Aviation Partners Responds To Airbus Lawsuit

 - December 8, 2011, 3:02 PM

Aviation Partners (API) founder and CEO Joe Clark issued a statement yesterday in response to Airbus’s lawsuit complaining about API’s winglet patent.

“We have built and flown patented blended winglets on the Airbus A320 in Toulouse,” Clark said in the statment. “We have flown them on one of JetBlue’s A320s using JetBlue flight crews with excellent results achieved–a 5-percent fuel savings–all of this with the cooperation of Airbus.” 

He continued, “We will vigorously protect our patented technology and intellectual property, which is currently saving the world billions of gallons of fuel on Boeing, Dassault, Hawker and Gulfstream airplanes.” 

In late November, American Airlines announced its choice of the Airbus A319 and A321 as part of its A320 family fleet order announced in July 2011. All 260 Airbus airplanes to which American committed will feature winglets, which look amazing like Aviation Partners Blended Winglets. Airbus completed the installation of the first set of winglets, which it calls Sharklets, on the company’s A320 development aircraft  in mid November and started the flight-test campaign shortly thereafter.

According to AIrbus, the Sharklets will first appear as options on current-generation A320s and then all A320neos. The new wingtip devices stand some eight feet tall and will replace the aircraft’s current wingtip fence. Studies show they will reduce fuel burn by up to 3.5 percent, corresponding to an annual CO2 reduction of around 700 metric tons per aircraft. Airbus also expects Sharklets to enhance the aircraft’s payload-range and takeoff performance.