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Airbus To Relaunch A320 Winglet Tests  
User currently offlineAviationbuff From India, joined Mar 2008, 1425 posts, RR: 3
Posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 10387 times:

Airbus to relaunch A320 winglet tests after deal with API

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...winglet-tests-after-deal-with.html

Quote:
Airbus is preparing to relaunch flight-testing of winglets on the A320, following an agreement with US specialist Aviation Partners (API) to carry out trials.

After an abortive evaluation two years ago of an in-house design and one developed by Winglet Technology of the USA, Airbus revealed in May that it intended to re-examine the concept in conjunction with Boeing's long-established supplier API. These tests were originally due to start in July, but will now get under way imminently, says the airframer.

Agreement was reached with API "in the last few days" to perform the flight tests, says Airbus. "The aircraft will be prepared in the coming days and the reference flights without winglets will follow," it adds. "The winglets will then be installed and the flight tests with winglets performed."



25 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineEPA001 From Netherlands, joined Sep 2006, 4593 posts, RR: 38
Reply 1, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 10367 times:
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The winglets look good on the A320, just as they do on the B737-NG. I hope the tests will be a success, if it were only for the improved looks of the aircraft. Although in the end the results of the tests will determine whether or not the modifications will make their way onto production aircraft. The picture on www.flightglobal.com also shows a modified tail wing?

User currently offlineSandroZRH From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 3415 posts, RR: 50
Reply 2, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 10263 times:



Quoting EPA001 (Reply 1):
The winglets look good on the A320

Matter of opinion  Wink

Quoting EPA001 (Reply 1):
Although in the end the results of the tests will determine whether or not the modifications will make their way onto production aircraft

Yes, and this is gonna be difficult. In fact, the A320 wings are so efficient that it's hard to gain any more efficiency from winglets, unless on very long flights. If they fail to achieve any efficiency improvement on shorter flights, winglets on the A320 won't be a success, because airlines prefer to have flexible fleets and not a small subfleet of winglet equipped A320s for longer routes which will consume more fuel on short flights due to the winglet's weight.

We discussed this in class the other day.


User currently offlineKeesje From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 10140 times:

Quoting SandroZRH (Reply 2):
If they fail to achieve any efficiency improvement on shorter flights, winglets on the A320 won't be a success, because airlines prefer to have flexible fleets and not a small subfleet of winglet equipped A320s for longer routes which will consume more fuel on short flights due to the winglet's weight.

We discussed this in class the other day.

Some carriers fly predominantly longer stretches (leisure operators) other predominantly shorter routes (low cost carriers).

An "A320 Enhanced" study I did 2.5 yrs back with Henry Lam, maybe they'll look somethink like this afterall:
http://www.cardatabase.net/modifiedairlinerphotos/photos/big/00007055.jpg

[Edited 2008-09-13 05:33:05]

User currently offlineSandroZRH From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 3415 posts, RR: 50
Reply 4, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 10031 times:



Quoting Keesje (Reply 3):
Some carriers fly predominantly longer stretches (leisure operators) other predominantly shorter routes (low cost carriers).

Indeed, but the number of carriers that fly longer routes exclusively, or predominantly, is rather small compared to the carriers that predominantly fly short routes or both short and long routes. All the large A32S operators would belong to the latter group, and i don't think the first group would make the project financially interesting.

I would be glad to be proven wrong though.


User currently offlineKeesje From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 9962 times:



Quoting SandroZRH (Reply 4):
All the large A32S operators would belong to the latter group, and i don't think the first group would make the project financially interesting

With dedicated short haul aircraft like the CSeries, Superjet and Embraers offering more efficient operations, things will change I think.


User currently offline747m8te From Australia, joined Aug 2008, 433 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 9885 times:



Quoting SandroZRH (Reply 4):
Indeed, but the number of carriers that fly longer routes exclusively, or predominantly, is rather small compared to the carriers that predominantly fly short routes or both short and long routes. All the large A32S operators would belong to the latter group, and i don't think the first group would make the project financially interesting.

