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XPONENTIAL Innovation Preview -- www.allthingsunmanned.com

Mon, Jul 30, 2012

Is This The Winglet Killer?

Minix Has New Wingtip Vortex Reducer That The Developer Claims Creates Thrust

By Bruce Brandon

The French company Minix (Minimum Induced Drag) has developed a new wing tip device that Mr. Christian Hugues, the patent holder and former university professor, says not only reduces/eliminates wing tip vortices but in the process of doing so actually produces thrust. Hugues says that the principle is fairly simple. It uses the forward part of the device to create a conada effect.

This limits or prevents the vertical movement of the air from spilling over. It is channeled back to the cylinder portion that has a slat in it which draws in more spill air. All this air is exhausted at the back of the cylinder and creates thrust. In doing so, Hugues says that the drag reduction is very significant, and performance is greatly improved, perhaps in double digits in terms of percentage. So far there have been preliminary test on an RV-8 and RV-4 with promising results. The device itself weighs approximately 2.5kg per wing for general aviation aircraft.

There are two current versions of the device. One is for airplanes that fly at 0.4 Mach or less and the other for airplanes that fly up to 0.8 Mach. There is a licensing agreement for the device in the United States with VX Aerospace for aircraft that weigh 5.7 tons or less.

FMI: www.minix.fr/english/index.php

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