'A Tale of no Tail' : An Anthology of the 'Flying Wing'

This site is devoted to tailless aircraft from the earliest examples (Etrich, Dunne and others) through the 1930s, 40s and 50s (the era of the Horten Brothers, Lippisch and Northrop) and finally, the present day, where tailless designs have been adapted to the latest in ultra-miniature, pilotless aircraft.

The four basic primary wing shapes both with and without tailplanes were (1), the 'birdwing/parabolic' (most typically by Etrich), (2), the inverted 'V' (most typically Dunne and later, Horten and Northrop), (3) the 'Delta' by Lippisch and (4), the 'straight' edge or 'Plank' (most typically Arnoux though soon standard for most aircraft in one form or another until the jet age and a return to the inverted 'V')

The Editor would especially like to thank Philippe Gervais (Fr), Paul Dunlop (NZ), Tim Hughes (Aust.) and Gary Bradshaw and David Dodge (USA) for their enthusiasm and specific text and image contributions to this site.

...and be sure to also see a whole new site for 2002

Pioneers of Aviation

Flying Wings : a Preamble

Igo Etrich and 'the seed of an idea'

Mid 19c to early 20c

René Arnoux - Updated May 24
John Dunne
Butler & Edwards
Alphonse Pénaud
Joseph Pline
Louis Schreck

Early 20c to early 21c

Reimar & Walter Horten
Hugo Junkers
Alexander Lippisch
Jack Northrop
Roland Payen
'The Australian Connection'
The 'UFO' phenomenon
MAVs - the 21st Century's 'mini wings'
Wings 'just wanna have fun'
Further reading


A Classic Image



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Last updated May 24, 2002