Sharklets act as a barrier to the flow of air around the aircraft’s wingtips, providing a significant reduction in drag that results in fuel savings. They are available as optional retrofits on all A319/A320 Family aircraft produced in recent years and are standard fit on all A320neo Family aircraft. The ultimate purpose is to save fuel with lower CO2 emissions, but it also increases the operational life (operational service goal extension) of the aircraft in 36.000 flight hours (avoiding the activation of the ESG), increases payload/range capacity and higher residual value of the aircraft.
In order to install the Sharklet on the legacy in-service fleet, the aircraft needs to be structurally reinforced to be able to sustain with the wing increasing loads induced by a heavier component. Additionally, it is required to upgrade several avionics components like the PDB, SEC, ELAC, FAC, FCDC & FWC to cope with the different wing lift capability.
The retrofit work scope includes high-quality standards, because our solution was crafted after months of careful planning and testing before the first embodiment on an A320, to ensure a safe, efficient and smooth workflow from day one.
In accordance with an Airbus audit report, “The Sharklets project development and completion demonstrate TAP’s capability to implement complex modifications. With a heritage of Sharklets installation on TAP airliners, the manufacturing dossier, process, and tooling are continuously optimized in order to perform the modification in an optimized flow. The level of experience, organization and resources put in place, demonstrate that TAP has the capability to be involved in other aircraft maintenance activities, and to become an Airbus-approved supplier for aircraft maintenance activities.”
The utilization of state of the art and innovative tooling allows TAP to save downtime and increase the quality of the work when compared with traditional methods and tooling, enabling TAP to offer to the market the best available solution for A320 In-Service Sharklets retrofit.