I see where your coming from, but at the same time there are many 737 operators out there who use their winglet equiped 737 on both short and long range sectors, so surely the gains on the long range flights must out way the negatives of the shorter sectors? So why not give Airbus operators the option?, think of the US airlines that use their sizable A320 fleets on a mix of both transcon and short range flights.

Oh and Keesje, that Singapore A320 looks mighty nice  Wink



Flown on:DHC8Q200,DHC8Q400,EMB145,E170,E190,A320,A332,A333,A343,A380,MD80,B733,B734,B737,B738,B743,B744,B744ER,B762,B763
User currently offlineMercure1 From French Polynesia, joined Jul 2008, 1131 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 9849 times:

One other possible benefit from the API winglets will be an improvement in the MTOW on rwys which pose a current limit. I'm aware that the API winglets on the 737 allow apprx 2~3000lbs of MTOW on certain short rwys.
For the 767-300, the API offered a 5000-8000lbs improvement on rwy limited MTOW.


User currently offlineMEA-707 From Netherlands, joined Nov 1999, 4265 posts, RR: 34
Reply 8, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 9828 times:



Quoting 747m8te (Reply 6):
, but at the same time there are many 737 operators out there who use their winglet equiped 737 on both short and long range sectors, so surely the gains on the long range flights must out way the negatives of the shorter sectors?

Indeed the winglets on 737NG's are worth the investment the higher the fuel price is.
In the early 2000s you only saw winglets on BBJs and airlines flying relatively long flights with them like Air Pacific and ATA, but the higher the fuel went, the more sense it made, even for airlines who at first weren't that interested like KLM, SAS, American and Delta. Nowadays only some domestic Chinese airlines still don't take winglets (yet) on their new 737s.
But the point made by Sandro and others was; the wing of the A-320 is already good as it is, it's likely winglets will give a much smaller % saving, in which case it might only make sense for a few of the longest sectors, and not for the bulk of big airlines like BA, UA, US, AF who fly them mostly on 1-3 hour flights.



nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21417 posts, RR: 60
Reply 9, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 9821 times:



Quoting Mercure1 (Reply 7):
One other possible benefit from the API winglets will be an improvement in the MTOW on rwys which pose a current limit. I'm aware that the API winglets on the 737 allow apprx 2~3000lbs of MTOW on certain short rwys.

It also can decrease noise when other aspects are held constant by requiring less power and allowing for faster clime outs and lower approach speeds.

It seemed during the last tests that the solutions they were attempting were too small to be worthwhile, but the API blended design has all sorts of patents involved so simply copying them wouldn't have been feasible. They needed API on board. Now they are.

Expect this test to "pass" and the winglets to become an option.



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineTdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 10, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 9735 times:



Quoting SandroZRH (Reply 2):
In fact, the A320 wings are so efficient that it's hard to gain any more efficiency from winglets, unless on very long flights.



Quoting MEA-707 (Reply 8):
But the point made by Sandro and others was; the wing of the A-320 is already good as it is, it's likely winglets will give a much smaller % saving

I think this reflects a slight misunderstanding about how winglets work...a proper designed winglet can *always* improve the efficiency of a wing by lowering induced drag (it's effectively an aspect ratio increase).

The issue is that it puts more load on the wing, and moves it outboard. There may be enough structural margin in the wing to allow this without modification, in which case you're in great shape. It may require minor reinforcement, in which case it's probably still feasible if fuel cost is high. Or it may require major structural changes to the wing, in which case the cost may outweight the benefit.

It's not really a matter of how efficient the wing already it, it's a matter of how much structural margin is left in the wing (and where). A really efficient wing should have low structural margin (keep the weight down) but there's always some spread because of differing fuselage lengths, MTOW's, and engine ratings across a fleet. So, if Airbus is right on the edge with the A320, it may work on the A318 and A319 but not the A320. Or work on the A320 but not on the A321. It all depends. When I say "work" I mean "economically viable"...you can always get the aerodynamics to work with enough study, it's the existing structure you have to live with.

Tom.


