Boeing is to offer its Next-Generation 737-800 customers a new, advanced-technology winglet as standard.

Benefits of the winglet, originally developed for the Boeing Business Jet, include extended range, greater payload, fuel savings and reduced environmental impact. The first Boeing 737-800 with winglets is expected to be delivered in the spring of 2001.

All subsequent 737-800s will be equipped with structurally enhanced wings that will make it easier for owners of standard 737-800s to retrofit those jetliners with winglets. The winglets weigh about 120lb (54kg) each. They are made of high-tech carbon graphite, an advanced aluminium alloy and titanium.

The winglet is 8ft (2.4m) long and tapers from its 4ft wide base to a width of 2ft at the tip. Unlike traditional winglets, this new advanced "blended" design gently curves out and up from the wing tip, reducing aerodynamic drag and boosting performance.

The blended-winglet technology was developed by Aviation Partners of Seattle.

Source: Flight Daily News