B6JFKH81 From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 2808 posts, RR: 7 Reply 1, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 3890 times:
The retrofit program hasn't even rolled out yet. The first plane to be delivered with sharklets isn't even going to be delivered until 2012 IIRC. B6's planes won't be getting them factory direct until 2013 FWIK.
"If you do not learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it"
TomFoolery From Austria, joined Jan 2004, 512 posts, RR: 2 Reply 2, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 3869 times:
The A32x require a somewhat more radical degree of structural modification to install the sharklets than do the winglets used on the 737s. It had been determined that due to the degree of work necessary, sharklets would only be installed during production, rather than as an aftermarket retrofit.
The 737 has a much more robust wing box, and a wing structure that allows the existing wingtips to be "chopped", so that the winglets can be mounted fairly easily, and cost effectively. The same holds true for the 757 and 767 models as well.
"Airbus is finally granting JetBlue's wishes for a winglet retrofit programme, and is working with the airline to become a launch customer to retrofit its existing A320 fleet"
The short history; JBU worked w/ Airbus for many hrs developing a winglet mod for the A320 over the last 5yrs.
Airbus shelved the idea, originally. My speculation, "A" probably delayed any proposed sharklet retrofit once they decided to offer factory new sharklet A320s and A320NEOs, perhaps fearing an impact of sales to these newer offerings. Seems like a big "A" customers (JBU), finally pushed Airbus over the edge, into offering such a retrofit.
No doubt, a sharklet retrofit on a earlier A320 model might be a supreme PITA, wrt wing structure reinforcements, but I would speculate JBU wouldn't have pushed Airbus into it, unless they believe it would provide some benefit, even considering all the PITA and additional wt it may cause.