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I stumbled upon this article: Minix wing tip device promises 6% gain in fuel efficiency for airliners.

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Such an economy is appealing and I must confess the design is "sexy".

Could someone expand a little bit?

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  • $\begingroup$ those grooves should be twisted the other way to minimize the vortex, as is it seems like it would aid in vortex creation $\endgroup$ – ratchet freak Jun 29 '14 at 14:20
  • $\begingroup$ It seems to be an aerodynamic device. I would think it works by generating angular momentum that acts opposite to the angular momentum of the vortices $\endgroup$ – user7241 Apr 10 '15 at 13:59
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The tiny mass of air that this device can affect will in no way have the claimed effect on induced drag. This wingtip vortex pseudoscience is just bullshit. What can be observed as a vortex behind the wing is actually the consequence of the vortex sheet rolling up due to downwash behind a lift-generating wing. But air flowing around the tip has almost nothing to do with it.

I would compare it to those magnetic rings you are supposed to put around your fuel line to save fuel. Snake oil, in other words. There is no way this thing can reduce the wing's vortex, all it will do is to create some more local turbulence.

All it needs is a slick salesperson, a few gullible people with too much money and greed, a big promise, and the scam takes its course. This can easily yield enough investment money to allow all scammers to drive a Ferrari for a year or more. Now they have a year to come up with the next big thing.

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  • $\begingroup$ Does all that apply also to regular winglet? $\endgroup$ – menjaraz Jun 29 '14 at 15:29
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe VX Aerospace can tell if they came to agreement? $\endgroup$ – menjaraz Jun 29 '14 at 15:45
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    $\begingroup$ @menjaraz The main advantage of wingtip devices is in preventing the vortex from "spilling over" onto the top of the wing - there's a lot of reasons they can help, but like Peter noted the size (and honestly the core concept) of this device makes me think it's unlikely to have any significant measurable effect. See also this video. $\endgroup$ – voretaq7 Jun 30 '14 at 8:44

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