EBACE Convention News

Winglets Showcased On Test Falcon

 - May 13, 2012, 4:15 PM
Seattle, Washington-based Aviation Partners claims a 5-percent boost in range at Mach 0.80 for the Falcon 50, and a 7-percent increase at long-range-cruise speeds. Photo: Mark Wagner

Aviation Partners (Stand 128) is introducing its Falcon 50 blended-winglet modification to the European market with the arrival of its flight test aircraft in the static display at EBACE 2012. The aircraft made the 3,129-nm trip from Seattle’s Boeing Field to Geneva International Airport with one stop, in Keflavik, Iceland, according to pilots Dave Hurley, Bo Corby and John Reinhold.

The U.S. company patented blended-winglet technology more than 20 years ago. Its initial market debut was on a Gulfstream IISP, resulting in a range boost and fuel-efficiency improvement in excess of 7 percent. In the mid-1990s, Boeing adopted blended-winglet technology for the Boeing Business Jet and Next-Generation Boeing 737 series aircraft.

The winglets on the Falcon 50 testbed are “high Mach” blended winglets, optimized for higher cruise speeds and providing a range increase of 5 percent at Mach 0.80, and more than 7 percent for long-range cruise. Blended winglets incorporate a large radius and a smooth chord variation in the wing-to-winglet transition areas for optimum aerodynamic loading that avoids vortex concentrations producing drag. They enhance longitudinal and directional aircraft stability, providing better handling in turbulence.

“Blended winglets make [the Falcon 50] one of the greatest business jets ever produced even better,” said Joe Clark, founder and CEO of Aviation Partners. The aircraft is expected to return to flight-testing immediately after EBACE 2012. The company has already started to take orders for installation slots. Retrofits will begin upon certification.