University of Warwick - Less of a drag

June 4, 2009

Wings that waggle could cut the fuel consumption of aircraft by 20 per cent, according to a study at the University of Warwick.

Funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and Airbus, the research found that the use of tiny air-powered jets, which redirect the air, making it flow sideways back and forth over the wing, could dramatically improve fuel efficiency. Duncan Lockerby, who led the project, said: "This has come as a bit of a surprise to all of us in the aerodynamics community. We're not exactly sure why this technology reduces drag, but with the pressure of climate change we can't afford to wait around to find out."

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