Winglets increase efficiency by reducing lift-induced drag. They do this by relocating and diminishing the vortex at the wing’s tip, resulting in lower fuel burn, higher cruise speed and longer range.
Canada’s National Research Council, NRC Aerospace (Hall 4 Stand C17a), is gathering detailed wake turbulence data with a specially equipped aircraft. NRC’s CT-133, a former military trainer, has just completed instrument test flights. Researchers are focusing on en route wake turbulence behind commercial aircraft, which seem to be more dangerous than expected.
BLR Aerospace of Everett, Wash., received an STC for winglets on the King Air 300. According to BLR, winglets increase cruise speed by five to eight knots, reduce fuel consumption by 3.5 percent and increase rate of climb by 300 fpm. Meanwhile, Sierra Industries of Uvalde, Texas, is developing winglets for the Citation 500 and 560 series. The company says winglets will reduce drag, minimize turbulence and counteract wingtip vortices.