I've read in few papers that elliptical winglets give better performance than blended in terms of their L/D ratio. I am not able to find why elliptical winglets are better. the two differ by their profile followed. Edit 1: Here are few references http://ijari.org/CurrentIssue/2017Volume4/IJARI-ME-17-12-148.pdf


Edit 2: The papers explain that elliptical winglets are better than blended just through observations from CFD study.But they do not draw conclusions on how it is better and I couldn't understand that from the contours also.

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    $\begingroup$ You may provide the link to the paper $\endgroup$
    – Manu H
    Apr 25, 2019 at 6:41
  • $\begingroup$ Thing is its paid journal paper. I don't think I can link it. But I will try to find some other source though $\endgroup$
    – sai teja
    Apr 25, 2019 at 8:43
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    $\begingroup$ @saiteja Even if you cannot link the PDF due to copyright, you can at least provide a reference to the paper (title, authors, journal, etc.). $\endgroup$
    – Bianfable
    Apr 25, 2019 at 9:06
  • $\begingroup$ Yes sir I have put few links $\endgroup$
    – sai teja
    Apr 26, 2019 at 7:07
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    $\begingroup$ How elliptical shows better performance...the papers just give results..it doesn't explain how and why the drag is reduced...the contours looked pointless... $\endgroup$
    – sai teja
    Apr 27, 2019 at 15:15

1 Answer 1


The best way to understand why elliptical winglets may be better than blended winglets is to read the text of the patent obtained by the inventor of the elliptical type, Dr. Fort Felker, a former NASA wind-tunnel researcher and expert in the field of computational fluid dynamics, and co-founder of Winglet Technology LLC.

The short answer is that the curvature of the winglets as they extend outward from the intersection with the wings approximates part of an ellipse (hence their name), and this apparently ensures an elliptical distribution of lift both horizontally and vertically, resulting in lower induced drag than a blended winglet.

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  • $\begingroup$ What do you mean by horizontal Lift distribution?... $\endgroup$
    – sai teja
    May 13, 2019 at 13:21
  • $\begingroup$ In simple terms, the winglet is an airfoil. The vertical portion of the winglet has a lift component aligned horizontally to the wing, not vertically. $\endgroup$ May 14, 2019 at 7:58

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