GKN Aerospace delivers first 737 blended winglet

GKN Aerospace (Lisle, Ill.) has delivered the first composite blended winglet for The Boeing Co.’s (Seattle, Wash.) 737-300/500, ahead of scheduled delivery dates in the first quarter of this year, per an agreement with Aviation Partners Boeing (APB), which finalized in April 2007. The multiyear agreement covers

GKN Aerospace (Lisle, Ill.) has delivered the first composite blended winglet for The Boeing Co.’s (Seattle, Wash.) 737-300/500, ahead of scheduled delivery dates in the first quarter of this year, per an agreement with Aviation Partners Boeing (APB), which finalized in April 2007.

The multiyear agreement covers production and delivery of 200 sets of blended winglets for 737-300/500 aircraft. Each winglet is 7 ft/2.13m long. The agreement also covers the design, development and manufacture of 300 sets of 11-ft/3.35m long winglets for the Boeing 767-300ER. These winglets will be produced at the GKN Aerospace facility on the Isle of Wight, U.K.

GKN Aerospace’s move into blended winglets is a key business development, says the company. Winglets are transforming the performance of aircraft by reducing drag and cutting aircraft fuel consumption by about 5 percent — improving performance and reducing environmental impact, both critical factors for the aircraft operator. While blended winglets can be incorporated easily into to new airframe designs, they also can be retrofitted to aircraft that are already in service.

Jeff Armitage, VP and director of nacelles at GKN, says, “By 2010, just over two years from now, APB has predicted that blended winglets will have saved the world’s airlines over 2 billion gallons of fuel. For 737-300/500 operators, APB estimates savings of up to 100,000 gallons of fuel per aircraft per year.”