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Boeing designs new winglet concept for 737 MAX; up to additional 1.5% fuel-burn reduction

Boeing has developed a new winglet design concept for the 737 MAX. The new Advanced Technology winglet will provide MAX customers with up to an additional 1.5% fuel-burn improvement, depending on range, on top of the 10-12% improvement already offered on the new-engine variant.

The Advanced Technology Winglet. Source: Boeing. Click to enlarge.

Compared to today’s wingtip technology, which provides up to a 4% fuel-burn advantage at long ranges, the Advanced Technology winglet provides a total fuel-burn improvement of up to 5.5% on the same long routes.

The concept is more efficient than any other wingtip device in the single-aisle market because the effective wing span increase is uniquely balanced between the upper and lower parts of the winglet.

—Michael Teal, chief project engineer, 737 MAX

Boeing aerodynamicists used advanced computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to combine rake tip technology with a dual feather winglet concept into one advanced treatment for the wings of the 737 MAX. The Advanced Technology winglet fits within today’s airport gate constraints while providing more effective span thereby reducing drag. Ongoing 737 MAX testing in the wind tunnel validated the new concept on the airplane.

The super-efficient design has been incorporated into the 737 MAX design and production system plans.

We have assessed the risk and understand how to leverage this new technology on the MAX within our current schedule. This puts us on track to deliver substantial additional fuel savings to our customers in 2017.

—Michael Teal

Airlines operating the 737 MAX now will gain an 18% fuel-burn per-seat improvement over today’s A320, Boeing says. Depending on the range of the mission, MAX operators will realize even more savings.

To date, the 737 MAX has more than 1,000 orders and commitments from 16 customers worldwide.



That technology was very well known 30+ years ago? Why wasn't it done before?


$120 oil


Many planes today (including current 737s) already have winglets. It's the exact design of this particular winglet, perhaps along with improvements in materials, that is the news.


Yes...$120 oil seems to have a positive effect on jet engine and aircraft manufacturers.

Christopher Miles

Also combats Airbus' A320 NEO Sharklet

Boeing is apparently more focused these days on the other less glamorous products. Much of this tech has been available- just applying it all at the same time has been an Achilles heel for them. The experience of engineering all new 787, and building it all over the work- a supply chain inherently unwieldy- I think made Boeing a little less focused on their bread and butter planes.

Kind of like GM and Ford not messing with their Pickup lines until they each have to.


CM has a good point. The bottom line is often more important than fuel consumption etc.


GM and Ford exist to make money.

You think they exist to make cars?

OK; then they make cars to make money.

As the joke goes;

I finally found a job, but I discovered what I relly wanted was a paycheck.

You say IT is not all about money.

No, Of course it's not, but making money is way ahead of whatever's in second place.


The bottom line is NOT often more important than fuel consumption etc.

It is virtually ALWAYS more important than fuel consumption etc.

You only WISH it was only "often" more important.


Well, free enterprises is always for our own good, our comfort, well being and illness free long live? They would never produce something that would harm us in any way? They really have our happiness at heart?

Yes Sir...

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