This is something that didn’t appear on my Paris 2013 radar, but quite important for those of you looking out of the window… and noticing the wingtip device on the edge of the wing.
We’re all aware of wingtip fences (as used on A320’s and A380’s), winglets (as used on the Boeing 747-400 and A330), Blended Winglets (as used on Boeing 737NG, Boeing 757’s and 767’s), Sharklets (As used on the A320/A320neo) and raked wingtips (as on the 777 and 787).
As we’re all aware, these devices on the edge of the plane aren’t just there for your visual pleasure, but they’re there to save fuel – and directly how much you pay for your ticket.
Well Aviation Partners Boeing have released a new wingtip device – The Split Scimitar Winglet. These have been around for sometime for the upcoming Boeing 737-MAX series, but these winglets will now be spreading to 737-900ER’s, starting with United Airlines.
Here’s a picture of one… with… well… you know who on the wing…
Jeff Smisek on the wing, with a Split Scimitar Winglet – Image – Aviation Partners Boeing.
United Airlines will be the first airline to fit these wingtip devices to their aircraft, the program will consist of retrofitting with the removing the existing 737 Blended Winglets and replacing them with Scimitars.
Aviation Partner Boeing expects the Split Scimitar Winglet to save 57,000 gallons of fuel per year, whilst adding an extra 60 miles to the range of a Boeing 737-900ER. They look something like this when plane, adding 1.5m wing length.
Image and data: http://www.aviationpartnersboeing.com/products_737_900er.php
First flight of the wingtips is expected October (on the 737-800), with the 737-900ER’s get there’s in November. Certification will take 2-3 months, with installation beginning after certification.
And they do look quite different – a lot more dynamic looking than the wingtip fences Airbus used.
This is reminiscent of th good old MD-11 split winglet
And remarkably similar to the MD-11’s winglets, although much bigger (and funkier, I’ll admit).