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Friday
Aug272010

Poll: Spiroids - Funky Circular Winglets, Love 'Em Or Hate 'Em?

 These highly unusual devices designed to dramatically reduce wingtip vortices are called Spiroids. I would have picked a different name for them, but that's another story. I got these pix on Sunday at Oshkosh 2010 after the Aviation Partners Inc. (API) Falcon 50 arrived in AeroShell Square to show off their experimental drag reducers. They're not as big as they look in some of the pix, but they're not small either... they appear to be about 6 or 7 feet tall. You might know that they tested a similar looking concept about 10 years back on a Gulfstream G II.

 You might also know that API has been building their 'blended winglets' for years now, most commonly seen on Boeing 737's. The blended winglets have a large radius transition as the structure sweeps it's way toward vertical. Many early winglet designs had a very sharp intersection with the wing. The Spiroids pick up on that idea, but thay take it to a pretty wild extreme, coming all the way over the top and then attaching back down on the wing a little farther aft.

 The research done years back indicated that they would reduce wingtip drag significantly more than a traditional winglet shape. However, for some reason we never saw them adopted. Now they're making a comeback on this Falcon 50 testbed. This Falcon is an API aircraft, and from what I can tell, it's just a platform for testing, they aren't specifically seeking to retrofit Falcon 50's. The testing is actually being sponsored by NASA to see what kind of efficiency gains the Spiroids offer.

 The bottom line for me is all about the way they look. I just can't see them being very well accepted by people because they're just too weird! Ok, I'll even say they're ugly. It's funny too, since I actually think they're very interesting, and I'd like to understand exactly how they work, but I keep coming back to the idea that they're ugly. What do you think? Answer the poll below and we'll see what you all think about... Spiroids!

 

 

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Reader Comments (3)

I agree, Spiroids is not a name I would have chosen.

That said, I'm a huge fan of naming things with buzzwords similar to Cessna's Land-O-Matic, Para-Lift, and Omni-Vision. Maybe Spiral-Matic wingtips or Omni-Wing.

My guess is Cessna would have chosen Omni-Wing.

August 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMatt Everett

Matt- I posted these names: Circulons, Ovoits, or Hooptips, on twitter last night... anything but Spiroids!

August 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMartt (admin)

At first i said "OMG! AMAZING!." It seems obvious that its more efficient than the standard winglets.(BTW: Back in the 60s whe. I was a preteen i would draw 707s w/winglets before anyone thought of em except I placed them on the underwing believing it would add more lift/cushion and thus more economical. Oh well.never made millions and too young to pursue it or anyone taking me seriously,lol.)Anyway i really would love to know the figures and benefits in efficiency vs. Price. I remember when winglets first came out they seemed priced so high that the only ones to benefit would be the commercial airliners and would take years before one could appreciate the fuel savings.

February 12, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterpeter anthony

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