Hang on to the bumps for a smoother flight

Hang on to the bumps for a smoother flight


By Amarendra Swarup THE performance-sapping turbulence of air passing over aircraft wings can be suppressed by carefully designed roughness in the surfaces. So says a team at KTH, the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, in defiance of the conventional wisdom that roughness inevitably promotes turbulence. The team’s experiments could have far-reaching consequences for the aerospace industry, which spends vast amounts to reduce this costly effect. “Turbulence is associated with increased friction drag, the resistance of a thin body when it slides past slower moving air,” says Luca Brandt,
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