Why are commercial aircraft often curved in the wings? Small details but ‘martial arts’

Canted winglets are short, upward-facing wings. They are bent or bent upwards not for “beautiful” purposes, but as standard equipment on most common new-type aircraft, providing practical benefits in both economic and conservation significance. environmental protection.

Robert Gregg – Boeing’s head of aerodynamics, once told Business Insider that, “Winglet will help reduce eddy air at the wing tips, contributing to increased lift for the aircraft”.

Thanks to the efficiency in creating lift, reducing air resistance, the aircraft engine will work a little less. This change helps aircraft consume less fuel, which means lower CO2 levels in the environment and saves a considerable fee for airlines.

According to Boeing, this small wing installed on its 757 and 767 aircraft can cut CO2 emissions by up to 5% by optimizing fuel combustion efficiency by up to 5%. Thereby, if an airline owns 58 commercial aircraft equipped with winglets, the amount of fuel they can save is estimated at 500,000 gallons per year, equivalent to nearly 1.9 million liters. This is a huge number, bringing both economic benefits and environmental protection.

Explaining more specifically about the effect of this small wing, Business Insider said: When an aircraft is in flight, the air pressure above each wing will be lower than at the bottom, creating a difference in air pressure. pressure difference. Near the flaps (the bend), the high-pressure air under the wing will be pushed towards the low-pressure area (upper) creating a vortex.

These eddies move in three directions along the wingspan. They not only help push the air up and over the wing, but also pull the air back up creating drag.

With the advent of gliders, aircraft could weaken the effects of wingtip vortexes and, more importantly, reduce drag on the entire wing.

Why are commercial aircraft often curved in the wings?  Small details but martial - Photo 1.

The operating mechanism of the Winglet as explained by Boeing will save fuel up to 5%. Photo: Business Insider

According to Robert Gregg, the design of longer wings is also a solution to overcome that problem. But in many cases, aircraft manufacturers are unable to make the wings longer. For example, with aircraft such as Boeing 737 or 757, because it is used to carry people, it has a narrow width, often operating in domestic flights with short to medium range. The size of this type of aircraft is usually not large, so the space available for it is also less. If you want to increase the wing length, the parking space at the gate is also required to be wider, creating many limitations.

Therefore, winglets become the optimal solution chosen by Boeing to apply for small commercial aircraft. As for large aircraft, there is no space constraint on the ground for them, so there is no need for winglets. This can be seen in the giant Boeing 777, which operates almost exclusively at international airports specifically designed to serve super-large aircraft. This preference for large aircraft eliminates the need for Boeing to add small wings to the 777.

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A Boeing 777 does not need a winglet to relieve air pressure. Photo: Techinsider

Winglet was first invented in 1976, by Richard Whitcomb at NASA’s Langley Research Center. Since then, aircraft manufacturers have gradually improved both the design and efficiency of this “small but mighty” unit.

Boeing’s head of aerodynamics said that the first-generation gliders are often attached to aircraft such as Boeing 747-400 and McDonnell Douglas MD11, resulting in fuel savings of between 2.5% and 3%. burn if compared to non-winglet-equipped aircraft.

By the second generation, the winglet is larger than the first generation with greater curvature, fitted to Boeing 737, 757 and 767, which has contributed to fuel savings from 4% to 6%.

Boeing’s 737 Max equipped with the third generation winglet has increased fuel economy by up to 5% to 8%, 1 to 2% more than the previous generation.

Nguồn: Business Insider, Techinsider

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