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An innovative composite wing-tip device

News International-French

11 Mar 2013

Minix is an innovative, internationally patented wing-tip device. The device uses technology based on a new induced drag/vortex reduction process that can be used in 18 different applications (land/sea/air). Except for the hydraulic components, the device is made of composite materials. Several different manufacturing processes are used, depending on the application.

There have been significant improvements since the first tests in 1997 in the Eiffel wind tunnel, where 28 induced drag reduction prototypes were tested, followed by a long series of simulations on the standard profiles used at French aerospace lab Onera. The results showed an 18% gain on a trapezoidal wing and a net 6% gain for the whole aircraft.


Simulations performed in the wind energy field show a 14% average annual increase in electric energy production, with fewer power fluctuations and excellent results on axial thrust. This is a significant advantage for the owners of wind energy farms that have reached the end of warranty (the warranty usually ends in the fifth year).


As a follow-up to these good results, a number of preliminary tests were carried out on light RV8 aircraft in the states of Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia (USA) over a four-month period (April through July) in 2012. To everybody’s surprise, the results showed double-digit net savings. Due to these promising results, a licensing agreement for the United States was concluded in the airplane/drone category up to 5.7 tons with a Washington D.C.-based American company specializing in composites.