Airbus wants to make A350 winglets more streamlined


Singapore - Some improvements to the new aerodynamics package of the A350 will be available by the end of 2018, and more to follow by 2020, said Sales Chief of A350 Francois Obe at the Singapore Airshow.

Since mid-October, the A350 prototype MSN001 has been testing new winglets in Toulouse. The new winglets are estimated half a meter longer and no longer resemble the standard "Sharklets."

Airbus has tested whether the wing structure is compatible with the larger winglets, said Obe. The new winglets would deliver "tangible benefits" and reduce consumption.

There are still no official photos from Airbus or further details about the new wing optimisations. They reduce the induced drag on the wing and thus fuel consumption by improving the flow at the wing tips. Winglets also increase the effective wing area.

In the past, Airbus had repeatedly investigated and compared different winglet designs, including the A320neo. The larger the end surfaces are, the more the inner wing structure has to be reinforced. In addition, the climb performance and the range changes, so the software of the flight instruments must be adapted accordingly.