Icelandair has become the first airline in Europe to install and operate Aviation Partners Boeing's Scimitar Blended Winglets (SBWs) on Boeing 757-200s.
The Scimitar Blended Winglet, Aviation Partners' latest winglet design, uses the company's existing Blended Winglet technology but adds new aerodynamic scimitar tips and a small outboard aerodynamic trailing edge wedge to increase the aircraft's aerodynamic efficiency.
Icelandair is retrofitting the SBWs to its 757-200s as an enhancement to the 757-200 blended winglets which are already installed on the aircraft.
The carrier expects the new winglets to increase savings in block fuel, to reduce engine maintenance, to improve take-off performance and to reduce engine emissions, as well as to provide other benefits, according to Aviation Partners Boeing (APB), which is a Seattle-based joint venture of Aviation Partners, Inc. and The Boeing Company.
"Here at Icelandair we take our commitment for greener aircraft very seriously. By adding the SBW to our 757-200 Blended Winglet fleet, we will further cut fuel consumption by over 1 per cent on many flights, and therefore reduce emissions. This kind of technology helps us with our on-going drive for carbon neutral growth by 2020," says Andri Grétarsson, Icelandair's 757 fleet managing director.
APB's Scimitar Blended Winglet replaces the company's standard aluminium Blended Winglet tip with an aerodynamically optimised, scimitar-shaped tip cap. This offers an additional drag-reduction benefit over the standard Blended Winglet configuration.
The Scimitar Blended Winglet modification reduces Boeing 757-200 fuel burn by up to an additional 1.1 per cent over the fuel saving provided by the Blended Winglets alone, according to APB. Together the winglets and the new mod can reduce fuel burn by more than 6 per cent, the company says.
Icelandair has found various ways to minimise its environmental impact by examining every aspect of its flight operations, from reducing the amount of paper carried in the passenger cabin and extra water stored in the aircraft's water tank to implementing environmentally friendly aircraft-design updates.
"We have a goal to fully support IATA's vision of achieving zero emissions by 2050. We are always looking for new ways that will help us move in that direction. Increasing our aircraft's fuel-efficiency is a key to reducing emissions which will help us meet that goal," says Grétarsson.
Icelandair is now working on its fourth Scimitar Blended Winglet modification and plans to have a total of 17 aircraft in service with the new mods retrofitted before the 2017 summer season.