EBACE Convention News

API Offering Split-scimitar Winglets For BBJs

 - May 20, 2014, 3:50 AM
API’s split-scimitar winglets significantly improve the range capability of the Boeing BBJ.

Since Aviation Partners first flew its revolutionary Split Scimitar Winglet (SSW) on a Boeing BBJ in 2012, the aerodynamic modification has been certified by both the FAA and EASA for the 737-800/BBJ 2 version. Now the company is expecting the SSW to be certificated for the other members of the BBJ family before the end of the year.

API (Booth 5917) has developed and implemented the SSW through its joint venture with Boeing (APB, Aviation Partners Boeing). The SSW is a retrofit of the existing BBJ blended winglet, adding a scimitar-tipped ventral strake. The top of the existing dorsal strake is also refined with a scimitar-shaped tip. The retrofit entails some structural strengthening, but overall span is not increased.

In terms of benefits the SSW provides a drag reduction (and thus range improvement) of around 2.5 to 3 percent over the current blended winglet. This corresponds to a typical range increase of more than 200 nm. “The [SSW] range benefit is compelling, given the missions many BBJ owners undertake,” said Gary Dunn, v-p of sales and marketing. “The upgrade will essentially give a BBJ with seven aux[iliary] tanks the range of an eight-aux tank airplane.”

Currently the SSW is only cleared for the BBJ 2, which is based on the 737-800. API is aiming to get supplemental type certificates for the other two BBJ family members in the coming months. BBJ 3 clearance would likely be achieved through the SSW application to the 737-900, on which the aircraft is based. BBJ 1 clearance may demand more testing, as the shortest BBJ version is based on a hybrid of a 737-700 fuselage with 737-800 wings.

In the meantime, API continues to provide its High-Mach Blended Winglets for the Dassault Falcon 50, 900 and 2000. Nearly 300 aircraft are now flying with the winglets, including both retrofitted machines and new-build LX/LXS/S models. Retrofits can be undertaken at a number of authorized installers, such as Dassault Falcon Service (le Bourget, France), TAG Aviation (Geneva) and a number of U.S.-based companies (Dassault Aircraft Services, Duncan Aviation, StandardAero and West Star Aviation).

The Dassault Falcon business has been a highly successful program for API. “In just five years since the first winglet STC for a Falcon was received, almost 40 percent of the in-service Falcon 2000 series fleet and approximately 20 percent of the 900 fleet is now sporting blended winglets,” reported Dunn.