The certification of Sharklets on A320s equipped with CFM International CFM56 engines marks a new milestone in Airbus’ application of these fuel-saving wingtip devices on its popular single-aisle jetliner family.
This initial approval, announced today, was issued by Europe’s airworthiness authority –the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) – and will be followed by authorisation from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration.
The 2.4-metre-tall Sharklets are located on both wingtips of an A320. By enhancing the aircraft’s aerodynamics, they reduce fuel burn and emissions, as well as add range and enable increased payload capability.
Sharklets are an option on new-build A320ceo (current engine option) aircraft, and are standard on the upcoming A320neo (new engine option) versions.
The certification of Sharklets will be issued for each A320 Family member – the A318, A319, A320 and A321 – in conjunction with their specific engine types. On the current A320ceo product line, these powerplants are the CFM56 from CFM International and International Aero Engines’ V2500.
Airbus’ Sharklets flight test/certification campaign for this full range of A320ceo jetliner versions and engine combinations will involve a total of eight aircraft, accumulating approximately 600 flight hours during a 9-10 month period.
The first Sharklets-equipped jetliner to enter service will be a CFM56-powered A320, which is to join the fleet of Air Asia – the world’s largest A320 customer. This aircraft is to be delivered before the end of 2012.