Porous wing reduces fuel usage
As an aircraft flies through the atmosphere, a portion of its total aerodynamic drag is caused by the friction of stationary air meeting the surface of the moving aircraft. The F-16XL laminar flow test panel is designed to create a laminar, or smooth, layer of air at the leading edge of the wing, and produce flow characteristics which will help maintain that laminar flow. A suction system below the panel and within the fuselage draws part of the air flowing over the wing through 10 million tiny laser-cut holes in the glove to stabilize the air flowing over the wing, and prevent it from becoming turbulent.
Source: nasa.govAdded: 9 June 2006