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Eliminating Vortices

Mon Jun 11, 2001 12:04 am

From Boeing's AERO issue 14:

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!

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RE: Eliminating Vortices

Mon Jun 11, 2001 12:57 am

Will this be something to be included on the sonic cruiser? It would certainly be a great help to reduce separation minima at congested airports.
Topic Author
Posts: 725
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2000 9:48 pm

RE: Eliminating Vortices

Mon Jun 11, 2001 11:35 am

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.

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Joined: Sun Dec 31, 2000 11:34 pm

RE: Eliminating Vortices

Tue Jun 12, 2001 3:41 am

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

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