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- Date: October 9, 2018
What are winglets and how do they reduce aircraft fuel costs
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If you often fly planes, you have probably noticed several times that on some models there are curved extensions of the wings, which are called winglets. Do you know why we need winglets? Firstly, they help to reduce the cost of fuel, and secondly, to reduce emissions of harmful substances into the atmosphere. But how does this work?
Due to the lifting force of the wing, a region of reduced pressure forms above it, and under it, an increased pressure. This creates the lift force itself, but at the end of each wing a powerful air whirl is formed.
Such vortices increase inductive resistance and, as a result, reduce the lift force of the wing, and this in turn affects fuel consumption. An American engineer named Richard Whitcomb in the early 70s of the last century understood how to reduce turbulence. Thanks to his development in 1975, the first aircraft with modified wings appeared.
Winglets effectively reduce the force of the vortexes, which leads to lower fuel consumption.
On average, fuel economy is 3.5-5.5%, and this is a very significant indicator. Of course, due to the reduction in fuel consumption, the emission of harmful substances into the atmosphere is also reduced.