Can The 717 Be Modified With Winglets?

Fri Oct 01, 1999 10:27 am

Assuming that AirTran wanted to operate an ATL-LAX route, could it be possible w/ a modified 717 w/ extra tanks and winglets? The current AirTran 717 can(but they don't) fly a route as far as DEN from ATL.


RE: Can The 717 Be Modified With Winglets?

Fri Oct 01, 1999 10:34 am

I doubt that they would do this. I mean, anything is possible, but the 717 is a brand new aircraft and I really don't think that the 717 would need them. I am positive Boeing is not offering them. The reason you see 727s with the winglets is for hushkits and for increased range. The 717 does not need the increased range.


RE: Can The 717 Be Modified With Winglets?/JWM

Fri Oct 01, 1999 10:39 am

Here's another assumption. Let's say AirTran did not want the 737NG to have a one-fleet system and reduce costs(still using ATL-LAX as an example).
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No Winglets For 717

Fri Oct 01, 1999 10:44 am

The DC9/MD80 type wing is not designed for aftermarket winglets. The load carrying structure and basic design preclude any of these models from ever seeing winglets. Raisbeck looked at something like winglets to help DC9's become stage III compliant but resorted to other techniques stating winglets won't work on that design. The Boeing designs (other than the 717 which started as a McDD design) lend themselves nicely to winglets. Look for a 747-200 winglet kit to come out within the next 2 years significantly helping either range or payload (or both). Finally, the 717 design does not lend itself to transcontinental runs. The wing is great for short to medium haul runs but you just can't get high enough (cruise altitude) to achieve the fuel efficiency necessary. Also, the cruise speed for such a long run would start to factor in as opposed to the Mach .8 the 737 NG's achieve. I suppose 3 o 4 717's could be stuffed with fuel tanks and go the whole way but that ultimately would not be the best way to do it. Long live the 737 NG's for transcon (non-widebody) runs!!!
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RE: Can The 717 Be Modified With Winglets?

Fri Oct 01, 1999 2:03 pm

I imagine that if AirTran wanted to do ATL-LAX (or other transcon routes) with their 717s, they'd offer same-plane service with a stop somewhere in the midwest. Assuming, of course, that Boeing doesn't develop a longer-range model of the 717.