Industrial Consultancy & Sponsored Research (IC&SR) , IIT Madras

External Attachment to Increase Aerodynamic Efficiency of a Wing Applicable for Aeroplanes, Turbines and Fans

Technology Category/Market

Applied Mechanics: Wing(s) of Aircraft/ Aeroplan; Industry: Aerodynamics.

Applications: Aircraft wings, Turbines blade, rudder, rocket fins, Fan blades.

Market: The Aerodynamic market was valued at USD 22.80 billion in 2017, & is projected to reach USD 32.77 billion by 2025, at a CARG of 4.77% during the period of 2022 to 2029.

Targeted Industries

Watermarking IP design,

Electronic circuits

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Problem Statement

  • During flight, aircraft wings encounter adverse conditions besides take-off, landing & turning.
  • The wings are equipped with movable flaps and ailerons that require complex mechanism to displace and/or rotate the whole assembly.
  • The efficiency achieved by an aircraft depends on the shape of the wings and their sections. Hence, each aircraft is limited to a maximum lift during take-off & landing.
  • The present invention provides a high-lift device, which operates as a simple external attachment that increases efficiency, range of flight and better fuel saving of any given aircraft.


An external skin with several microfiber composite (MFC) strips attached at different spanwise locations is attached to the leading edge of a wing and takes its shape.

  • Electrical actuation of one or more MFC strips changes the curvature of the external skin resulting in a change in the aerodynamic coefficients of the wing.
  • The change in shape is used to control (delay/prevent) flow separation at high angles of attack. This shape is predicted using a de-cambering technique.
  • Using the external skin, an aircraft can operate at high angles of attack at an enhanced coefficient of lift (CL) and increased range without any serious safety concerns and drag penalty (FIGs.1- 4).

Key Features/Value Proposition

Technical perspective:

  1. An external attachment takes the shape of the baseline wing (rectangular/ tapered) of any section (symmetric/cambered).
  2. Present invention describes a 3D external surface which is attached at the leading edge and can change its shape both along chord/section and wing-span. It takes 3D effects into consideration during flight.

Industrial Perspective:

  1. Current invention increases range of operation and helps in fuel savings.
  2. Present invention is a high-lift device that works at a range of angles of attack (high and low) with enhanced lift forces
Questions about this Technology?

Contact for Licensing

Research Lab

Prof. Rinku Mukherjee

Department of Applied Mechanics

Intellectual Property

  • IITM IDF Ref. 2336

  • IN Patent No.: 425424 (Granted)

Technology Readiness Level

TRL- 3/4

Proof of Concept Ready & tested and validated in Laboratory stage.  

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