The fuel-saving and performance-enhancing Sharklets on A320 Family airliners will become an increasingly frequent sight in the world’s skies following Airbus’ go-ahead for these distinctive wingtip devices’ retrofit on in-service aircraft.
Airbus sees a potential market for the Sharklets’ retrofit on some 4,000 in-service A320 Family aircraft, and has already secured commitments from airlines for approximately 200 of them, including from U.S.-based carrier JetBlue.
This retrofit uses the same 2.4 metre-tall Sharklets that Airbus incorporates as an option on new production A320 Family jetliners, and which will be standard on the A320neo (new engine option) versions. The Sharklets’ benefits include a fuel consumption reduction by up to 4 per cent, and an extension of mission range by 100 nautical miles or payload capability increase by up to 450 kilogrammes.
Approved maintenance, repair and overhaul companies around the world will carry out the wingtip devices’ installation in a process that takes approximately 13 days.
The retrofitted Sharklets replace smaller, modified triangular-shaped wingtip devices that have equipped A320 Family aircraft from the 1980s. Airbus is offering the Sharklet retrofit on A319 and A320 from the first quarter of 2015, with the A321 to be evaluated at a later stage.
Sharklets equipped on new-build A320 Family aircraft have been delivered by Airbus since December 2012, with more than 184 received by customers and operators to date.
- For more information on Airbus’ Sharklet retrofit programme, see the press release