What Purpose Do Winglets Serve for Aircraft?

While the flat wing aircraft design is quite popular, not all models follow the same configuration. Many aircraft feature wings with ends that curve upwards, especially those that are designed for commercial operations. Known as winglets, the curved design of many wings is very beneficial for a number of aircraft. In this blog, we will discuss the purpose of winglets, allowing you to better understand the advantages of such curved structures.

Winglets have been featured on numerous aircraft types since the 1970s, following their invention by NASA engineers. When testing varying airfoil designs, NASA engineers found that curved wingtips would lead to less overall consumption of fuel. As soon as the design reached real-world implementation, winglets rapidly rose in popularity for such reasons. In the present, winglets are a staple of many wide-body jets that traverse long distances. 

While a seemingly small change to the overall structure of the wing, the simple implementation of winglets can make a major difference in terms of aerodynamics. Winglets are specifically designed to form air vortices over the wings, allowing for drag to be minimized for the benefit of enhancing lift. With winglets, high- and low-pressure air is guided across the top and bottom surfaces of each wing, allowing for lift to be bolstered while deterring drag.

By utilizing winglet structures placed on wingtips, aircraft can achieve higher efficiency as they reduce the amount of fuel they burn with less drag. As fuel-efficiency is a major concern of greener initiatives, any reduction of spent fuel is beneficial. Alongside reducing spent fuel, aircraft with winglets can also travel farther because of these savings. In general, NASA has estimated that aircraft with winglets are able to travel a distance nearly 7% longer than the same model without such equipment.

Coupled with fuel savings, winglets also promote increased integrity for the aircraft, protecting certain structures from physical damage. With winglets, wing structures will often face a decreased amount of stress as a result of how pressurized air is directed across airfoil surfaces. As they relieve stress, there is a lower chance of a structure facing damage.

With the various benefits brought by winglets, it is very important that such surfaces are well protected for the means of upholding airworthiness, reliability, and safety. If winglets wear down or become damaged, they should be serviced as soon as possible through a reputable facility. If you find that you need various parts and components to carry out MRO operations, there is no better alternative to Internet of NSN.

Internet of NSN is a leading supplier of winglet components, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor. As a premier purchasing platform for parts of all types, we present customers access to a multitude of new, used, obsolete, and hard-to-find items that have been stocked from leading global manufacturers that we trust. With our dedication to going above and beyond industry standards for quality, we proudly conduct operations with AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 00-56B accreditation. Experience the future of part procurement today and receive a competitive quote for your comparisons within 15 minutes of submitting an RFQ form online.


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