‘Waggling’ Wings Could Save 20% in Fuel Consumption – is it so?

‘Waggling’ Wings Could Save 20% in Fuel Consumption : TreeHugger

by Sami Grover, Carrboro, NC, USA

waggling air over aircraft wings can reduce drag photo

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‘Waggling’ Wings Could Save 20% in Fuel Consumption

Image credit: Jstockard

Aircraft ‘Waggle Effect’ Can Reduce Fuel Consumption 20%
Everybody knows that flying is an energy intensive activity. Unfortunately, many long awaited
innovations in fuel-efficient aviation are of the more far-fetched variety – I’m thinking airships, blended wings
etc. Yet it’s long been noted that the addition of ‘winglets’ to
aircraft wings can reduce fuel consumption – in fact, Southwest
Airline’s use of winglets even earned them a nomination from one of our
readers for our Unexpected Green competition.
But that’s not the only simple improvement that could cut fuel use –
now a team from the University of Warwick in the UK claims that
‘waggling’ air accross aircraft wings could cut skin friction drag by
40%, offering a 20% savings in fuel consumption and emissions. Read on
for more details


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