CubCrafters, a manufacturer of Light-Sport and Part 23 certified aircraft, has begun testing a new engineering innovation — Electric Lift Augmenting Slats (ELAS) — designed to “dramatically increase wing lift” according to General Aviation News.
According to the news report “The technology combines electric ducted fans with leading edge lifting slats to accelerate airflow over the wing of an aircraft, company officials explained.
“By increasing the velocity of the airflow over the top surface of a wing, ELAS lowers the air pressure above the wing, increasing the lift it can generate. The system also allows the wing to achieve better aerodynamic performance at slower speeds and higher angles of attack, reducing the stall speed of the aircraft and improving its slow speed handling characteristics, CubCrafters officials explain.
““ELAS is a practical way to enable fixed-wing aircraft to achieve shorter takeoff distances, steeper approaches, slower landing speeds, and minimal ground roll,” company officials said. “By adding leading edge slats with multiple integrated electric ducted fans, ELAS creates high energy airflow through and around the slats — airflow that ultimately boosts lift by a factor of 1.5 to 4.0 depending on the airfoil geometry and flight conditions.”
““With comparatively low acquisition and operational costs, ELAS is a disruptive concept that carries unprecedented benefits, including enabling fixed-wing aircraft to operate outside of designated airports and manage much higher payloads versus comparable eVTOL aircraft — all while enhancing safety,” said Patrick Horgan, CEO of CubCrafters.”
General Aviation News also reports the technology can be added to an existing airframe or built into the wings as original equipment, and can be designed as retractable when not in use.
The patented technology has garnered two research grants from NASA to partially fund the project, according to CubCrafters officials.
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