American Airlines today completed the first flight of a Boeing 767-300ER with blended winglets supplied by Aviation Partners Boeing.
Flight 78 left Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport on 8 March at 8:35 p.m. with 204 passengers onboard, landing ahead of schedule on 9 March at London Heathrow.
American is the launch customer for the 11ft tall blended winglets on the 767-300ER, and APB partner GKN during the 2008 Farnborough air show said it plans to build 450 winglet shipsets for the 767-300ER, forecasting a build rate of 16 per month during peak production.
American says APB estimates each winglet-equipped aircraft should save up to 500,000 gallons of fuel annually depending on miles flown, which could result in a total savings of 29 million gallons annually.
Other attributes of the winglets highlighted by American include a 277,000 metric ton reduction in carbon dioxide emissions and an increase in aircraft range of 360nm. The improved take-off performance of the aircraft could generate up to 12,000lbs of additional payload.
The carrier's in-house maintenance team completed installation of the winglets, and expects to modify all of American's 58 767-300ERs by 2011. Winglet installations are already complete on the airline's 124 757s and 77 737s.