"Winglets are like increased wingspan. They produce the most dramatic effects on airplanes that don't have enough wingspan in the first place."
There is a large pressure difference between the top and bottom of an aircraft wing when it is in flight. The Winglets on the ends of aircraft wings act as barriers to prevent vortexes from forming.
In another context, a tornado is vortex. A winglet is like a wall or fence between the region of high and low pressure that cause tornado to form.
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