Saturday, March 18, 2006
This....is a "winglet".
Have you noticed them before? It's actually called a "blended winglet". They are retrofitted on an aircraft's wingtips and give the appearance of a wing with a curl at the end. I got this picture of one yesterday at the maintenance area for Southwest Airlines. This one had some paint damage and was going to be tidied up before being re-attached. They run a cool $150,000 each.
Some folks think the airlines have put them on because they're cool looking. Nay, nay. This little design change increases speed, takeoff climb, turning ability, and even lowers emissions somehow. But the biggest plus is fuel savings. The 500 737's that are fitted with winglets in the world today save 50 million gallons of fuel each year. If every commercial aircraft had them, the savings would be $1.8 billion a year.
Maybe we can somehow attach 'em to SUV's.
Posted by Tim Perkins at 3/18/2006 09:39:00 PM