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How do the different types of slotted flaps (Single, double, and triple as well as a non-slotted one just for comparison) differ aerodynamically? I read in Joe Sutter's book 747 that a double-slotted flap design for the 747 had 8 knots higher speed than a triple-slotted one. How does that work?

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  • $\begingroup$ which speed does the book refer to? stall speed? cruise speed? second-segment climb speed? $\endgroup$ – costrom Feb 22 '16 at 23:56
  • $\begingroup$ @mins Low Speeds $\endgroup$ – SMS von der Tann Feb 23 '16 at 0:41
  • $\begingroup$ There is a comparison of flap type efficiencies in this answer and a smaller set, but with full lift graphs in this one. $\endgroup$ – Jan Hudec Feb 24 '16 at 7:47
  • $\begingroup$ @JanHudec They compare the different types of flaps, I just want the different variations of the slotted flap. $\endgroup$ – SMS von der Tann Feb 24 '16 at 12:59
  • $\begingroup$ Related: (1953) study. $\endgroup$ – mins Mar 2 '16 at 8:47
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The high energy air that passes through the slots prevents boundary layer separation over the top surface of the flap. Though, this increases drag but it improves the stall characteristics of the airfoil. In other words, we can have higher maximum lift coefficient (Cl_max) by having higher maximum angle of attack (alpha_max). So, higher the number of slots higher Cl_max one could reach, there should be a limit. In case of a fixed weight of an aircraft,a higher lift coefficient implies that one can fly at lower speed before it stalls. A comparison between different types of flaps (up to double slotted)can be found in the book Aircraft Design and Performance by Anderson.

Source: The same book.

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    $\begingroup$ just one detail: More slots will not necessarily give a higher maximum AoA, but a higher distance between the zero-lift AoA and the maximum AoA. More slots translate into more camber and a more negative zero-lift AoA. Also, each slot allows to stretch out the flaps more, so the Fowler effect of an increased surface area is increased. $\endgroup$ – Peter Kämpf Feb 27 '16 at 20:09

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