User currently offlineTerryb99 From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 291 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 9677 times:

When I posted this almost 2 years ago;

http://www.airliners.net/aviation-fo...general_aviation/read.main/3027538

The brief Speednews mention made it sound like the added reinforcement needed, could not be offset by the fuel savings to make it worthwhile.
Maybe todays fuel prices changes things.


User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21417 posts, RR: 60
Reply 12, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 9570 times:



Quoting Terryb99 (Reply 11):
The brief Speednews mention made it sound like the added reinforcement needed, could not be offset by the fuel savings to make it worthwhile.
Maybe todays fuel prices changes things.

Again, that is assuming all winglets are created equal. But the two models Airbus used seemed hardly worth it when you compare the design of the API winglet.



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineManfredj From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 1132 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 9495 times:



Quoting SandroZRH (Reply 2):
Yes, and this is gonna be difficult. In fact, the A320 wings are so efficient that it's hard to gain any more efficiency from winglets, unless on very long flights. If they fail to achieve any efficiency improvement on shorter flights, winglets on the A320 won't be a success, because airlines prefer to have flexible fleets and not a small subfleet of winglet equipped A320s for longer routes which will consume more fuel on short flights due to the winglet's weight.

We discussed this in class the other day.

I don't know where your getting this information from...Are you talking about the current winglet? If not, this is a broad statement as there is always room for improvement aerodynamically on any aircraft. Increasing the surface area of the winglet is one way. I'm sure Airbus hasn't been working with the new vendor only to have minimal benefits....even on short halls.



757: The last of the best
User currently offlineSandroZRH From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 3415 posts, RR: 50
Reply 14, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 9130 times:



Quoting Tdscanuck (Reply 10):



Quoting Manfredj (Reply 13):

I don't know where your getting this information from...Are you talking about the current winglet? If not, this is a broad statement as there is always room for improvement aerodynamically on any aircraft. Increasing the surface area of the winglet is one way. I'm sure Airbus hasn't been working with the new vendor only to have minimal benefits....even on short halls.

Of course it's possible to improve the aerodynamics of a wing, but the question is wether it makes sense, Simply put: if the additional fuel burn caused by the weight of the winglets outweights the savings in fuel burn caused by the winglets (by lowering drag), it doesn't make economic sense. What i'm talking about is that the gain in fuel savings with a winglet on the A320s wings is so slim that it would only make sense on very long sectors, thus not being very attractive for A320 operators that operate short or short and long sectors. (as was the case with the first winglet they designed for the A320, hence it was never introduced). The point is that the A320 wing produces very little induced drag as it is, and hence the lowering thereof would be slim, which would only make the winglet economically feasabel on long sectors, as i pointed out.

The 737 is a whole different story, because it is a different wing, and sadly aerodynamically not as efficient as the A32S's, hence the lowering of induced drag is larger and the winglets make economical sense on shorter flights.

I'll look for my principles of flight papers from class to provide you with some hard facts.


User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21417 posts, RR: 60
Reply 15, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 9039 times:



Quoting SandroZRH (Reply 14):
What i'm talking about is that the gain in fuel savings with a winglet on the A320s wings is so slim that it would only make sense on very long sectors, thus not being very attractive for A320 operators that operate short or short and long sectors.

And yet Airbus is investing more time and money into trying another winglet. So maybe all this talk is full of assumptions, as well as buying into the Airbus PR/excuse machine during the last round, rather than based on any science?

No wing is so perfect that it can't be improved greatly.



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineSandroZRH From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 3415 posts, RR: 50
Reply 16, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 8952 times:



Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 15):
So maybe all this talk is full of assumptions, as well as buying into the Airbus PR/excuse machine during the last round, rather than based on any science?

Exactly, cuz LX wouldn't know anything about A32S performance data and certainly wouldn't provide their future A32S pilots with the right facts. Oh please  Yeah sure


User currently offlineTdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 17, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 8670 times:



Quoting SandroZRH (Reply 14):
What i'm talking about is that the gain in fuel savings with a winglet on the A320s wings is so slim

The point is that the A320 wing produces very little induced drag as it is, and hence the lowering thereof would be slim, which would only make the winglet economically feasabel on long sectors, as i pointed out.

