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In the lens of potential theory, we can explain and predict the efficacy of winglet through how much it dilutes the trailing vortices strength. Just like we can show that the Elliptical lift distribution produces the least induced drag for a given span length on a flat planform, we can equally derive the optimal lift distribution for any wing+winglet ...


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Consider two wings of equal area, one with half the span and twice the chord so it has a quarter the aspect ratio and four times the tip losses. Now add winglets, which are sized according to the chord, so the low-span wing will have winglets twice as tall. The winglets recover say 50% of the tip losses. Although the large winglet recovers more efficiency as ...


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