Up until now, winglets were visibly and mechanically distinct from the main wing. One could clearly see that they were separate structures which were attached to the end of the straight horizontal end of the wing. This markedly changed with the A350, which first flew in 2013. Here the winglet ‘grew-out’ of the main wing, curving progressively rearwards like a shark's fin but also progressively upwards out of the plane of the main wing, thus presenting a smooth three-dimensional twisting of the basic wing shape.
A few years later, the same Airbus team in Filton, UK, who designed the A350’s winglets, applied their skills to create the A330neo’s large curved devices. For the A330neo, this large new winglet is seamlessly integrated with a new horizontally extended outer span wing section made from CFRP - and together they extend the aircraft’s overall geometric wingspan to 64m (compared with 60.3m for the A330ceo).