Airbus has rolled out the first production A320 fitted with its ‘Sharklet’ blending wingtips ahead of flight testing of the fuel saving device starting next month.
Toulouse-built, CFM56-powered A320 MSN5098 will be the first of a number of Sharklet equipped A320s to take part in a 600 hour flight test program ahead of certification and entry into service from the fourth quarter of 2012.
Airbus claims Sharklets will reduce fuel burn by up to 3.5 percent, giving an annual CO2 reduction of around 700 tonnes per aircraft.
The 2.5m high winglets were first flight tested on A320 test aircraft MSN001 last December.
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