This is a winglet on some variety of airliner.  Did you know that winglets can decrease the drag of a jet 3.5% to 4.5%?  Now you do.

Fun story, I’ve been sitting in the airport waiting for a delayed flight and looking out the window at a plane that we “could” get on only to discover that we couldn’t use that plane because it didn’t have winglets (possibly among other differences) and thus didn’t have the range to get where we were going.  I don’t like flying in the first place, so I appreciate them looking out for us like that.


This shows my understanding of how these work – reducing the vortex that pushes down on top of the wing / disrupts the low pressure area there.  All the reading I can find simply says “reduced wingtip vortices” make for reduced drag.  I feel like reduced vortices behind the wing indicate a reduction in drag, but they wouldn’t cause it.  Kind of like the cowlings on the back of semis might reduce the shedding that you feel driving behind it, but that is an effect, not a cause of improved efficiency.  If someone wants to correct me on this, feel free.  If you’re using this blog as a scientific reference, I think your problems are beyond my grasp.

Picture (the one not made in paint) taken with Canon Rebel XTi, EF-S 17-85mm lens @ 17mm, f/11, 1/250 sec shutter, ISO 100

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About norconkm

I'm a person. I live in Grand Rapids, MI and work as an Electrical Engineer. My hobbies at the time of this writing are kayaking, skiing, archery, photography and maybe biking. As this is my personal blog, my hobbies are likely the primary topics about which you will be reading.

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