Aerodynamic Lift Enhancement Device

City College of New York, 2000 - $16,000

Heavy payload demands for airfoils require the use of new devices, which can improve lift characteristics. The idea of adding kinetic energy to the boundary layer (formed along the surface of a wing), as a means of increasing the maximum lift has been obvious since the basic mechanism of boundary layer separation was first understood. Mechanisms of backward-directed slats on the leading edge of the wing and vortex generators located on the top of the wing are in current usage. This E-Team introduced a novel design for a vortex generator mounted on the leading edge of the wing. This device was tested in CCYN's wind tunnel and showed a sixteen percent reduction in the coefficient of drag. The location on the leading edge appears to offer the largest increase in drag reduction, and in time could become the device of choice for drag reduction in fuel consumption. Using a Boeing 777 standard aircraft long range configuration, the projected fuel savings is $250,000/aircraft annually. This project initiated the development, testing and commercialization of this device for use in aircraft.