Airbus Rolls out the Sharklets

First A320 New Build with Sharklets | Photo Copyright Airbus | Aviation News

First Sharklet Equipped A320 in Toulouse

Airbus is now swimming with the sharks, er, Sharklets, to reduce fuel burn and increase efficiency on its airbus A320 family aircraft.  The first new-build A320 with Sharklet wing tips has rolled off the line in Toulouse as MSN 5098 (pictured above) and will become one of several A320 family aircraft in the certification flight-test campaign.

The Airbus A320 family includes the A318, A319, A320, and A321 aircraft types.

Flight testing will start in May, 2012, and last nearly 600 flight hours.

Airbus will produce A320 family aircraft fitted with the CFM56 and V2500 engine, the two engine types certified for use on the Airbus A320; both are high bypass turbofan engines.   Each airframe and engine combination with the Sharklets will require certification.

Test results will lead to certification of the fuel-saving devices on each combination of aircraft model and engine selection.  The first to enter service is predicted to be the CFM56-powered A320, from the fourth quarter of 2012.

The Sharklets, or large wing tips, have been specifically designed for the A320 family and will reduce fuel burn by up to 3.5 percent.

As a result of high fuel prices and potential for instability in the oil the markets, a 3.5 percent savings will add up for customers.  Additionally, it will reduce CO2 emissions by nearly 700 tonnes per aircraft, which, according to Airbus is equal to about 200 automobiles annually.

The high winged tip Sharklets will be an option on new-build A320 aircraft and will become standard with the A320neo Family.

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