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Curtiss plane with cowling

A Curtiss Hawk with the NACA cowling, 1928.

Engine Cowling

The engine cowling is a removable metal covering that houses the engine and sometimes also a portion of the fuselage of an aircraft. It enables the aircraft to fly more efficiently because it reduces the amount of drag it creates. The NACA low-drag engine cowling was invented by Fred Weick, an engineer from the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, in 1928.

Cowlings are sometimes also used to enclose landing gear.