Supero Science, 301
By now you should have some idea of the potential power of the Coanda Effect, and its utility in a broad variety of real-world implementations. NASA has noted the same thing and has been working on applications for decades. You may even have jumped ahead and read the academic papers in our References on the potential of flying-saucer-shaped UAVs based on the effect. But no matter how far you’ve jumped or how broadly you’ve looked, you haven’t seen what we’re doing.
What we, Supero, have done is to build a three-winged aircraft – one leading, two trailing, all joined at the tips (not the hips) – to optimize the potential of the Coanda Effect for powered flight. We integrate the proven capabilities of blown flaps and circulation control wings (CCW), but go well beyond these “tweaks” to existing design. We have taken advantage of the Coanda Effect and the “vorticity” that Terry Day discusses in his monograph (see reference in Supero Science 201), and integrated them into a totally new design.
Oddly enough, what we’ve also done is to create one of the most beautiful flying designs ever.
But enough about the beauty of flying. Let’s talk specifics. Remember “entrainment”? That becomes really important in what we do.
Entrainment: “A fluid mechanical effect wherein a fluid surrounding a fluid stream is drawn into the stream.” (Once again, keep in mind that air is a fluid in this sense.)
As Coanda discovered, air directed over a curved body follows the curve. If this curve is the top surface of an aircraft wing, the directed air entrains air from above the wing. The entrained air lowers the air pressure above the wing thereby generating more lift – plus the air flowing down increases vertical thrust (recalling our earlier discussion of Newton).
If you’d like to hear how aeronautical researchers put it, following is a quote from a presentation to the 2009 International Conference on Manufacturing and Engineering Systems. The title of the paper was “Investigating the Use of the Coanda Effect to Create Novel Unmanned Aerial Vehicles”. (Click the title to download the complete 1.6MB PDF.)
Quote from the text: “In simple terms, a stream of air at high velocity will attach to a curved surface rather than follow a straight line in its original direction. This stream will also entrain air from around it to increase the overall mass flow rate of the stream of air. This phenomenon can be harnessed to produce lift in two ways. Firstly, it can be used to change the direction of airflow to point downwards, resulting in vertical thrust. Secondly, it can be used to entrain air from above which causes a region of low pressure above the body, which results in lift.”
Supero’s patented wing design goes much further. The air routed to the duct wings by the leading “Coanda” wings pulls – entrains – more air with it, thus increasing mass and velocity. Since, following Newton’s Second Law F=(ma), lift is increased geometrically. And that does amazing things for the lift-per-horsepower of our designs, which in turn does great things for payload, performance, and a host of other factors. Please check out our Technology and Test Results pages for some of those results.