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CFD Leads to Winglet Performance Improvement
Posted Mon April 30, 2012 @09:36AM
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Application Seattle-based Aviation Partners (API) is ready to flight test a slate of new technologies with the goal of allowing aircraft operators to boost fuel economy and correspondingly produce less carbon without the need to buy new aircraft.

Along with variations on the winglet theme, including spiroids, split winglets and scimitar tips, API is also investigating ways to reduce drag with modified wing shapes and placement of vortex generators to prevent airflow separation just forward of the ailerons and spoilers, and in aft-body areas.

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Based on computational fluid dynamics (CFD), API thinks the split winglet with scimitars will reduce blended winglet drag an extra 2.5%. Blended winglets with scimitar tips alone provide a drag decrease of 0.5%. "On our last two projects, CFD predictions have been within one-tenth of 1% of flight test results", says Joe Clark, president and founder of API.

Read the full Flight International article.

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