ORIGINAL: Doug Cronkhite
Actually Boeing 737s use similar winglets to save energy. The ones shown on RCONE are unproportionally large.
Sure.. but 737s don't spend much time upside down, spinning, or any other aerobatic maneuvers for that matter. As I've said, I don't follow the problem they're trying to solve with the winglets.
Correct me if I'm wrong, Doug.
My thought is that they are looking for a way to increase the wing area of the airplane. It has always been my understanding that winglets reduce the amount of vorticies present at the tips, making the outer 20% or so (I believe), more effective. Looking at the numbers, I think that they are making the wing smaller in area for both better snaps, and also because they are relying on the canalizer for a lifting surface. I would conclude that they are trying to increase effective wing area without actually adding it.
I can see several downsides to this; first, with the shape of the wing, it would appear that it would decrease the aspect ratio of the wing, actually hurting the airplane's ability to snap. I would say the airplane's ability to snap with the winglets would be a function of how large they are as to how much they affect the aspect ratio. Secondly, I would like to know how much they would affect inverted flight, as you previously alluded. It would seem that they would need to be basically what Chip was using out at the tips so that the airplane would fly the same upright as well as inverted.
Just my humble opinion.
Regardless of that, I think the airplane looks really, really cool. Even if it is gimmicky, I like the looks of it, and it has an aggressive appearance about it. The only thing it needs now is a four-bladed propeller to make it look really mean!