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Why Are Strakes Important on Aircraft?

In the present, a majority of transportation aircraft are specifically designed with underwing nacelle installation. The reason for this choice is a result of the design’s impact on the wings’ lift and stall angle. While very beneficial in various regards, the underwing nacelle design has also led to premature flow separations that have adverse effects on performance, necessitating the use of solutions such as vortex generator structures known as strakes. In this blog, we will discuss strakes and their use, allowing you to better understand the importance that they serve for aviation.

Nacelle strakes are generally panel sheets that are either delta-shaped or triangular, and they are installed in such a way that they are able to create longitudinal vortices. To most effectively manage the flow separation present on the wing, a pair of strakes can be installed together on the nacelles. It is important to be very careful on where exactly strake aircraft components are installed, as their exact mounting location will determine the speed of the generated vortex as well as the axial core speed. With optimal placement, strakes will allow for maximum achievable lift to be created.

 For strakeless aircraft that feature an underwing nacelle configuration, a significant zone of low energy flow will be produced atop the main wing when alphas are near to stall. Typically, this is due to the blockage of flow to the paper wing surface during high alphas because of the nacelle itself. Without strakes, this low energy will cause a premature flow separation when attempting to execute higher angles of attack, necessitating the use of such solutions. Simply by adding a strake to the design, nacelle upwash is reduced and the upper surface of the wing is provided a downwash. These mechanisms relieve adverse flow effects at the wing-pylon intersection and energize the boundary layer respectively. These changes are beneficial for the means of reducing stalls, delaying flow separation, and more.

While there are other notable values in implementing strakes for an aircraft, none are possible without the correct geometry and installation area. With careful engineering, designers can achieve a specific strength and trajectory of a vortex by manipulating characteristics such as the strake’s axial position, deflection angle, azimuth location, and area. For example, the closer that a strake is installed to the trailing edge of the necalle, the higher lift coefficient it will exhibit during standard flight. As another example, strakes that have a bigger area will result in less abrupt drops in terms of lift coefficient, while smaller areas will have a more abrupt change.

 For popular transportation aircraft such as the Boeing 777 and Airbus A380, strakes are generally located in the inboard side of the nacelles, and their exact dimensions vary based on various factors. If you are planning on installing strakes on your aircraft, please take the time to ensure that you find the correct option for your needs. Once you are ready to begin the procurement process, let the experts at ASAP Global Supplies help you secure everything you need with time and cost savings.

 As a leading aviation parts distributor, we can help you source strakes, control surface components, jet aircraft replacement parts, and so much more. All of our listed items on our database are ready for purchase at any time, and customers can quickly request quotes for their comparisons with our online form and receive solutions in a matter of minutes. If you have any questions or concerns regarding our capabilities, give our team members a call or email at your earliest convenience, and we would be more than happy to assist you!


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March 3, 2022
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