Blended Winglet-equipped 767-300ER Flies First Scheduled Service

 - March 9, 2009, 9:21 AM

The first revenue flight of an American Airlines Boeing 767-300ER equipped with Aviation Partners Boeing Blended Winglets left Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport Sunday night at 8:35 p.m. with 204 passengers on board and arrived ahead of schedule at London Heathrow Airport this morning at 10:26 a.m. local time.

According to Aviation Partners Boeing (APB), the efficiency gains provided by the winglets without the need for any increase of engine power improve fuel efficiency to the point that each winglet-equipped airplane could save up to 500,000 gallons of fuel annually. That means American, which plans to install winglets on its entire 58-aircraft fleet of 767-300ERs, could see total fuel savings of up to 29 million gallons per year.

Such a fuel efficiency improvement will result in a reduction of up to 277,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions annually, according to APB. The 11-foot-high winglets could also extend the range of an aircraft by as much as 360 nm and improve takeoff performance, providing as much as 12,000 pounds of additional payload.

American’s maintenance and engineering organization accomplished the winglet installations at its base in Kansas City, Mo. The airline expects to modify all of its 767-300ERs by 2011. American has already completed Blended Winglet installation on its fleets of 124 Boeing 757s and 77 Boeing 737s.

APB began the flight-test certification program in February last year with a leased American Airlines 767-300ER. The two companies jointly began the winglet development program early in 2007.