Boeing is developing a system that shows promise for breaking up trailing vortices behind flaps-down commercial airplanes within distances less than some current approach separations. The system uses control surfaces to cyclically shift a small fraction of the lift between inboard and outboard sections of the wing to trigger wake instabilities that destroy the vortices. The system has been demonstrated in ground-based testing, but outstanding technical issues are still being addressed and the system must be validated in flight. Along with continued technical success, future development and use of the system will require broad industry and regulatory support.
The idea is to break up the vortices by flapping the control surfaces while keeping the plane flying where you want it to - be very difficult to achieve in a non-fly-by-wire system!
PerthGloryFan From Australia, joined Oct 2000, 751 posts, RR: 0 Reply 2, posted (12 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 664 times:
Yes I initially thought that too.
But I guess the Boeing sonic cruiser's aerodynamic profile will be different to current commercial a/c - I would suggest that the bulky A380 would definitely benefit from a concept like this.
Maybe Boeing are claiming the rights to this first so Airbus is disadvantaged in the marketplace.
This development also ties in with their entry into airspace management.
JT-8D From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 423 posts, RR: 3 Reply 3, posted (12 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 650 times:
The older 737s (-100,-200) had a vortex destroying system on the engines. It was used to break up the inlet vortex and reduce fod. It used a jet of bleed air that was aimed under and slightly forward of the engine, preventing the vortex from forming. Although I have never seen a complete system, I have seen spare nose cowls with the fittings still attached. Just thought you might find that interesting..Jt