SEATTLE, Jan. 2, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Aviation Partners Boeing (APB) today announced that Southwest Airlines has ordered Split Scimitar Winglets for its Boeing Next-Generation 737-800 aircraft. APB's newest program is the culmination of a five-year design effort using the latest computational fluid dynamic technology to redefine the aerodynamics of the Blended Winglet into an all-new Split Scimitar Winglet. The unique feature of the Split Scimitar Winglet is that it uses the existing Blended Winglet structure, but adds new strengthened spars, aerodynamic scimitar tips, and a large ventral strake. APB looks forward to receiving FAA certification for Split Scimitar Winglets later this month.
"Having Southwest Airlines commit to our new Split Scimitar Winglet program is an incredible endorsement of both Aviation Partners Boeing and our products," said Patrick LaMoria, Aviation Partners Boeing executive vice president and chief commercial officer. "With over 10 years experience operating Blended Winglets on their entire Boeing Next-Generation 737 fleet, the upgrade to Split Scimitar Winglets was a natural next step for Southwest Airlines."
Southwest Airlines is the globally accepted model of how to successfully operate a low-cost airline. By upgrading Boeing Next-Generation 737-800s with Split Scimitar Winglets, APB estimates that Southwest will increase its annual fuel savings of approximately three percent per aircraft from Blended Winglets to approximately five percent per aircraft annually with the Split Scimitar Winglet upgrade. In addition to lowering Southwest's fuel costs, the Split Scimitar Winglet will reduce emissions, supporting Southwest's commitment to efficiency and to the Planet.
Southwest's order of 85 Split Scimitar Winglets allows the airline to retrofit the 52 Boeing 737-800s currently in its fleet, in addition to the 33 Boeing 737-800s the airline expects to be delivered in 2014. Pending FAA certification, Southwest Airlines plans to begin Split Scimitar Winglet retrofits at Aviation Technical Services, based in Everett, Wash., in the first half of 2014, with an expected completion of all retrofits by early 2015."Southwest Airlines is continuously searching for opportunities to reduce fuel consumption and to supplement our environmental stewardship," said Mike Van de Ven, Southwest Airlines executive vice president and chief operating officer. "Aviation Partners Boeing has proven to offer superior technology that performs as promised and we are excited to introduce Split Scimitar Winglets on our 737-800 aircraft in 2014." APB's Split Scimitar Winglet program is the most successful product launch in its history. Since launching the program early last year, APB has now taken orders and options for 1,451 Split Scimitar Winglet systems. Over the last 10 years, APB has sold more than 7,000 Blended Winglet Systems. Over 5,100 Blended Winglet Systems are now in service with over 200 airlines in more than 100 countries. APB estimates that Blended Winglets have saved airlines worldwide over 4 billion gallons of jet fuel to-date.