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15/11/2009 – Airbus Introduces “Sharklets” (Could I Resist Writing About A Sharklet?)
Lets face it…if you’ve been called “Fish” for the better part of the past 30 years could you resist writing about a “Sharklet?” You’d probably smile also if you heard that aircraft manufacturer Airbus introduced “Sharklets” for their A320 series of aircraft.
What is a “Sharklet?” A Sharklet is simply Airbus’ new term for a “winglet.” What’s a winglet? A winglet is a vertical wing-tip extension that improves the efficiency of an aircraft.
Airbus has chosen to use the term “Sharklet” as a blended winglet design on an Airbus A320 has looks like a shark’s dorsal fin. Airbus may have also chosen the term Sharklet as the winglets are being created by Aviation Partners, also known as “Aviation Partners Boeing.” As Boeing and Airbus are direct competitors, I can understand why Airbus would seek to distance its self from using a term associated with Boeing.
The addition of Sharklets to the Airbus A320 wings should cut aircraft fuel burn by 3.5% and reduce carbon emissions by 730-tons per aircraft. Air New Zealand, the flag carrier of a nation known for having an environmental conscience, will be the launch customer for the new Airbus Sharklets.
Oh yea…my kids have been referred to as Minnows of Guppies by friends and colleagues…I’m thinking I might prefer the term Sharklets for them instead!
Below is an Airbus image of the Airbus A320 equipped with Sharklets.