This was exactly what I was talking about, and I don't think you're getting...the amount you can gain with a winglet has nothing to do with how aerodynamically efficient the original wing was. It has everything to do with how much structural margin the wing has.

It's not like the 737 winglet is bringing the 737 wing closer to an "ideal wing" and the A320 wing is better so it has less gain to be had...that's not how winglets work.

Tom.


User currently offlineLightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12421 posts, RR: 100
Reply 18, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 8632 times:
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Quoting SandroZRH (Reply 2):
In fact, the A320 wings are so efficient that it's hard to gain any more efficiency from winglets,

The same myth exists about the DC-9 wings too!  duck  The A320 wings are an older design that predate the latest supercritical airfoil technologies. There is a lot of room for improvement in the aerodynamics. Winglets should provide a tremendous boost to A320 performance. There is a reason Airbus is investing this money... Customers are demanding relief from today's fuel costs.

The question of winglets is the span forces that the A320 wing has trouble dealing with. But something needs to be done with the A320. The poster child is B6 and their transcon range issues against the winter winds. Due to the poor performance of the A320 wing at high take off weights, the center fuel tank weight actually decreased the range!  wideeyed  That implies strongly that the wing has too high of a wing loading, for its design, for their service.

Good winglets should be able to cut A320 fuel burn 4% with little to no increase in fuel burn on short hops (e.g., B6 doing JFK-BUF). The

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 15):
No wing is so perfect that it can't be improved greatly.

 checkmark 
By the time any wing enters service, we R&D types know how to make a better one that would get 2%+ lower fuel burn. I work in a field where the state of the art is obsolete within 15 years. I love it!  hyper 

Airframes *must* be continuously improved or else the airframer has made the decision to end production within 7 years. Its that brutal of a market. Airbus is doing the improvements. (e.g., the wing root change, winglets, and working with the engine makers to cut fuel burn too). I'm glad to see they're pushing the winglets again. Now its time to lighten the A320 family.

Note: I have similar critiques on the 737NG. Starting with the CFM-56 (the airframe *really* needs a duel stage HPT in today's fuel environment).

Lightsaber



I've posted how many times?!?
User currently offlineHawkercamm From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2007, 405 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 8185 times:



Quoting Lightsaber (Reply 18):
The A320 wings are an older design that predate the latest supercritical airfoil technologies. There is a lot of room for improvement in the aerodynamics

The A320 wing may be "an older design" but by modern standards its still extremely good. Hats off to the BAe guys from Weybridge

Quoting Lightsaber (Reply 18):
There is a reason Airbus is investing this money

I think your'll find API are the ones doing the money thing.. FT excluded!

Quoting Lightsaber (Reply 18):
The question of winglets is the span forces that the A320 wing has trouble dealing with. But something needs to be done with the A320. The poster child is B6 and their transcon range issues against the winter winds. Due to the poor performance of the A320 wing at high take off weights, the center fuel tank weight actually decreased the range! wideeyed That implies strongly that the wing has too high of a wing loading, for its design, for their service.

The problem with winglets/span extensions is that there is a law of diminishing return with respect to fuel burn (weight included).
Don't forget that the A320 already has a wing tip fence which works very well. Therefore the A320+WTF reference is more difficult to "beat" than a competitor aircraft without.
Also note that the A320-100 did not have a wing tip device. The A320-200 did and thus a good amount of structural reserves have already been cashed... Add in 20years of weight optimization and don't be surprised if there are little structural reserves and the API winglets don't make it onto the serial aircraft.

The best thing airbus could do to improve the A320 is put on the PW GTF coupled with an aerodynamic clean up.


User currently offlineLightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12421 posts, RR: 100
Reply 20, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 6948 times:
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Quoting Hawkercamm (Reply 19):
but by modern standards its still extremely good. Hats off to the BAe guys from Weybridge

They are extremely good. That is not the same as saying they couldn't be better.  Wink For the year they were introduced they were excellent. I didn't mean to imply otherwise. But its time to cut the burn with winglets. For example, when Boeing launched the 738, they *knew* winglets wouldn't be worth it as their wing was so well designed. Well... we all know differently now as most 738's are being retrofitted with winglets.

