Blended winglets, a new technology in aircraft wing tip design, are showing significant effectiveness in reducing fuel consumption, according to a new report from Aviation Partners. The Seattle-based firm estimates that blended winglets, which reduce the draft created by air swirling on the surface of a plane’s wing, will save commercial and business aircraft operators 10 billion gallons of jet fuel by 2019. The technology has been shown to be about 60 percent more effective in reducing draft than conventional winglets.
Blended winglet technology can be fit into new production models and adapted for existing aircraft. The blended winglets already have been fitted on Hawker 800 and Gulfstream II aircraft, as well as the Dassault Falcon 50, 900, and 2000 series. Many business jets now carry blended winglets, and Aviation Partners Boeing is working to fit the technology on 737 model aircraft and the 757-200. APB is also researching new airframe development programs for blended winglets and other winglet technology.