The early history of aviation is full of crazy designs, so please allow me this one:

A span wise narrow gap in the wing halfway between the leading edge and the trailing edge.

The door to the gap would be aerodynamically balanced, it would open at slow speeds. The gap cross section would be nozzle shaped to accelerate the air from underneath the wing to the top side. Lowering its pressure.

At the wing root and tip there will be no gap.

The idea is similar to slotted flaps and slats, but with the aim of energizing the aft portion of the wing. Thereby combining slats and flaps into one. Would it work?

In other words, it would split the wing into two smaller wings.

I expect the answer to be no, but would love to know why.

Edit: edges below are meant to be curved.

enter image description here

(Original Image)

  • $\begingroup$ So it would be used in the same situations that slats would be used? $\endgroup$ – SMS von der Tann Oct 20 '16 at 17:24
  • $\begingroup$ Are you sure the drag from the "nozzle" wouldn't completely overwhelm any advantages? $\endgroup$ – Ron Beyer Oct 20 '16 at 17:25
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I've got a better crazy idea. We know most lift is created on the leading part of the wing. How about cutting off the trailing half altogether? ;) $\endgroup$ – Zeus Oct 20 '16 at 23:27

No, it will not work in the way you plotted it.

First, the corners of the duct should be nicely rounded. With the sharp corners you will get a lot of vorticity, but little lift increase. Actually, lift will drop and drag will go up.

Next, a gap works best when connected with a contour break, such as that of a slat or a flap. If you round the corners and add a hinge in order to deflect the rear part of the airfoil, then yes, the gap will help to delay flow separation.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Thanks Peter, I meant the edges to be rounded of course. And of course sliding the wing is a nightmare compared to just sliding out the flaps, I see your point. $\endgroup$ – ymb1 Oct 20 '16 at 18:33

It works but your description is not so clear about the real size of the gap.

Gliders sometimes have little holes along the wing on the upper side where air from beneath is provided to them by a little duct.

The reason is to keep the linear air flow straight a little longer at low speeds.

an example

I have not found a live picture. For this I'll have to visit the DG300 of my flying club.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Just added one. Maybe I can take a photo some day. $\endgroup$ – Aviator Oct 20 '16 at 18:14
  • $\begingroup$ The little holes are for tripping the transition of the boundary layer. If you ask a new question I will explain how they work and why they are better than other means of tripping the boundary layer. $\endgroup$ – Peter Kämpf Oct 20 '16 at 18:16
  • $\begingroup$ @PeterKämpf I obliged. :) $\endgroup$ – ymb1 Oct 20 '16 at 19:28

This might be a bit late but the short answer is, again, no.

Check NACA report 427 and Experimental investigation of a Handley Page 44f wing. Slots at locations other than the vicinity of the leading edge are shown to be rather useless.

In addition, there seems to be no correlation between the "rounding" of the channel inlet and a better performance. The latter is solely my deduction since I co-authored the HP44F experiment.

The increase in lift due to slots is mainly due to a fresh boundary layer on the trailing element, a transfer of turbulent kinetic energy from the leading element wake into the trailing element boundary layer, and separation suppression due to the lower pressure recovery requirements on the trailing element.

If the slot is located too far aft., separation has already occurred, in which case there is hardly any kinetic energy to be transferred and the attached flow on the trailing element is unable to provide any substantial benefit.


Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.