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Wingspan, or simply span, is the distance from wingtip to wingtip. The wingspan of an aircraft is always measured in a straight line, independently of wing shape or sweep.

Since the amount of lift that a wing generates is proportional to the area of the wing, planes with short wings must correspondingly have a longer chord. An aircraft's ratio of its wingspan to chord, or more formally, the ratio of the wingspan squared to the area, is therefore very important in determining its characteristics, and aerospace engineers call this value the aspect ratio of a wing.

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