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First Use of Winglets - Perhaps the Messerschmitt Me 309

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First Use of Winglets - Perhaps the Messerschmitt Me 309

Black and white wing with Winglet


First Use of Winglets - Perhaps the Messerschmitt Me 309

First Use of Winglets - Perhaps the Messerschmitt Me 309

By Lance Winslow


One thing I've learned over the years due to my fascination with aerospace design, is the mankind seems to go in spurts when it comes to aviation design breakthroughs. Sometimes it is due to new science being discovered; material science (composites), radar signature reduction (stealth), or powerplant and control configurations (trust vectoring), but mostly what I see is nothing more than clever copying and incremental advances. Let's talk shall we?

Wikipedia seems to suggest that Burt Rutan's Vari-Eze was the first use of a Winglet on an aircraft, however, we also know by surveying Rutan's designs that many were inspired from some of the brilliant aerospace scientists of NAZI Germany, whose designs we inherited after the war along with some of those bright minds who designed aircraft under duress in Hitler's war machine.

Now then, did Rutan, NASA, and others get inspiration for the winglet concept they observed on Luftwaffe prototypes? Consider the Messerschmitt Me 309, and aircraft that was still under testing and never went into production, one which looks like it has components of many US aircraft, perhaps the German scientists improved on those designs incorporating them into their own in the Me 309. One of the Me 309s (at least one) sports a photo of high-angled almost vertical wingtips, and a slightly swept wing - could that be the processor to the 1970s winglets, which are now on almost half of today's modern jets - under various names and designs?

Interestingly enough, Billie Somerville had made a biplane in 1912 with the top wing that had bent up wingtips, and so perhaps the Me 309 designers had copied that, or used a few tricks of the trade from one of the seaplane racers known prior to WWII as the NAZI war machine was just in its infant days. Charles Lindberg has truly in awe of Germany's aerospace advances before the war and warned our military it was time for an upgrade, and to not engage the German's with superior technology prior to the entry to the war.

We also have seen other borrowed designs from NAZI Germany, for instance Old Man Northrop seemed to have improved on the Horten Flying Wing design (Horten 229) when he produced the Northop B-35 in 1946, which was the predecessor to the B-49, and eventually the B-2 Bomber still in use today.

Today, we see the Chinese have copied half of our drone fleet, military helicopters, as well as Russia's SU-27 and our stealth F-22. Meanwhile, Russia's fifth generation stealth fighter looks almost identical to the YF-23. Indeed, none of this is too surprising, the Russians have copied everything from our XB-70 to our Space Shuttle - and in the end smart engineers copy what works - and, "imitation is the highest form of flattery" so thanks everyone for the compliments to our best and brightest aerospace engineers here in the USA. Please consider all this and think on it.

Lance Winslow has launched a new provocative series of eBooks on Future Aviation Tech Concepts. Lance Winslow is a retired Founder of a Nationwide Franchise Chain, and now runs the Online Think Tank; http://www.worldthinktank.net


Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Lance_Winslow/5306


http://EzineArticles.com/?First-Use-of-Winglets---Perhaps-the-Messerschmitt-Me-309&id=8017973



Lance Winslow

I am a retired Franchisor, Business Consultant, Philanthropist and I run a Think Tank, as well as do a lot of Traveling, Writing, Cycling, Flying, Volunteering & enjoy life to the fullest. No Religion. Libertarian, leaning right, believing in free markets, ENTJ, Libra, Year of Dragon, single. I am a retired entrepreneur (Franchisor Car Washing Sector). In my business endeavors, I participated in over 20-industries including; Auto, Trucking, Aviation, Energy, Construction, Oil, Real Estate. I give speeches on business topics, consult and offer my advice for free to start-up entrepreneurs. Just trying to give back to the world that has given me so much. Thirst for Knowledge

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