NBAA Convention News

Cessna Signs Agreement with Tamarack for Active Winglets on CJs

 - October 21, 2013, 9:45 PM
Michael Schneider, Tamarack CEO and investor

Tamarack Aerospace and Cessna Aircraft have signed an agreement in which Cessna will market, sell and install Tamarack’s active winglets for theCitationJet family through the CJ3. Tamarack announced the agreement here at NBAA 2013 yesterday.

Nick Guida, Tamarack president and founder, said he had met with Cessna officials and engineers early on and “nurtured the relationship over two years. They like to know who they are dealing with, which is understandable. We’ve been waiting for this agreement. I’m proud to be associated with Cessna.”

While providing all the advantages of traditional winglets, the active technology load alleviation system (Atlas) winglets use an active control surface (Tacs) actuator mounted near each winglet. The Tacs actuator drives small moveable surfaces mounted outboard on the wing trailing edge, near the winglets, and these surfaces move to counteract and alleviate the load on the wing. The result is a much lower bending moment on the wing, allowing addition of winglets without having to beef up wingstructure. The Tamarack winglets also help reduce the fatigue life on the wings, when compared to other winglets.

Guida first tested the Atlas concept on his single-engine piston Van’s RV-6 homebuilt and later on a Cirrus SR22. Tamarack is now testing Atlas winglets on a Citation CJ1, which has accumulated some 90 flight hours.

Now, with the agreement with Cessna, Tamarack will focus on obtaining a supplemental type certificate (STC) for the winglets. Guida expects the first winglets will be installed on customer CJs stating in early 2015. “Having the OEM data does help bring the winglets to market sooner,” he said.

Michael Schneider, Tamarack CEO and investor, told AIN he has full confidence that the company would show a positive cash flow in 2015.

“Cessna will also offer aftermarket winglets for several models of the CJ family of business jets through an exclusive agreement with Tamarack Aerospace Group,” according to Cessna. “In certain flight profiles, the winglets provide an aircraft of greater range, increased useful loads and improved high and hot performance, while simultaneously improving fuel economy. Plans call for winglets from Tamarack to be available for installation on several models in the CJ family of aircraft at Citation service centers in 2015.”

Earlier this year, Tamarack’s CJ (N86LA) equipped with active winglets made an unofficial record-breaking trip from Sandpoint, Idaho, to Westchester County Airport in White Plains, N.Y for the NBAA Business Aviation Regional Forum. The nonstop, 1,853-nm flight landed with reserves of 472 pounds after flying for six hours and 16minutes.


Dennis M Gruba's picture

The continuing explosion of winglet technology and advancements is missing some unintended audiences in the flying world.

Those of us in the industry I believe, have a tendency to see the data, dollars, and development side of this technology. My flying public friends on the other hand are making comments ranging from, "they just put those on the wing for a marketing tool and logo spot" to " that makes the airplane look cool so more people want to fly,"

Once I explain the fuel savings aspect , along with the reduced noise, reduced turbulence and cooler running engines, they get excited to be helping out with conservation efforts by flying "green" eco-friendly aircraft.

Media outlets, airlines, and aviation venues could all increase awareness and exposure to a more eco-friendly 'face' of aviation by highlighting the winglet additions of all types to their aircraft. The negative input that has grown from uneducated comments by public figures, the baggage fee pains felt in nearly every wallet along with the whole carbon footprint image of 'dirty' flying, all can be easily minimized by touting the many benefits of winglets.

I would suggest all of us in the industry take the time to visit a few websites, get a working knowledge of what a winglet does and promises for the future and really begin to get the word out about how well we are as a industry reducing pollution, conserving resources, increasing safety and overall getting greener aircraft into the air and making older aircraft more green by adding winglets on.

Excitement about aviation got many of us into the industry many years ago. Let's keep the momentum going by helping the new realities of conservation and limited resources build the promise of a green and eco-friendly  aviation future.

Winglets,  glass 'gamer' cockpits, bio-fuels and the lure of travel will carry our youth out of the classrooms and into the cabins, cockpits and corporations of future aviation.

Start a conversation, brag about how green we are, get your replacement in line to be excited about aviation and the future.