What is the purpose of wing tips/winglets on airplanes and why does it seem like ever airplane model has some different Verizon of them?

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What is the purpose of wing tips/winglets on airplanes and why does it seem like ever airplane model has some different Verizon of them?

In: Engineering
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~~verizon~~ version

They are to reduce the swirling of air (the vortex) created by the wingtip zooming through the air, which slows down the plane.

When an airplane moves through the air, the shape of the wings causes air to move faster over the top than the bottom. This creates the pressure difference that makes the force of lift. Out at the wing tip, all the higher pressure air from the bottom of the wing is no longer blocked from rushing to the high pressure area above the wing by the wing itself and the air flows up around the tip. When the two air streams from top and bottom mix at the tip, it creates a little tornado called a vortex. These vortices create some drag/inefficiency and therefore cost the airlines money in fuel costs. The winglets are designed to make these vortices as small as possible to increase the efficiency of the airplane. All the different types are different manufactures attempt to create a winglet just fractions of a percent more efficient than a competitor. Even tiny improvements in efficiency can save millions of dollars in fuel over time.