and reconnaiss­ance aircraft for the RaF in the late 1950s and early 1960s. It was designed to drop convention­al and nuclear weapons while flying in welldefend­ed areas at low altitudes and very high speeds.

Control and manoeuvrab­ility were essential, so a small wing area and anhedral configurat­ion were required.

However, wind tunnel testing found that the trailing wake had a negative impact on the low- mounted rear horizontal stabiliser and caused a Dutch roll — an out- of-phase combinatio­n of tail-wagging (yaw) and rocking from side to side (roll).

the solution was to have a horizontal

wing with anhedral wingtips at a 30- degree angle. this produced one of Britain’s coolest-looking aircraft.

However, the project was cancelled by the Wilson government due to cost and the introducti­on of Polaris missiles. Most airframes were destroyed, but a tSR-2 can be seen at the RaF Museum Cosford in Shropshire.

Andy Blyth, Wolverhamp­ton, W. Mids.

QUESTION Is there a world record for sneezing? What other records would no one want?

tHe Guinness Book of World Records for sneezing belongs to Donna Griffiths, who started on January 13, 1981, and carried on for another 976 days. During the first 365 days, she sneezed an estimated one million times.

Charles osborne holds the world record for hiccuping. He was weighing a pig in 1922 when he started.

He was still going 68 years later in 1990, after an estimated 430 million hiccups.

It took nine doctors 16 hours to remove a giant tumour weighing 17 st 4 lb from 37-year-old Yang Jianbin in 2014. Chief surgeon Chen Minliang said: ‘this is the biggest nerve tumour we ever saw.’

Debbie Shaw, Luton, Beds.

QUESTION Is there a term for using the same word with a different meaning in the same sentence?

FuRtHeR to the earlier answer giving examples by Shakespear­e, an extreme example of antanaclas­is — the technical term for using the same word with a different meaning in the same sentence — is the Chinese poem Lion-eating Poet In the Stone Den by Yuen Ren Chao.

the words are written differentl­y in classical Chinese, but when read aloud in modern Mandarin, the 94 characters are the same syllable: Shi-shi shi shi shi . . .

IS THERE a question to which you want to know the answer? Or do you know the answer to a question here? Write to: Charles Legge, Answers To Correspond­ents, Daily Mail, 9 Derry Street, London W8 5HY; or email charles.legge@dailymail.co.uk. A selection is published, but we’re unable to enter into individual correspond­ence.

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 ?? ?? Looking cool: BAC’s short-lived TSR-2
Looking cool: BAC’s short-lived TSR-2

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