767-300ER soon to get winglets

Fuel-saving retrofit for Boeing 767-300s
Excerpts below

By Michelle Dunlop
Herald Writer

EVERETT – Jet fuel prices are up and lead times for fuel-efficient aircraft are out, leaving carriers with few ways to cut fuel consumption.

That’s where Aviation Partners Boeing comes in. The company has been helping airlines save fuel on single-aisle aircraft flights for nearly a decade. By the end of this year, its “blended winglet” technology could provide a reprieve to operators of Boeing 767-300 Extended Range widebody jets, too.

In 2007, the Seattle-based Aviation Partners Boeing launched the 767-300ER winglet retrofit program, equipping existing 767s with the curved winglet sets. The company plans to have U.S. Federal Aviation Administration approval for its 767 product by the end of November.

Aviation Partners Boeing estimates that 767-300ER winglets provide carriers an average fuel savings of 350,000 gallons annually. That’s about a 6 percent fuel savings. As of mid-May, jet fuel prices had increased 90 percent over the same period in 2007, according to the International Air Transport Association. Adding winglets onto a passenger or a freighter 767-300ER jet can also boost the aircraft’s range by as many as 360 nautical miles and increase its payload by as much as 12,000 pounds, according to Aviation Partners’ predictions.

Aviation Partners Boeing has won orders for 121 sets of 767-300ER winglets from seven customers. That’s more customers than previous winglet retrofit programs had won before receiving FAA certification, LaMoria said. The company expects to sell out retrofit slots for the first year before it receives FAA approval.

Both American Airlines and Delta have put in requests for 767 winglet retrofits. Delta, for instance, plans to have 30 of its 767-300ER jets flying with winglets by 2010. The U.S.-based carrier has options to retrofit the remainder of its 767 fleet. At the end of 2007, that included a total of 50 767-300ER jets.

Boeing has taken orders from 43 customers for 538 of its 767-300ER jets and has delivered 523 aircraft already. That leaves a pretty large market for Aviation Partners Boeing to target. United Air Lines, for instance, has more than 30 767-300ER jets in its fleet.

The jetmaker’s chief executive, Jim McNerney, recently told Boeing investors that he anticipates even more 767 orders in the future, despite going 14 months without a single 767 request.

Part of that demand is due to the delay in Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner – a setback that has driven interest in winglet retrofits on the 767, LaMoria said. Rising fuel costs, however, already had prompted some airlines to purchase the winglets.

“Now they know they may have to keep their planes in service a few years longer, it’s a more attractive case,” LaMoria said.

When Aviation Partners Boeing picks up FAA certification, it expects to pick up more 767 retrofit orders. American Air Lines workers in Kansas City are installing the first 767 winglets and will coordinate with Aviation Partners Boeing on flight tests, LaMoria said. Ultimately, the company predicts it will supply blended winglets for 80 percent of the 767-300ER jets on the market.

Speaking of winglets: Does anyone know if there are plans to retrofit DC-9-80s (MD-80s) with winglets?

Apparently, not at this time: http://www.aviationpartnersboeing.com/products/futureproducts.html

But you can teach an old dog new tricks…

Speaking of winglets: Does anyone know if there are plans to retrofit DC-9-80s (MD-80s) with winglets?

That’s a good question. There is a huge fleet out there from American, Delta and of course, Northwest. I think it depends on if these airlines would support such a project/how long they plan to keep these planes in their fleets… I know all three are dying to rid themselves of the fuel sipping MD-80’s/Dc-9’s. The savings have to offset the costs.

Not gonna happen. Aviation Partners won’t spend the R&D monies as the majors are pushing to retire the Mad Dog. AA plans to park over 40 of them as part of their 12% capacity reduction.

MD80 winglets in flight test, don’t know if they are certified yet.


Maybe won’t happen for the MD-80’s if everyone’s parking them soon. However, Delta, Midwest, and AirTran might be interested in them for their MD-90’s and 717’s.

Good find John…

But my HO is that the investment justification isn’t there for the for the -80. But I could see it for the 717’s

Smaller operators might find justification. Justice just added some MD-83’s to their fleet.

Why, there is such a small amount of 717’s out there.

Even with American removing some from service, they still have a huge fleets of MD80s (over 200). The aircraft , compared with today’s aircraft is crying out for winglets to increase its fuel efficience.

There’s also many other domestic and foreign airlines that still operate the MD80. They could also benefit from winglets.

Because of the 150 or so 717’s in service, they are modern and efficient enough to be viable for awhile. The older P&W engined -80 is a fuel hog compared to the high-bypass engined 737NG, A320, and the 717. A 3-5 percent gain is nowhere near enough to close the gap on the aformentioned aircraft. The -80 was good in its day for the majors that bought them because they were cheap. AA bought them in the 80’s during their big expansion because they needed a 140 seater fast and 737’s were backlogged…and MD sold them cheap. CO has dumped them, DL is retiring them slowly, and AA is going to start parking them. So I don’t think you’ll see the majors invest in winglets for the remaining -80’s. Midwest, Allegiant, maybe… Justice…I’d be surprised. There’s probably a market for -80 winglets, but not for the US majors, IMHO.