To save fuel United Airlines is adding additional winglets to the wingtips of their airplanes.
The radical re-sculpting of traditional winglets adds a new tip below the upturned one that sharply curve backwards like a scimitar. That further reduces wingtip vortices that drag on the wingtips. Each traditional pair of winglets on the 737 cuts fuel consumption by 3.5% to 4% on flights of more than 1,000 nautical miles. The split scimitar upgrade—which costs $545,000, before discounts–will reduce fuel burn by up to 2% more, says United, which hopes to save up to $60 million a year because of the devices, once its fleet is outfitted.
Very smart. Expect to see these winglets appear on all commercial jets in short order.