Sharklets, Raked Wing tips, Split Scimitar Winglets & Advance Technology Winglets

Wondering about Sharklets, Raked Wing tips, Split Scimitar Winglets and Advance Technology(AT) Winglets?

With everyday increase in market competition wingtip devices are constantly evolving to make aircraft more and more efficient. Let is be Sharklets, Raked Wing tips, Split Scimitar Winglets or Advance Technology (AT) Winglets all sets the intelligent deal of reducing induced drag at cost of parasite drag.Winglets and Sharklets


Function of Wingtip Devices (Sharklets, Raked Wing tips, Split Scimitar Winglets etc)

Due to difference in pressure of upper and lower surface of wing, air flows from lower to upper surface near the wing tips. This span wise flow of air (i.e. root to tip on lower part and tip to root on upper) creates vortices at the wing tip which increase wing downwash and decrease effective lift.

Wingtip devices block/control span wise flow and reduces the intensity of vortices.


SHARKLETS

Sharklets are wing tip devices used to reduced induced drag and hence increase fuel economy. Concept of sharkets was launched by Air Bus in their most selling aircraft Airbus A320 with current engine option.

Sharkets Initial Testing: First testing of sharkets was done in November 2011 when they got airborn from Toulouse, France for 5 hours flight. Later in 2012 at ILA Berlin Air Show Air Asia became the initial operator of Sharkets-equipped aircraft and received delivery in December 2012.

Sharklets Concept and Advantages – Sharkets are 2.4 meter tall and provides extra range of 100 nautical miles or increase in payload up to 450 kg.  They are claimed to give 4% fuel savings.

To further improve the efficiency Airbus came up with A320neo which have benefits of Sharklets as well has propulsion technology improvements. A320neo provides 20 percent fuel burn improvement per seat.

Source: http://www.airbus.com/aircraftfamilies/passengeraircraft/a320family/technology-and-innovation/

So next time you board a flight don’t forget to lookout for aircrafts with Sharklets.

 


Winglets

Winglets are wing tip extensions which reduce induced drag and provide some extra life. Winglets were originally designed by NASA in 1973 and first flown in 1998 on Boeing 737-800.


Split-Scimitar Winglets

Split-Scimitar Winglets is other latest development available in market from early 2014. This technology is used in Boeing 737 Max and use split-tipped winglets.

Split-Scimitar Winglet projects both up and down and can be fitted to Boeing variants which came before Boeing 737 Max. This was again part of development toward reducing fuel consumption and hence carbon emission.

Split-Scimitar Winglets


Raked Wing Tips

This technology is adopted by Boeing and can be seen in Boeing 767-400ER, 777, 747-800 and 787. It has been observed in aviation industry that both Airbus and Boeing come up with new developments at near same time. Coming back to the concept of Raked Wing Tips, they are more efficient for ultra-long range flights unlike sharklets which are fitted to short and medium range aircrafts.

Raked wings tips are the modified constructions which emphasis on redirecting the vortices away from the wing rather than re-utilizing them to create some lift. Since they are mostly used on ultra-long flights primary intention is of reducing drag.

For Boeing 777 and Boeing 777-300ER (extended range) raked wing tips are 6.5 foot (1.98 meter) highly tapered wing tip extensions which allows faster climb performance too. A 2 percent extra fuel efficiency is expected with raked wing tips.


Raked wingtips vs Winglets

Raked wingtips and Wiglets have differences primarily based on usage. Winglets are generally used for short and medium range flights where priority is to optimize climb and approach phases while Raked wingtips are used for long and ultra-long range aircrafts where priority is to optimize cruise phase.

Winglets do generate some lift but raked wingtips don’t.

Considering the phases of flight for optimization helps in reducing overall fuel operational cost of aircraft.


Advance Technology (AT) Winglets

Where today’s wingtip technology provides 4 percent fuel-burn advantage at long ranges, Advance Technology winglet make aircraft up to 5.5 percent more fuel efficient on same routes.In AT winglets the effective wingspan is uniquely balanced between the upper and lower parts of winglets.

AT winglets combine rake tip technology with Split Scimitar winglets to give far better results. With advanced computation on fluid dynamics Advance Technology winglets provide more effective span and hence reduce drag. This has been incorporated in 737 Max to provide 18 percent fuel burn per-seat improvement over today’s A320.

 

Advance Technology Winglets


 

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