The incompressible, inviscid flow around a generally shaped wing in arbitrary inflow is analyzed as a perturbation expansion, with respect to wing thickness, superimposed on the zero thickness lifting-surface problem (also called the mean camber surface problem). The first-order term in that expansion is shown that can also be treated as a lifting-surface problem with the inflow normal to the lifting surface given as the sum of two velocities. The first of those velocities is the one induced by the wing thickness source distribution and is non-zero in the case of a non-planar wing or in the case of a propeller. The second velocity is due to the coupling between wing loading and thickness and is given as a function of the zero thickness vorticity distribution and the wing thickness distribution. The presented method, though applicable to general shape wings (without any assumptions on the magnitude of wing twist or camber) in arbitrary inflow, is shown to reduce to previous methods of evaluating the coupling between thickness and loading for two-dimensional foils and planar wings in uniform inflow. Finally, the presented method is applied for several wing and propeller blade geometries and the results are shown to be in very good agreement with those from applying an existing potential based panel method.

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