Movie Monday subjects are sometimes tough to decide. This week, for instance. Do we go with the Collier Trophy homage, in honour of the 2012 award that is being presented on Thursday to the Boeing 787? Or do we make it about the winglet, a la the vortex-reducing airframe accessory unveiled last Wednesday for the 737 Max? Alas, nobody ever won the Collier Trophy for inventing a wingtip device.
But we have the next best thing. Richard Whitcomb developed the methodology for applying winglets. He also claimed the Collier Trophy in 1954 for inventing the area rule, which adds a pinch in the fuselage aft of the wing leading edge to minimise drag at transonic speeds. In yet another revelatory moment, Whitcomb also came up with the supercritical wing, which can hold more fuel with no drag penalty compared to a thinner wing at the same cruise speed.
The video above unfortunately cuts off just before Whitcomb discusses winglets. But this video released shortly after Whitcomb's death provides a few more details.