In 1897, six years before the first powered flight occurred, a patent was awarded for “wing end-plates”. An engineer had noticed the adverse effect of wingtip vortices that occur on fixed-wings and developed a countermeasure. Vortices are created around wingtips due to air curling up over the wingtip and back down in a circular fashion. The idea was to interrupt the wingtip vortice in such a way to both increase lift and decrease the induced drag (an aerodynamic force produced by lift).
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