Wing-tip extensions–known as winglets–that reduce aerodynamic drag and improve fuel efficiency and range have become familiar features on a variety of business and commercial jets. Quiet Wing Technologies (Booth No. C10432), Redmond, Wash., says it was the first company to certify winglets on a transport category aircraft–the venerable Boeing 727, many of which are still in operation as VIP-configured aircraft.
Aviation Partners Inc.
The FAA granted supplemental type certification to Aviation Partners for its Falcon 900 High Mach Blended Winglets on September 2. Aviation Partners expects EASA certification to follow shortly. The Blended Winglets program for the Falcon 900 took two years and involved “exhaustive flight testing,” according to the company.
United Continental Holdings has ordered blended winglets for its Boeing 767-300ERs from Aviation Partners Boeing (APB) of Seattle, Washington. With the order, the U.S. airline group becomes the largest single customer of APB, having ordered 375 Blended Winglet systems to date.
Aviation Partners (Stand 674) of Seattle, Washington, said the first certified scimitar-tip blended winglets are now flying on a Hawker 800. The patented scimitar tip is an aerodynamic change to the tip cap of the existing blended winglet, providing an additional 0.5-percent drag reduction over the existing 7.3 percent at long-range cruise.
Owners and operators seeking new options to maintain Boeing Business Jets (BBJs) or to refurbish Dassault Falcon 2000s are the target of new offerings from Switzerland-based Jet Aviation Basel (Stand 963) here at EBACE.
Since Aviation Partners announced in October that it would begin accepting orders for its drag-reducing blended winglets for the Dassault Falcon 900 series, the Seattle-based modification specialist has tallied firm commitments to equip at least 10 aircraft. Award of the STC is expected next month. Once approved, the $575,000 modification can be retrofitted to existing Falcon 900s.
Visitors to the MEBA static display will see some Dassault Falcon business jets equipped with Aviation Partners, Inc. (API) Blended Winglets. And more models of the Falcon family will sport API winglets as regulatory approvals come through early next year for upgrades to the 900 and 50 series.
BLR Aerospace has named Heritage Aviation of Burlington, Vt., an authorized dealer for its King Air winglets. Under the terms of the agreement Heritage may sell and install BLR’s certified winglets for the King Air line. Heritage has equipped its four King Air C90s with winglets.
Cessna has selected Winglet Technology’s elliptical winglet for the new Citation Ten. The winglet was jointly developed and certified by Winglet Technology and Cessna Aircraft during a collaborative STC project. Winglet Technology initially received FAA approval of the STC permitting installation of the elliptical winglets on the Citation X in June last year.
One might attribute the striking contrast between the business jet industry’s predicament and the more-than-healthy production rates at major commercial aircraft manufacturers to several factors, but credit and the Asian market seem to rank as the two most prominent.