Does the walkable area produce less lift?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Pi1otguy, Feb 12, 2021.

  1. Pi1otguy

    Pi1otguy Pattern Altitude

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    This is gonna sound random but humor me.

    We we're taught that one effect of icing, even light icing is that the roughness can disturb airflow. Reducing lift.

    If so, is the walkable portion of a low wing throwing away potential lift? Is it a meaningful amount of lift?
     
  2. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

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    Probably. Probably not. It's creating additional drag also.
     
  3. asicer

    asicer Final Approach

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    So you're saying high wings are better? :)

    It's probably worth noting that wing walk surfaces are usually not that close to the leading edge.
     
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  4. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    The effect will also be highly variable based on the airfoil.
     
  5. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

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    Considering most wing walk is applied next to the fuselage and in the prop wash area on a single, I'd bet the prop would have a bigger effect on lift at the wing walk area than the wing walk itself.
     
  6. AA5Bman

    AA5Bman Line Up and Wait

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    Can we talk about flying with frost on your wings again? That is always a good time.
     
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  7. chemgeek

    chemgeek Pattern Altitude

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    I'm sure the walkway surface creates drag and may impede potential lift, but it represents a relatively small area of the overall wing, is in an area of the wing that may not be an optimal airfoil due to fairing transition, and may be affected by fuselage effects.
     
  8. Dana

    Dana Pattern Altitude

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    The wing walk is generally aft of the leading edge where the flow is already turbulent. Farther forward where the flow is still laminar it would have more effect.

    On the so-called "laminar flow" airfoils it would have more effect, but still probably not all that significant.
     
  9. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The effect of roughness depends on where it is located and what kind of angle of attack you are flying at. A wing walk that is mostly behind the spar will be a little drag, but likely not much loss of lift.
     
  10. William Pete Hodges

    William Pete Hodges Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Based on my Mooney and my previous Cherokee I'd say less lift is unlikely. More drag is likely but since it is located aft of the turbulent trip point, not as much as you would think. I liken it to dimples on a golf ball.

    Ice on the wings is different because it encompasses all if the upper surface of the wing.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2021
  11. Travis Atchley

    Travis Atchley Filing Flight Plan

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    I would say it depends on the plane, but at the end of day, it would be negligible.
     
  12. david.h

    david.h Pre-takeoff checklist

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    When we added the pilot's side door and wingwalk on the the Mooney Ultras, the most noted effect was from the additional step on the pilot's side, not the wing walk.
     
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  13. Salty

    Salty Final Approach

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    It getting that much lift from that area anyway
     
  14. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach Gone West

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    The interference drag from the wing to fuselage surfaces meeting is probably more significant for most airframes in that area.
     
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  15. wrbix

    wrbix Pattern Altitude

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    Wouldn’t they (plural, as in Grumman) be vortex generators?:p
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2021
  16. Rick182

    Rick182 Pre-Flight

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    Reminds me of that Seinfeld bit... why don’t they just make the entire plane out of the black box?
     
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  17. JAWS

    JAWS Cleared for Takeoff

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    Cherokees can have vortex generators that sit in front of the wing walk area. Especially useful for short tails. Then the air aft would already be turbulent. Put wing walk on the leading edge, then it would be problematic.
     
  18. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Final Approach

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    I’m pretty sure it causes the air molecules on top of the wing to slow down. This causes the air molecules on the bottom of the wing to arrive at the trailing edge before the ones on top. This creates lots of confusion for the air molecules which causes them to question the meaning of life, the universe and everything.

    42
     
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