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Preventing Tip-stall on Swept Wings (Part 2)

Saw tooth, or Dog tooth

This effectively achieves the same effect as wing fences in preventing spanwise flow.

The saw tooth is basically a sudden change in chord length, that shows up as a notch at the leading edge, and is more common on military jet aircraft such as the F4 Phantom, than it is on commercial airliners.

Fig Lift 5. Dog tooth on F4 Phantom. Picture by courtesy of Scott Wilson.


These are small fences fitted to the underside of the leading edge. They are particularly useful in preventing spanwise flow at high angles of attack, by shedding a vortex, similar to that of a wing fence. The engine pylons beneath the wing can serve this purpose. Refer fig Lift 6.

Vortex Generators

These are small vertical plates that rise above the wing surface. They re-energise the boundary layer, inhibit the outward flow of the boundary layer air, which is a major contributor to wing tip stall.

Fig Lift 6 Dornier 428 Jet. Engine pylon acting as vortilon. Picture courtesy of Fairchild Dornier Aircraft Co.

Shark teeth

These are fitted to the inner leading edges, close to the wing root. They reside within the stagnation region at normal pitch attitudes, but nearing the stall angle, they protrude into the upper airflow, causing turbulence, and stall of the inner wing section before the tips.

Fig Lift 7. Shark teeth on leading edge.

The above briefing is a sample from the ATPL Aerodynamics and Systems course, which will soon be available via Internet. I hope you found this of value.

Ways of solving wing tip stalling is a typical ATPL, and airline technical interview question.

Best wishes

Rob Avery

ATPL Lecturer

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Marty says ... "Goodbye to GA".

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