Glasgow
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The Purpose Of Winglets

Sun Sep 11, 2005 10:13 pm

We all know winglets look really cool, but do they actually serve a performance purpose?

Please excuse my ignorance if the answer is really simple!
 
dogfighter2111
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RE: The Purpose Of Winglets

Sun Sep 11, 2005 10:21 pm

They increase range and makes the aircraft use less fuel don't they?

I amn't all that sure myself.

Thanks
Mike
 
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garpd
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RE: The Purpose Of Winglets

Sun Sep 11, 2005 10:23 pm

Quoting Glasgow (Thread starter):
We all know winglets look really cool, but do they actually serve a performance purpose?

Please excuse my ignorance if the answer is really simple!

In a nutshell, the reduce wingtip drag, which improves overall aerodynamic performance which in turn relates to lower fuel burn. We're talking very small numbers, but put together on the medium or long range flight they add up quite nicely.

Check out this webpage for a more visual representation of the benefits.

http://www.b737.org.uk/winglets.htm

[Edited 2005-09-11 15:27:56]
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Glasgow
Topic Author
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RE: The Purpose Of Winglets

Sun Sep 11, 2005 11:00 pm

Quoting GARPD (Reply 2):
In a nutshell, the reduce wingtip drag, which improves overall aerodynamic performance which in turn relates to lower fuel burn. We're talking very small numbers, but put together on the medium or long range flight they add up quite nicely.

Check out this webpage for a more visual representation of the benefits.

http://www.b737.org.uk/winglets.htm

Thanks very much!

I was very surprised to learn that they can be up to 8 feet in height!
 
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garpd
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RE: The Purpose Of Winglets

Sun Sep 11, 2005 11:32 pm

Quoting Glasgow (Reply 3):
Thanks very much!

I was very surprised to learn that they can be up to 8 feet in height!

As was I weh nsometime back I read up on them. They look deceptively small when you see them in a normal pic of an aircraft like so many here on a.net. But when you see a pic of a mechanic standing beside a winglet about to be installed onto a 737 or 757... wow!
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BBJII
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RE: The Purpose Of Winglets

Mon Sep 12, 2005 12:01 am

Winglets on our company 727 reduce fiuel burn by about 3000LBS on our Middle East Europe sectors.

Incredibly we also get M.81 as opposed to M.80...
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garpd
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RE: The Purpose Of Winglets

Mon Sep 12, 2005 12:04 am

Quoting BBJII (Reply 5):
Incredibly we also get M.81 as opposed to M.80...

I'd say that's a direct benefit of the reduced drag?
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planespotting
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RE: The Purpose Of Winglets

Mon Sep 12, 2005 12:15 am

there have been a few pretty technical posts regarding winglets in the tech ops forum, you might want to do a search.

winglets reduce induced drag, resulting in a more effecient lifting device (the wing) it's quite a bit of complicated geometry, involving many lift vectors. The way it was explained to me, think of the principle of an "infinite wing". With an infinite wing, there are no wingtip vortices, or the associated induced drag effects that come along with those as the slipstream is increased over the wingtip. Winglets help create the effect of an infinite wing, although that principle is mainly theoretical in nature.

Winglets and the associated physics of are quite interesting.
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HAWK21M
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RE: The Purpose Of Winglets

Mon Sep 12, 2005 2:15 am

Quoting GARPD (Reply 4):
But when you see a pic of a mechanic standing beside a winglet about to be installed onto a 737 or 757... wow

There was an B737NG Blended Winglet ad with a Man standing besides it.any other Pics available.
regds
MEL
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LeanOfPeak
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RE: The Purpose Of Winglets

Mon Sep 12, 2005 4:01 am

Winglets accept a penalty in the drag that gets worse with speed (Parasite) to produce an improvement in the drag that gets better with speed (Induced). That suggests to me that the optimum cruise speed should decrease with the addition of winglets. That there is still some efficiency improvement left when cruise Mach is increased would thus be an indication that the efficiency improvement if aircraft configuration were allowed to dictate cruise speed would be tremendous.

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