Science Questions

Can whale fin dimples be used on aeroplanes?

Sun, 21st Feb 2010

Listen Now    Download as mp3 from the show Winds, Wings, Whale Fins and Wind Power


Silverwing Benoir asked:

Can whale fin dimples be used on aeroplanes?


We posed this question to Professor Frank Fish from Westchester University...

The quick answer is yes.  What it allows us to do is to make the wing and the aeroplaneHow an aeroplane would look with dimpled wings safer because you can operate at higher angles and really go beyond where a plane wing would normally stall.  As a result, you don't need all the mechanics and extra control surfaces that you find on aeroplane wings.  You can eliminate those and all the heavy components that go with it.  That makes it more economical for a plane to fly because now, you've lightened the plane, this makes it easier to get off the ground, and to fly along.  And this way, you can either make it cheaper to fly or you could actually take your wing and add more fuel in there, the result being that you can extend the range of the plane.  You won't have to make as many stops.  So, this is potentially beneficial to airplanes as much as windmills or any other lifting surface.


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