Winglet Testing

Photo by Rick Goodfriend

An aerodynamic test on a scale model of the C-5M Super Galaxy fitted with winglets was completed in early November in the sixteen-foot transonic wind tunnel at the Arnold Engineering Development Complex at Arnold AFB, Tennessee. The goal of the test was to validate the computational fluid dynamics predicted drag reduction effects of winglets on the C-5M. Two different sets winglets were tested. The tests, sponsored by the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, also measured aerodynamic loads acting on the winglets and to investigate the impact on aileron stability and control. The winglets, which will stand approximately ten feet tall on an actual C-5, are expected to reduce aircraft fuel burn by approximately 166 gallons per hour.

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