Hot wings

Winglets on a 767. I think you just have to see that to appreciate it.

American Airlines just conducted the first revenue flight of a 767-300ER with Blended Winglets on March 8 – from Dallas/Fort Worth to London Heathrow.

I’ve uploaded a few images courtesy of American Airlines and Aviation Partners Boeing (APB) so you can see the new look of the airplane.


The first 767 with Blended Winglets on arrival at London Heathrow Airport earlier this month.

Winglets are an airplane technology you can appreciate by looking out the window – some people even call them “sexy” – and they’re on the end of the wings of more than 2,850 BBJs, 737s and 757s around the world.

Now, for the first time flying in service on 767s, these winglets could save American Airlines up to 500,000 gallons of fuel and cut CO2 emissions by as much as 5,000 tons per year for each 767.

Winglets achieve these savings by increasing the lift ability of the wings without requiring a corresponding increase in engine power. So, sexiness aside, the fuel savings and emissions reductions are what draws more and more airlines to install winglets on their fleets. American plans to put winglets on its entire fleet of 58 767-300ERs.


Some images from flight testing of the American 767-300ER with winglets last summer. (All photos courtesy of American Airlines and Aviation Partners Boeing)

The 767 is one the first airplanes I worked on when I started with Boeing in the Flight Test organization. I’m struck by the fact that just like our other products, the 767 is benefiting from continuous improvement and innovation. As I’ve talked about before, one of the best ways we can enhance the value of our products is to keep improving them.

You can read more about American’s plans for winglets here.

And by the way, among other airlines planning to add APB’s winglets to their 767s are Hawaiian, Austrian, LAN, Delta, Condor, PrivatAir, TUIfly/Thompsonfly, DHL, and Air New Zealand.

Comments (13)

P.Sumantri (France):

Do blended winglets enhance 767's take-off performance as well? I guess they also improve the L/D at low speed and thus a better climb gradient for the same thrust.

Harilton Rodrigues (Sao Paulo, Brazil):

In 2002 during the EMBRAER 170 certification, I remember about our winglet development.

It´s really a state-of-art work.

Congratulation for this achievement.

Phil (Wokingham UK):

Anything that improves performance & reduces fuel burn is to be applauded as a step forward, this apart these retro fit winglets as they appear in the visuals provided do look somewhat incongruous.

Sexy that's down to individual preference a benefit, yes.

Jason Yuhara (Everett, WA):

I would simply like to stress that we need to keep in mind that our future is about providing innovative products that lead the way through diligent work ethic and engineering values that separates us from the rest. A simple matter of a vertical wing span that distinguishes itself quite uniquely. Good stuff, lets keep doing more for the benefit of all.

Chris C (South Africa):

Here's an interesting article published in Boeing Aero Magazine highlighting the benefits of wingtips:

Devesh Agarwal (Bangalore, India):

Love your journal; congratulations.

I write a blog called Bangalore Aviation, and recently wrote about "morphlets" as the new avataar of winglets. It will be interesting to see how these develop.

Also, sometimes your blog features never seen photos. Would love to access to them. :) I guess it is one of the perks of your job. :))

Great work, and keep it up.

Also, congrats on getting US Government approval for the sale of the P-8I to India. Can't wait to see the Super Hornets protecting Indian skies.


Great example of continuous quality improvement.
This type of info is very much appreciated (photos

////philly, pa:

I think it's amazing that people come up with such innovations that keep us moving forward. I mean, just a slight modification to the wings and it allows the planes to save 500,000 gallons of fuel annually. Awesome.

P.Sumantri (France):

to Chris C

Thanks for the link.
The document clearly mentions that blended winglets improve 767's take-off capability.

Moreover, the higher climb gradient during normal operations reduces community noise level.

Quoted from the link you gave us here
"The reduction in takeoff flap drag during the second segment of climb allows increased payload capability at takeoff-limited airports.

Environmental benefits include a 6.5 percent reduction in noise levels around airports on takeoff and a 4 percent reduction in nitrogen dioxide emissions on a 2,000-nmi flight."

Norman (Long Beach, California, United States):

The blended winglets look great on the 767 as they do on the 757 and 737. This is a very good investment to save a good amount of money and fuel in the long run.

Paulo M (Johannesburg, RSA):

Beautiful - the 767 never looked that good. Saving that much fuel is sexy. Do these blended winglets work better than the raked wing tips on the 767-400ER, and the longer range 777's? Imagine them on the 777-300ER - might be an important factor in the years-from-now battle against the A350-1000...
Great links, thanks.

Just a little off topic, but still Boeing-related, did you see Discovery's launch? Now that is sexy - awesome!

TC (Mt. Vernon, WA):

How do they work? Is there air flowing laterally towards the end of the wing that needs to be captured?

Kevin K (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada):

Those winglets look great. Just one question, why do you think it took the airline industry so long to adopt the Technology? The performance enhancing benefits of winglets have been known for a long time. So what gives?

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