The Aviation Partners Boeing (APB) joint venture has in recent weeks signed additional airline customers for its Boeing 737NG split scimitar winglet modification since receiving a firm commitment from launch customer United Airlines in January. The new winglet design improves upon the aerodynamic efficiency of APB’s blended winglet for the 737NG, enabling an estimated 2-percent extra reduction in fuel consumption.
Aviation Partners Inc.
By the end of this year, the Aviation Partners Boeing joint venture is expected to receive certification of the new split-scimitar winglet for the Boeing 737. This modification should be of interest to Boeing BBJ owners, too. A United Airlines 737-800 equipped with the split scimitar winglet made its first flight on July 16 at Boeing’s Everett, Washington plant. United is retrofitting its 737-800 and -900ER fleet with the new winglets, starting early next year after certification is complete.
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.
The FAA has approved a process to remove an altitude restriction on 800-series Hawkers equipped with winglets developed by Aviation Partners (API). The agency issued an airworthiness directive in June, requiring operators to comply with API service bulletin SBH-13-001, which limited maximum altitude to 34,000 feet until a fix could be developed. AD 2013-11-16 was “prompted by reports of several instances of severe vibration and wing/aileron oscillations,” according to the FAA.
As expected, the FAA has published an Airworthiness Directive for 800-series Hawkers equipped with Aviation Partners (API) winglets.
Boeing has shifted its 737 Max schedules to reflect first delivery of the Max 8 to Southwest Airlines in the third quarter of 2017, as early as six months ahead of the original plan, Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice president and general manager Scott Fancher revealed here in Paris yesterday. As a result, schedules for the Max 9 and Max 7 would also shift by at least a quarter. The company expects the program to reach firm design configuration in July. “The risks are understood, they’re being managed effectively and we have no serious technical issues to deal with,” said Fancher.
Aviation Partners Boeing has launched the split-scimitar winglet program for the Boeing 737-900ER with an order from United Airlines. The carrier had already launched a similar program in January for its 737-800s, with FAA approval for a supplemental type certificate (STC) expected in October. The 900ER STC should be approved next February. The split-scimitar winglet modifies the existing blended winglet with a new cap section, and adds a ventral strake.
Aviation Partners, Inc. (API, Booth 283) is anticipating EASA certification of its winglets for retrofit to Dassault Falcon 50 jets in the coming weeks. The expected approval will be the European counterpart of the FAA supplemental type certificate received in September 2012. The aerodynamic devices are the same “high-Mach blended winglets” currently available on the Falcon 2000 and 900 series (all three Falcon series share the same wing) and are promised to provide drag reduction and corresponding range increase of “5 to 7 percent at typical intermediate to long range cruise speeds.”
Aviation Partners has issued a Service Bulletin for the Hawker Beechcraft/BAE 125 Series 800A/B, C-29A, Hawker 800 and Hawker 800XP. The Service Bulletin provides instructions to reduce the maximum permissible altitude to FL340 from FL410. The altitude limitation is implemented by an Airplane Flight Manual limitation and placards installed on the instrument panel.
Aviation Partners and the FAA consider this Service Bulletin to be a safety-related limitation until a design change to preclude the oscillations is developed and FAA approved.
In a Service Bulletin issued May 3, winglet manufacturer Aviation Partners (API) instructed operators with winglet-equipped 800-series Hawkers modified by STC#ST01411SE to reduce maximum permissible altitude to 34,000 feet. “Several instances of aileron/wing oscillations have been reported on the Hawker 800 [series],” the company said. “Aviation Partners and the FAA consider this Service Bulletin to be a safety-related limitation until a design change to preclude the oscillations is developed and FAA approved.”