Quoting Hawkercamm (Reply 19):
I think your'll find API are the ones doing the money thing.

Fair enough. That means if their winglets work they will have an exclusive (they never do the contract any other way).

Quoting Hawkercamm (Reply 19):
The best thing airbus could do to improve the A320 is put on the PW GTF coupled with an aerodynamic clean up.

No argument there!  hyper 

Lightsaber



I've posted how many times?!?
User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21417 posts, RR: 60
Reply 21, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 6622 times:



Quoting SandroZRH (Reply 16):
Exactly, cuz LX wouldn't know anything about A32S performance data and certainly wouldn't provide their future A32S pilots with the right facts. Oh please

So LX was provided with data that proved that the A320 wing was the epitome of design and couldn't be significantly improved? "Cuz" I would question those facts…

As Lightsaber, someone who knows this kind of thing said, the A320 has a great wing, a great design in 1985 that has been tweaked since then, and still holds up well. But there is room for improvement, and Airbus knows this. If they didn't, they would be exploring winglets yet again.

If they want to compete with a future Boeing 797 without going with a whole new design to replace the A320, the "perfect" A320 wing will need to be more perfect than it is. 4-6% more perfect at minimum. And a winglet will be part of that to cut down on wingspan while still providing the benefit of an effectively longer wing.



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineLightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12421 posts, RR: 100
Reply 22, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 6178 times:
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Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 21):
4-6% more perfect at minimum. And a winglet will be part of that to cut down on wingspan while still providing the benefit of an effectively longer wing.

Well said. Very well said. Now I cannot add you to my RU list twice...  Wink

And I agree with the magnitude. Combined with a GTF.  cloudnine 

Lightsaber



I've posted how many times?!?
User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21417 posts, RR: 60
Reply 23, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 6147 times:



Quoting Lightsaber (Reply 22):
And I agree with the magnitude. Combined with a GTF.

And other aero tweaks, and some avionics improvements, and a structural lightening program similar to what Boeing did with the 737NG, and a miniaturization of some systems to reduce weight, and inclusion of more lighter materials to reduce weight.

If they can get all that together, they might get 15-20%, which may be enough to hold it's own against a 797.



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineEPA001 From Netherlands, joined Sep 2006, 4593 posts, RR: 38
Reply 24, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 6068 times:
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Quoting Lightsaber (Reply 22):
Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 21):
4-6% more perfect at minimum. And a winglet will be part of that to cut down on wingspan while still providing the benefit of an effectively longer wing.

Well said. Very well said. Now I cannot add you to my RU list twice...

And I agree with the magnitude. Combined with a GTF.



Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 23):
Quoting Lightsaber (Reply 22):
And I agree with the magnitude. Combined with a GTF.

And other aero tweaks, and some avionics improvements, and a structural lightening program similar to what Boeing did with the 737NG, and a miniaturization of some systems to reduce weight, and inclusion of more lighter materials to reduce weight.

If they can get all that together, they might get 15-20%, which may be enough to hold it's own against a 797.

Both of the last posts are very well said imho. I could not agree more with the both of you. If they would get an increase in performance or reduction of costs of 15-20% it would be quite an achievement. No doubt an all new 797 would also get there in my opinion. It will be interesting to see if Airbus will go the B737-NG way with their A320 family, or that they will go for an all new A360 or so.

Kind regards.


User currently offlineTdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 25, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 5613 times:



Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 23):
If they can get all that together, they might get 15-20%

I'm not so sure about this. In order to get 15-20% improvement over a mid-80's airplane (767), Boeing had to go clean sheet, and if the rumours are true, they're having a very hard time actually meeting that target.

That suggests that incremental improvements on an existing design really don't have much chance of getting those kinds of gains, especially when both the 737NG and A320 are regarded as being extremely good in their current form already.

Tom.


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