A320 Sharklets Receive EASA Certification – FAA next

Airbus A320 Sharklets

Airbus A320 Aircraft Equipped with Wing Sharklets

Airbus Sharklet Certified – aircraft and engines to follow

The European airworthiness authorities (EASA) certified new, fuel-saving wing Sharklets for Airbus A320 family aircraft with CFM engines. FAA certification is soon to follow.

Similar “Winglets” have been installed on Boeing aircraft including the 737ng, 757, and 767. The winglets have been successful at providing fuel savings.

The Sharklets, like winglets, are large wing devices made from composites and are nearly 8 feet tall. The Sharklets will be attached to the A320’s wing-tip during the assembly process as they improve aerodynamics and reduce fuel burn.

In addition to reducing fuel consumption, the Sharklets will add approximately 100nm range and also allow increased payload capability of up to 450kgs. The Sharklets are an option on new-build aircraft and will be standard on the A320neo Family.

All Airbus’ single-aisle final assembly lines will build A320 Family aircraft with Sharkets. Airbus has A320 final assembly lines in Toulouse, Hamburg and Tianjin, and will be followed with a new final assembly line in Mobile, Alabama.

Tom Williams, Executive Vice President of Programs at Airbus, commented, “The certification of Airbus’ Sharklets is a milestone which paves the way for airlines to benefit from savings in fuel of around four percent. That’s better than we’d anticipated.” Williams continued, “The annual greenhouse gas emission reduction per aircraft equipped with Sharklets will be approximately 1,000 tonnes of CO2 – that’s equivalent to taking 200 cars off the roads.”

Test flights have been made with A320 Family aircraft equipped with Sharklets powered by both CFM56 and V2500 engines. Once complete, the flight testing will encompass nearly 600 flight-hours over a period of 9 to 10 months.

Certification of the remaining aircraft and engine variants with Sharklets will follow in the coming months according to Airbus.

Air Asia is set to become the first airline to take delivery of Sharklet-equipped A320s near the end of 2012.

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