View Full Version : Airbus Launches 'Sharklet' Large Wingtip Devices for A320 Family

Going Boeing
17th Nov 2009, 00:33
Airbus launches A320 wingtips to cut fuel burn

DUBAI, Nov 15, 2009 (AFP) - European aircraft manufacturer Airbus launched on Sunday its fuel-saving "Sharklet" large wingtip devices for its A320 family.

The first model of the mid-range airliner to be fitted with the wingtips will be delivered around 2012, Airbus chief operating officer John Leahy said as the Dubai Airshow opened.

He told reporters the Sharklets were expected to result in cutting fuelburn by 3.5 percent, corresponding to an annual reduction of 700 tonnes of CO2 per aircraft.

Airbus said Air New Zealand is the launch customer for the Sharklets which are specified for its future A320 fleet.

The company's arch-rival Boeing of the United States already has wingtips fitted to its 737 aircraft.

Air New Zealand is the launch customer for the Sharklets which are specified for its future A320 fleet

(November 15, 2009) -- Airbus has launched its new "Sharklet" large wingtip devices, specially designed to enhance the eco-efficiency and payload-range performance of the A320 Family. Offered as a forward-fit option, Sharklets are expected to result in at least 3.5 percent reduced fuelburn over longer sectors, corresponding to an annual CO2 reduction of around 700 tonnes per aircraft. The A320 will be the first model fitted with Sharklets, which will be delivered around the end of 2012, to be followed by the other A320 Family models from 2013. Air New Zealand is the launch customer for the Sharklets which are specified for its future A320 fleet.

Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer, Rob Fyfe commented: "Air New Zealand recently decided to move to an all A320 fleet for narrow-body operations on domestic and short-haul international routes. The new Sharklets will enable our Airbus fleet to benefit from lower fuel burn and carbon emissions, both across Air New Zealand's domestic network and especially on the longer trans-Tasman sectors."

Airbus Chief Operating Officer - Customers, John Leahy said: "The eco-efficient A320 Family just keeps getting better. We are delighted that Air New Zealand recognises that our single-aisle Family will remain the most profitable product in its class for years to come." He added: "Sharklets are not just part of Airbus' response to addressing environmental issues and rising fuel costs, but they also enhance aircraft overall performance."

It should be noted that the 3.5 percent efficiency improvement with Sharklets will be additional to the already positive effect of the A320 classic wingtip fence. Payload-range benefits include either a revenue payload increase of around 500kg or an additional 100nm range at the original payload. The Sharklet installation also keeps the A320 Family within the ICAO 'Class C' (wingspan less than 36m) and will result in higher available takeoff weights, notably from obstacle-limited runways. Moreover, where runway performance is not 'limiting', operators should profit from a reduction in average takeoff thrust (with consequent savings in engine maintenance costs by around two percent), while communities will also appreciate even lower takeoff noise. Other benefits are the enhanced climb performance and higher initial cruise altitude.

This latest development has been part of the larger continuous improvement programme for the A320 Family which is supported by an annual investment in excess of 100 million euros each year. To this end, Airbus has conducted a thorough campaign over several years to evaluate improved large aerodynamic devices - not only using Airbus' company-owned A320 test aircraft, but also with its advanced computational-fluid-dynamics (CFD) simulation-tools.
Source : Airbus, an EADS N.V. company (Paris: EAD.PA)

Roller Merlin
17th Nov 2009, 01:00

porch monkey
17th Nov 2009, 02:29
I suppose better late to the party than not at all....:rolleyes:

17th Nov 2009, 08:38
3.5% is a slight improvement over the current A320 winglets. Probably on longer sectors so how that will work as the new buses are all for domestic ops.

B767 at Air NZ supposedly doing well over 15% with the new winglets.

Who copied who?

Who cares:ok:

17th Nov 2009, 10:03

My understanding of the recent A320 order is that the new airframes will go onto international, allowing the current A320 airframes to be moved to domestic as the 737 leases expire and they're retired.

17th Nov 2009, 17:38
Firstly the 767 is not getting 15% it is over 5% however.

The first four or so new A320s will go to domestic. These will be delivered before the winglets are certified so there is no fuel burn penalty there.

Brian Abraham
18th Nov 2009, 00:53
I suppose better late to the party than not at all
Who you calling late? ;)

* Rutan VariEze, the first aircraft to use winglets (1975)
* Learjet 28/29, the first production jet aircraft to use winglets (1977)
* Airbus A310-300, the first airliner to feature wingtip fences (1985) - A wingtip fence is a winglet variant, with surfaces extending both above and below the wingtip. Both surfaces are shorter than or equivalent to a winglet possessing similar aerodynamic benefits.
* Boeing 747-400, the first mainline airliner to feature winglets (1988)

18th Nov 2009, 01:03
And if you read correctly, it says 3.5% additional to the existing winglet fences.

18th Nov 2009, 01:26
...a good read I suppose.

Wingtip device - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wingtip_device)

18th Nov 2009, 01:57
I guess these are from Aviation Partners? This was the outfit which designed the blended winglets for 737s (and others), got bought by Boeing if I recall right (becoming APB). They had some patents on blended winglets, so I imagine would be difficult for Airbus to do this without APB. They announced in December that they were investigating blended winglets, so most probably this is the outcome of that.

By the way, 3.5% or 5% is huge. 15% is amazing (and probably unbelievable).