New Winglets Boost Boeing Next-Generation 737 Performance

The Boeing Company announced today that it is offering Next-Generation 737-800 customers a new, advanced-technology winglet as a standard option.

The winglet will allow a new airplane that already flies farther, higher and more economically than competing products to extend its range, carry more payload, save on fuel and benefit the environment. The first Boeing 737-800 with winglets is expected to be delivered in the spring of 2001. All subsequent 737-800s will be equipped with structurally enhanced wings that will make it easier for owners of standard 737-800s to retrofit those jetliners with winglets.

"The key to product leadership is to create a superior product, then continually improve it in ways that add value to customers," said John Hayhurst, vice president and general manager, 737 programs. "With this new winglet, the Next-Generation 737 will remain the most advanced airplane family in its class for the 21st century, just as it was for the 20th."

A Next-Generation 737-800 equipped with the new winglet will be able to fly farther, burn 3 percent to 5 percent less fuel, or carry up to 6,000 pounds more payload. Other benefits include a reduction in noise near airports, lower engine-maintenance costs, and improved takeoff performance at high-altitude airports and in hot climate conditions.

The winglets weigh about 120 pounds each. They are made of high-tech carbon graphite, an advanced aluminum alloy and titanium. The winglet is eight feet long and tapers from its four-foot wide base to a width of two feet at the tip. Unlike traditional winglets typically fitted at abrupt angles to the wing, this new advanced "blended" design gently curves out and up from the wing tip, reducing aerodynamic drag and boosting performance.

The 737-800 winglet was developed initially for the Boeing Business Jet (BBJ), which also features the state-of-the-art 737-800 wing. This winglet will be available initially as an option on the 162-passenger 737-800. Formal availability of the winglet will follow quickly on other models that feature the 737-800 wing, including the 737-700C and the 737-900. The applicability of the winglet to Next-Generation 737-600 and 737-700 models is being assessed.

The blended-winglet technology was developed by Aviation Partners Inc. of Seattle. In 1999, during the design of the BBJ winglet, Aviation Partners and The Boeing Company formed Aviation Partners Boeing (APB), a joint venture that completed and owns the design. APB is developing the capability to make the winglet available as a retrofit for airplanes already in service.

For further information:
Sean Griffin
(425) 234-6194