Spread your wings

We’ve upped the game when it comes to the 737 MAX. Just when you thought we couldn’t further improve the airplane, along comes our new Advanced Technology winglet. While most of the buzz in the media has surrounded its eye catching shape, it’s the performance that will be the difference for our airline customers.


The new winglet will provide airlines with an extra 1.5 percent fuel-burn improvement, depending on range. That’s on top of the 10-12 percent improvement we’re already promising. While our original focus on the MAX centered on engine improvements, this winglet opportunity is something we just couldn’t pass up. It provides our customers a substantial fuel savings with minimum risk to the MAX program on our end. To put this in real numbers, if an airline were to utilize a 737 MAX at the high-end of the range for a year, this would equate to a savings of $160,000 dollars per airplane. For a customer with 100 MAXs in their fleet, well you can do the math, this is huge!


As for the winglet itself, it will be built out of composite and metallic leading edge and will have similar tolerance for ‘ramp rash’ as devices used on today’s airplane. The weight of the new winglet is also similar to today’s. And when we call it the Advanced Technology winglet, we mean it. Boeing aerodynamicists used advanced computational fluid dynamics to combine rake tip technology with a dual feather winglet concept into one advanced treatment for the wings of the 737 MAX - now that’s a mouthful. The concept is more efficient than any other wingtip device in the single-aisle market because the effective wing span increase is balanced uniquely between the upper and lower parts. This moves the center of gravity of the system down minimizing weight penalty while allowing maximum aerodynamic efficiency. To see how it will work, check out this video.

There are a lot of reasons to be excited about the 737 MAX as it spreads its wings— with many more milestones to come.

Comments (13)

Cristina C. (Seattle, WA, USA):

This is fantastic! I'm excited to see it in the sky...!

Andrew Boydston (Boise, ID USA):

Randy, I vote for the name "Flight Feathers",

instead of wing-lets and never, never the awful sounding name of shark-lets after something that doesn't even fly. The American Bald Eagles and soaring birds, all have Flight Feathers on its wing tips, where it uses those anatomical advances for floating above our magnificent country. Flight Feathers exist throughout world as part of creations adaptation for all its most magnificent soaring birds. The Max with a split pair of feathers at its wing tip, should align with the world's most beautiful and natural flight. Flight Feather is what Boeing has done to Maximize its bird the 737.

James Baloun (Palo Alto, California, USA):

The aerospace world is talking about dual feathers with week. The press briefing mentions how the design helps control pressure on the upper and lower surfaces, fits in the same space, has the similar weight and c.g., and incorporates similar advantages to both the winglet and raked wingtip. It makes me think: How did the the new design allow the Boeing aerodynamicists to optimize for: smooth transition of the vortex spread over not one but two winglets, choosing a better span load and/or bending moment, wing washout, wing twist, gentle stall characteristics, enhancing the full span leading edge slat, (span-wise flow?). Wow, all the variables to balance for the dual feathers: angle, sweep, attack, airfoil, thickness, camber, taper, span... and then be left with 1.5% all at a low program risk. Great job. Again.

Once again we see who is leading and who is following. Who is taking the next step and who is finally catching up. (Que: sunset over Toulouse, Que: sound of crickets....)


Jozsef Meszaros (Gyomro, Hungary):

couldn't the new super-winglet be applied to the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental, too? a fuel saving of 1.5% would mean many more gallons in case of the large airplane than the single-aisle jet... and the Jumbo Jet could be made some more attractive...

Lloyd (London):


We were thrilled to see the B787 in the UK last week. This news on the Max is grand as well. Congratulations and wishes for continued success.

Thiagarajan K Rengasamy (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia):

737 Max...Truly Amazing

Tim K (Ont Canada):

Correct me if I am wrong but this wingtip concept is not original; didn’t the MD-11 have roughly the same wingtip design years ago. The lower fin on the MD-11 was smaller but the concept was the same.

Norman (Long Beach, CA):

The 737 MAX is really taking a distinguished shape from the 737NG with the added winglet as will as the larger diameter fan. The new wingtip devises in reminiscent of the MD-11. The added wingtips and additional fuel savings that they will produce is a good incentive to close the deal with United Airlines.

Cristiano Arruda (Campo Grande, MS, Brazil):

It is just lacking a slight detail on that design of the 737 MAX... The third engine on the tail fin to complete with those winglets the MD-11 concept in miniature, hehehehe!!!

I am enjoying those improvements that Boeing is bringing to aviation, it is like bringing the charm of design variety of the automobile sector to aviation without compromising performance, by the way, those variations of design are helping to improve the performance of those airplanes by double digit marks! This being applied on the 737 MAX is making it even more beautiful... Who said that after more than 30 years someone could not look better than when younger?

Dave Anderson (Seattle):

Nice, Randy. The 737 team is definately on the right track. Lowering the wing tip CG also typically moves the wing further away from flutter, meaning it's more stable in any upset. I'd only like it better if it had more than two "tip feathers", like an eagle.

Varun G. (Chicago IL USA):

What a beautiful plane with those awesome wingtips. They look absolutely stunning, and looks like they will provide unmatched fuel efficiency compared to any other airliner-today's of tomorrow's in the skies. Hopefully we will see United ordering one of these beauties soon as it appears that talks with Airbus have fallen apart. It looks like they have finally seen sense in which company to buy from:) Good luck to the MAX, and good luck to Boeing.

Randy, how many Dreamliners have been delivered so far, and how many do you expect to be delivered by the end of the year? Which airlines will be receiving them?

TC (Mount Vernon, WA):

The 777-200ER and KC-46A would look nice with lastest greatest Advanced Technology winglets.

kevin burgess (england):

i love the shape and the colour r these flyin yet for a airline

Post a comment

We welcome your comments. However all comments are moderated and may not post immediately. Offensive or off-topic comments will not be posted. We will not treat any comments you submit as confidential information. Please do not submit comments that contain any confidential information belonging to anyone else.

By submitting a comment to Randy's Journal, you agree to our site terms and privacy policy, and to having your name displayed with your comment. All or part of your comment may be posted or cited in the blog. Your name and personal information will not be used for any other purpose, and we will not publish your e-mail address.


More posts