Airplane winglets reduce drag, which can translate to higher speed or to allow a pilot to throttle back and save fuel. It also helps to reduce wingtip vortices that can be problematic for airplanes flying in their wake. Although winglets have been around since the mid-1970s, there is still a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and angles.
Researchers developed an algorithm that generates a wing that has the minimum drag, and ultimately will be more efficient. The integrated optimization framework will assist the current state of low-speed wing design and may also result in an improvement over the current conventional wing designs.