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A320 vortex generator retrofit

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A320 vortex generator retrofit

Old 11th Oct 2018, 00:10
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A320 vortex generator retrofit

An interesting concept...

"JetBlue Airways, today announces plans to retrofit its entire Airbus fleet with noise-reducing vortex generators. This move reflects JetBlue’s continued commitment to the communities where its customers and crewmembers live and work. Beginning in 2015, JetBlue began taking delivery of new aircraft with vortex generators already installed. JetBlue is committing to add the devices to its 138 remaining Airbus A320 family aircraft through 2021. The small devices disrupt wind over ports on the wing which can produce a “whistling” tone during approach into an airport.

JetBlue is following the lead of Lufthansa."

Vortex generators will be installed on 130 existing JetBlue A320 aircraft and eight JetBlue A321 aircraft during their existing scheduled heavy checks with the full fleet wide install expected to be complete in 2021. All future Airbus orders will be delivered with vortex generators already installed"





There was the 320 howler, didnt hear about the whistler....
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Old 11th Oct 2018, 08:15
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These are the holes which house the fuel tank overpressure ventilation burst discs. I didn't know they made a whistling sound. But then again, an A320 rarely flies over my head on approach.
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Old 11th Oct 2018, 08:55
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I think they all have them now. Certainly all the ones I see in the UK.
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Old 11th Oct 2018, 10:15
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The new ones since the introduction of the sharklets (roughly around that time) had those vortex generators, but i noticed that some airlines seem to have retrofitted them on their older ones as well, a large orange one in europe seems to have done that already, but i could be wrong.
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Old 11th Oct 2018, 17:10
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What is the business case?
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Old 11th Oct 2018, 19:25
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Originally Posted by FlightDetent View Post
What is the business case?
Good neighbourliness/PR.

Different airlines will place a different value on that, which is why some (most?) have retrofitted the mod and others haven't (yet).
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Old 11th Oct 2018, 19:45
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Dave, I do not believe for a second that's how it works. Once installed, it is immediately used for PR selling the good neighborliness factor, yes. Absolutely no issues with that but it does not quench my curiosity.

The costs of certifying an element protruding into the airflow on a wing are huge, and somebody needs to pay for that. Especially if we both guess most will buy it there needs to be a widely applicable positive ROI somewhere. Going one step deeper, the ROI (and a profit margin on top) had surely been identified before authorizing the development of the gadget in the first place.

I am thinking of regulatory compliance with future noise limitations, and wonder what the fuel impact is over a year's worth of flying. That needs to be offset too.

EDIT: silently hoping to be wrong...
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Old 11th Oct 2018, 19:59
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Originally Posted by FlightDetent View Post
The costs of certifying an element protruding into the airflow on a wing are huge, and somebody needs to pay for that. Especially if we both guess most will buy it there needs to be a widely applicable positive ROI somewhere. Going one step deeper, the ROI (and a profit margin on top) had surely been identified before authorizing the development of the gadget in the first place.
I'm not disputing that for a moment. Airbus certainly won't be giving away the mod kits for free, there will have been a bean-counter involved at some stage.
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Old 11th Oct 2018, 20:23
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I believe Lufthansa developed the fix on its own, got it certified and then shared it with Airbus. Lufthansa has some very problematic neighbour relationship at its main hub in Frankfurt, so much so that there is an anti-noise demonstration every Monday evening in the mainly Lufthansa used Terminal 1 of the airport. Every little bit that could seen as helping is therefore welcome. As there is of course some intellectual property rights attached to that fix, Lufthansa could actually earn from every installation as well, which would be a very nice business case in itself, not to mention that they do obviously sell maintenance support, flight planning and charting software as well as crew planning solutions...
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Old 11th Oct 2018, 20:40
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That is a nice 360 solution for Lufty then, well done smart people. Thanks.

Though I still have the mirage of a sales presentation with the regulatory bit in it. Or was it a Flight International article a few years back, when the flight tests started?

