Falcons Fly Further With Aviation Partners Winglets
Aviation Partners (API, Stand 1018) is exhibiting for the second time at a LABACE show, according to Gary Dunn, vice president of sales and marketing. While API is highlighting all of its winglet modification programs, in Brazil it is focusing on the market for Falcon jet winglet upgrades. So far, API’s winglet modification for the Falcon 2000 is approved in Brazil, but API is working on adding the Falcon 900 series as well–although there are newer Falcon 900s with factory-equipped API winglets flying in Brazil already. “There is a healthy amount of Falcon 2000s and 900s [in Brazil],” Dunn said.
On the Falcon 900, 2000 and 50 models, which share the same wing, API’s high-Mach blended winglets offer drag reduction and corresponding range increase of “5 to 7 percent at typical intermediate to long-range cruise speeds,” according to API. Most operators with winglet-equipped aircraft prefer to take advantage of increased climb capability offered by winglets, Dunn explained, then fly at normal speeds and enjoy the greater range capabilities.
About 250 Falcons (2000, 900 and 50 models) are now winglet-equipped; they include about 100 retrofits and 150 installed by Dassault during manufacture. “They’re getting to be quite a common sight,” Dunn said. On the Falcon 900, API recently received FAA and EASA approval for steep-approach operations on the aircraft equipped with blended winglets–an earlier restriction was removed after flight tests last year.
API winglets are of composite construction, except for some internal metal substructure where they attach to the wing, and are manufactured by Austria’s FACC. Winglet installations are done by API-approved facilities, and, generally, Brazilian operators fly to the U.S. for the modification (at an ANAC-approved maintenance provider). Operators that wish to save a significant amount of money during the winglet installation can opt to have that done at the same time as the Falcon dry-bay modification, if that is needed. Doing both the winglets and the dry bay at the same time, Dunn said, saves about 300 hours of labor, which is about $30,000 (at $100 per hour). If done during a C-check, the winglet modification won’t add any additional down time.