Aviation Partners Boeing last month announced that, after launching on the Boeing 737 NG, split scimitar winglets can now be fitted on the Boeing BBJ family. The new split scimitar winglets offer a significant reduction of drag compared to the non-winglet-equipped Boeings and a noticeable drag reduction for those equipped with Aviation Partners Boeing blended winglets.
According to the Aviation Partners Boeing joint venture, the program redefines the aerodynamics of the Aviation Partners blended winglets. The retrofit involves adding a new scimitar-tipped ventral strake and reinforcing the internal winglet structure. Moreover, the aluminum winglet tip-caps will be replaced with new aerodynamically shaped scimitar tip caps.
Aviation Partners flight-tested the split scimitar design in 2012 on a BBJ. Company engineers saw that drag was reduced by 2.5 to 3 percent over the basic blended winglet configuration. Therefore, operators can save fuel on a given distance or benefit from an extra 200 nm of range with a full fuel load, according to the company.
“Based on our ongoing study of laminar flow, we believe further improvements in drag reduction will be available in the near future,” said Joe Clark, Aviation Partners founder and CEO.
Offered as a retrofit for the BBJ, BBJ2 and BBJ3, the conversion takes eight days and costs $500,000 to $550,000. Receipt of FAA supplemental type certification for all models is planned for 2014.