Sharklets are the most visible development of the A320 Family airframe in recent years. They are wingtip devices which increase the effective wing span of the aircraft and reduce lift-induced drag. Sharklets were introduced as an option on line-fit aircraft in 2012, and 94 per cent of A320 family aircraft delivered today have them fitted from the final assembly line. Having transformed the performance and appearance of the new Airbus fleet, they are now available for retrofit on the in-service A320 Family fleet, significantly increasing the residual value of all aircraft that have them fitted. They also have distinct advantages in accessing certain airports and reduce engine maintenance costs by 2 per cent.
With a fuel-burn saving of over 4 per cent on the longest routes, Sharklets offer a range of tangible benefits which significantly improve an aircraft’s efficiency and profitability. Sharklets also offer a boost to either payload or range – adding up to 100 nautical miles or 450 kilogrammes per payload.
Retrofitting Sharklets also can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 800 tonnes per year per aircraft, and can offer an operational service limit extension for aircraft between MSN1200 and MSN5514 – typically adding 36,000 flight hours, or 10 years of additional service.