NASA is developing aircraft wings that reduce consumption thanks to a very original design.
At Omicrono we talk a lot about ways to reduce pollution, using renewable energy such as solar energy and electric cars that do not emit polluting gases.
But the truth is that the vehicles that pollute the most are not our cars, but others like ships and planes. Any improvement in this direction can be as effective as thousands or millions of electric cars. NASA knows this, and that’s why it has collaborated with Boeing to develop a new wing design that doesn’t need as much fuel to function.
How aircraft wings work that reduce consumption
The wings of an airplane are normally as large and wide as possible, to generate the greatest amount of supporting force that will push the apparatus upward; but this creates several problems, like a increased weight and increased drag (drag), both problems that can be solved by increasing the power of the motors, and therefore consumption and pollution.
Instead, the design presented by NASA is very different, it is a very fine and long wing, so much that it needs additional support on the plane’s fuselage to prevent it from splitting in half. Admittedly, this mount is not very aesthetically beautiful, and may carry its own challenges, but it pays off.
Thanks to a much lower weight and reduced aerodynamic resistance, engineers estimate that this wing could be 50% more efficient than those used in current commercial aircraft. That means using half the fuel for the same trip, and therefore also polluting half.
Although there is currently no full-scale model, aerodynamic engineers have already tested smaller-scale models in wind tunnels; some tests that have revealed that although it may not seem so with the naked eye, these wings have 50% greater wingspan than commercial aircraft.
The development of these wings has been carried out using aerodynamic models created by computer, which allow showing how the air will pass through the wings and the support; Thanks to this they can make modifications that reduce resistance and improve sustainability, no need to re-build the scale model.
NASA and Boeing engineers are already analyzing the results in the wind tunnel, with a view to further developing the design.