Airbus offers fuel-saving wingtips retrofit on its older A320 jets.


New York (AirGuide - Inside Air Travel) - Wed, Oct 30, 2013

Airbus announced plans on Tuesday Oct. 29 to retrofit fuel-saving wingtips on older versions of its A320 jets as sales of its best-selling aircraft hit 10,000. The move will see upward-slanted wingtips, which have become an increasingly common sight on new aircraft, become available for A320-family jets already in service. Planemakers are battling wingtip to wingtip to squeeze improvements out of the designs of their most popular models by introducing new and more aerodynamic shapes to save fuel. By bending and even splitting wingtips, planemakers can reduce drag and create more lift, reducing the consumption of fuel, which is one of the airline industry's biggest costs. Airbus says the slanted wingtips, which it calls sharklets, will cut fuel costs by up to 4 percent and increase range by up to 100 nautical miles. The wingtip devices are already available on newly sold A320-family jets and an upcoming version boasting new engines, due in late 2015, but Airbus is now matching Boeing (BA) in making them available on older models as an option. Boeing also installs curved wingtips on its competing 737 jets and has come up with an open-jawed design for the next version of the plane,...

To continue reading