Last edited by FlightDetent; 11th Oct 2018 at 21:39.
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Old 11th Oct 2018, 20:55
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Originally Posted by Denti View Post
I believe Lufthansa developed the fix on its own, got it certified and then shared it with Airbus.
Yes, that's correct. Lufthansa only and ever develop/ push for technical upheavals because they they have ascertained (usually on their own) that it is as a profitable modification to the airframe. In that respect they are pioneers and have always been.
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Old 11th Oct 2018, 21:02
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Airbus certainly won't be giving away the mod kits for free, there will have been a bean-counter involved at some stage.
"Vortex generators will be installed on 130 existing JetBlue A320 aircraft and eight JetBlue A321 aircraft during their existing scheduled heavy checks with the full fleet wide install expected to be complete in 2021. All future Airbus orders will be delivered with vortex generators already installed. The cost to retrofit the full Airbus fleet is less than $1 million."

https://www.businesswire.com/news/ho...tex-Generators
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Old 11th Oct 2018, 21:13
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Gatwick will be charging more airbus aircraft not fitted with the FOPP mod. That factors into the business case.

a320 Whine

https://www.gatwickairport.com/globa...nt-30jan17.pdf

page 15

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Old 11th Oct 2018, 21:26
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Originally Posted by Down Three Greens View Post
Gatwick will be charging more airbus aircraft not fitted with the FOPP mod. That factors into the business case.
Thanks, that explains why the orange cult has been installing them. With the numbers of aircraft they have based in Gatwick it is a very clear business case then.
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Old 11th Oct 2018, 21:46
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Originally Posted by underfire View Post
"Vortex generators will be installed on 130 existing JetBlue A320 aircraft and eight JetBlue A321 aircraft during their existing scheduled heavy checks with the full fleet wide install expected to be complete in 2021. All future Airbus orders will be delivered with vortex generators already installed. The cost to retrofit the full Airbus fleet is less than $1 million."
Thanks for that. So it sounds like the cost to the operator of embodying the mod is around $7,000 per shipset.
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Old 11th Oct 2018, 21:50
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Originally Posted by Down Three Greens View Post
Page 27: penalty of 1500/2000 GBP per visit, yikes!!
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Old 22nd Nov 2018, 05:39
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Originally Posted by FlightDetent View Post
Dave, I do not believe for a second that's how it works. Once installed, it is immediately used for PR selling the good neighborliness factor, yes. Absolutely no issues with that but it does not quench my curiosity.
The costs of certifying an element protruding into the airflow on a wing are huge, and somebody needs to pay for that. Especially if we both guess most will buy it there needs to be a widely applicable positive ROI somewhere. Going one step deeper, the ROI (and a profit margin on top) had surely been identified before authorizing the development of the gadget in the first place.
I am thinking of regulatory compliance with future noise limitations, and wonder what the fuel impact is over a year's worth of flying. That needs to be offset too.
EDIT: silently hoping to be wrong...
I can reassure you: you are wrong! I am well informed on that topic.
No regulatory compliance with future noise limitations are involved: the A32 whine effect does not happen a the certification points.
The technical mod costs 3000$ (Source: Airbus)
The certification cost have been taken over by Airbus. The fuel impact has been computed to be slightly... positive by DLR, who developed the solution.
Lufthansa just contributed slightly upon testing.
The business model might be a bit PR, although I do not either believe for a second that any neighborliness goodwill might ever exist in an airline manager thoughts.

The business model dirty simple: More and more airports are providing a bonus on landing fees to retrofitted planes. Even with a slight fee reduction of only 10$ per operation, the ROI is less than a year.
This is an extremely profitable investment.

Regards
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Old 22nd Nov 2018, 14:43
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That is very good and pleasant to hear! People doing the right things for the right reasons.
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Old 22nd Nov 2018, 15:06
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The fuel impact has been computed to be slightly... positive by DLR, who developed the solution.
A fuel impact due to a vortex generator over a small opening on the wing???

Just think if they covered the landing gear!
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Old 22nd Nov 2018, 15:11
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We (Lufthansa-group airline) have installed them on all our A320 and as someone who lives directly under the approach path of a nearby airport I can tell you that these vortex generators really make a difference. The whisteling noise is completely gone after the modification.

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