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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Use of Leading Edge Waves to Increase Lift/Drag Ratio

Completed Technology Project
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Project Description

Use of Leading Edge Waves to Increase Lift/Drag Ratio
One of the goals of NASA's Fundamental Aeronautics "Subsonic Fixed Wing" project is to reduce fuel burn by 25% 5% by 2018. This corresponds approximately to an increase in Lift/Drag ratio of the same magnitude. While the improvement in design tools funded by NASA will undoubtedly help attain this goal the innovation proposed here is an addition to this effort. In other words, any improvements in performance due to the innovation should be added to any improvements due to the use of new design tools. The innovation proposed here is a "leading edge wave" in which the leading edge of a wing is described by a high frequency, low amplitude wave, rather than the more conventional straight line. Previous results have indicated that such a leading edge can lead to improvements in Lift/Drag ratio of 15%. More »

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