posted on Jul, 8 2010 @ 06:06 PM
Hmm... I believe, in a book I have on fluid dynamics, this type of effect is discussed.
There was an aircraft that had a sort of 'paddle-wheel' design to the leading edge - which greatly reduced drag and improved lift.
I believe there has also been some research into ducted exhaust from the engines through slats on the upper trailing surface of the wing to counteract
the chaotic boundary layer (reduce drag, improve lift, improve performance - good stuff, spare for the high temperatures of the jet exhaust and
potential buildup of exhaust particles).
I am not too familiar with this - but there are probably several influencing factors. First - a hovering jet-liner just doesn't sound like a good
idea. You have a lot of surface area for ground-level winds to pick up and toss around.
Though it does seem like this sort of thing would be useful in a helicopter design. It just may not have ever been able to be developed and refined
to match the performance of conventional methods - or simply was seen as 'too new' to really be used.
Looks have a lot to do with things - wouldn't be the first time a perfectly safe, practical, and better solution gets passed up on the sake of it
looks scary or unsafe.