By Michael Garko, In Airline News
On Wednesday, Boeing unveiled what many are calling a radical new wingtip design for the aircraft manufacturer’s newest family, the Boeing 737MAX.
“The Advanced Technology winglet demonstrates Boeing’s continued drive to improve fuel burn and the corresponding value to the customer. With this technology and others being built into the MAX, we will extend our leadership,” said Jim Albaugh, president and CEO, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
The new “dual feather” winglet design is said to provide an extra 1.5 percent gain in fuel efficiency on top of the planned 10-12 percent gain already being made by redesigned engines and other aerodynamic changes.
In his conference call with journalists, Michael Teal, chief project engineer for the 737 MAX, called the concept “the most advanced wingtip technology in the single-aisle market.”
The manufacturer has already received over 1000 provisional orders for the upgraded airliner. The first delivery for the 737 MAX is expected to be in 2017 to Southwest Airlines.
United Airlines is expected to announce a significant order for the 737 MAX in the coming weeks as it will begin its planned fleet renewal process.
As for production, Boeing has yet to decide if it will produce the new wingtips in-house or look to Aviation Partners, the company who developed the winglets on many current Boeing models.