Putting wake vortex to sleep

Aviation International News » September 2003
August 11, 2008, 9:05 AM

French inventor Christian Hugues has patented a new wingtip device promising an 8-percent reduction in induced drag and a 5.4-percent increase in lift. The Minix system consists of a hollow cylindrical tube that dissipates wake vortex by passing it through a series of helical slits before it linearly flows out of an opening in the rear of the wingtip.

Having tested some 22 prototypes in a wind tunnel, the aeronautical engineering professor has been invited by Airbus to produce a pair of Minix units for testing on a 1/15th-scale model of the new A380. Hugues has said that the system could be adapted for virtually any type of aircraft, including helicopters. Initially, he expects production applications to start with general aviation aircraft operating at speeds of up to around 230 knots before the Minix is further developed for use on jets.

Having exhibited a model of Minix at June’s Paris Air Show, Hugues said he was inundated with interest in prospective licensed production from manufacturers around the world. He added that U.S. airframers showed especially strong interest.

Flight trials are expected to begin this month with a pair of Minix winglets installed on a Robin ultralight. The system’s full public debut will likely be at next year’s Reno Air Races, where French pilot Xavier Beck intends to use Minix on his F1 racer.

FILED UNDER: 
Share this...

Please Register

In order to leave comments you will now need to be a registered user. This change in policy is to protect our site from an increased number of spam comments. Additionally, in the near future you will be able to better manage your AIN subscriptions via this registration system. If you already have an account, click here to log in. Otherwise, click here to register.

 
X