Boeing launches new winglet for 737 Max

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Boeing has unveiled a new winglet for its re-engined 737 Max that will provide up to an additional 1.5% fuel burn improvement on top of the 10% to 12% improvement that the airframer says the aircraft already offers.

The new winglet concept has been incorporated into the design of the aircraft and the production plans, says Boeing. "We have assessed the risk and understand how to leverage this new technology on the Max within our current schedule," says Michael Teal, chief project engineer of the 737 Max programme. "This puts us on track to deliver substantial additional fuel savings to our customers in 2017."

Boeing says its Advanced Technology winglet will offer a total fuel burn improvement of up to 5.5% on long routes, compared to current wingtip technology which provides up to 4% fuel burn advantage.

"The concept is more efficient than any other wingtip device in the single-aisle market because the effective wing span increase is uniquely balanced between the upper and lower parts of the winglet," says Teal.

Boeing says 737 Max operators will have an 18% fuel burn per seat advantage over existing Airbus A320 operators.

Ongoing 737 Max testing in the wind tunnel has validated the new winglet concept, says Boeing, adding that the new winglet fits within airport constraints currently.

Boeing president and chief executive Jim Albaugh says the new winglet technology will give customers even more advantage in the volatile fuel price environment today.

The airframer has won more than 1,000 orders and commitments from 16 operators so far.