Recently it has been discovered that turbercles present in fins from whales are actually providing hydrodynamic benefit for them.
As well, it has been proposed that this effect will provide benefit for airplanes.
From my perspective I can see strong difficulties to see this design able to improve current leading edges, as well, is a design working in water, in a lower Reynolds environment.
My question is actually three:
- What is the aerodyamic (or hydrodynamic) mechanism and benefit that these turbercle provide?
- How applicable is that to the airplane industry as proposed in several publications? (first thing I see difficulties is the existance of high lift slats and compatibility with these turbercles, probably more applicable to tails).
- Which are the potential drawbacks of this design?