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Improved fuel efficiency is a persistent goal of jet engine designers. Likewise, both engine and airframe manufacturers are faced with tightening noise regulations relative to urban airports.
Researchers at the Air Force have looked closely at these and related issues with current aircraft propulsion and have developed a novel design that incorporates a second airfoil or wing situated over and near the trailing edge of the primary wing.
Highly compressed bypass air from the jet engine is conducted via internal hoses to both the primary and secondary wings. This air is jetted out in the boundary area – that space where laminar air flowing from the leading edge toward the trailing edge along the primary wing top surface transitions to turbulent airflow.
This mixing of turbulent air with pressurized air directed rearward at a 45-degree angle reduces wake drag on the wing and creates additional lift and thrust. Toggling of the jetted air across one wing can create maneuverability (pitch or rotation) of the aircraft.
- System delivers a significant thrust augmentation on the order of 2-4 times with an effective bypass ratio many times larger than a conventional system
- A significant benefit is gained by the reduction of airframe skin friction in the boundary region
- System has reduced wake drag, improved aerodynamics, reduced engine load, and delivers higher coefficients of lift
- Businesses can license the technology in US patent 9,587,585 for commercial use
- Potential for collaboration with Air Force researchers
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