Kulula.com, a South African low-fare airline operated by Comair, recently fitted a new set of Split Scimitar Winglets to one of its aircraft, making it the first African carrier to install this new technology.
The winglets, offered by Aviation Partners Boeing, will be fitted to three additional Boeing Next-Generation 737-800 aircraft currently in the Kulula fleet, and will also be fitted to the four new Boeing Next Generation 737- 800s which are set to be delivered in late 2015 and 2016.
“The upgrade from the current Blended Winglets to new Split Scimitar Winglets will reduce fuel consumption by 1.4% per aircraft, increase efficiency, reduce carbon emissions and result in an average cost saving of more $100,000 per aircraft per year,” says Captain Martin Louw, Comair’s Operations Director.
The SSW uses the existing Blended Winglet structure (the upward-turned part), but adds new aerodynamic scimitar tips and a large ventral strake (the downward-turned part) that curves backwards like a scimitar (a sword with a curved blade). The aerodynamic crafted upswept wingtips minimise drag by reducing the wingtip vortices – mini tornadoes that occur at the ends of aeroplane wings because of differing pressure above and below.