Boeing has unveiled an unusual, fork-shaped wingtip device for its upcoming 737 MAX.
According to the US planemaker, the Advanced Technology Winglet will contribute an additional 1.5 per cent to the 737 MAX’s fuel savings over longer ranges against the current generation 737. That comes on top of a claimed 10-12 per cent reduction in fuel burn from the 737 MAX’s new engines.
Boeing’s winglet will compete with Airbus’s ‘Sharklet,’ a more traditional designed wingtip device that will come as standard equipment on the rival A320neo.
Boeing said its engineers developed the forked design by using “computational fluid dynamics to combine rake tip technology with a dual feather winglet concept.” It said the design would be more efficient than current wingtip devices “because the effective wing span increase is uniquely balanced between the upper and lower parts of the winglet.”
The company said the design had been incorporated into 737 MAX production plans and would not result in any delays. The 737 MAX is slated to begin deliveries in 2017 and has already won more than 1000 orders an commitments from 16 customers, according to Boeing.