Kawasaki to Supply Innovative Blended Winglets for Boeing 737
Feb. 07, 2002
Kawasaki has entered into an agreement with Aviation Partners Boeing, LLC. (APB) regarding the design, development and manufacture of blended winglets for Boeing 737-300/400/500 jetliners. Under the agreement, Kawasaki will design, develop and manufacture the winglets. The first Kawasaki winglets will be shipped in the third quarter of 2002 for installation in the first of the airplanes. Under Kawasaki's cooperation with APB, it is expected that certification from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration will be obtained by the end of the year.
Winglets are upward-swept 8-foot-high structures on the tips of the wings that enhance the performance of aircraft. They are called blended winglets because of their unique curvilinear shapes, embodying aerodynamic improvements that contribute to the fuel efficiency of the aircraft, the extension of their range and noise reduction, consequently alleviating the environmental load.
Kawasaki's blended winglet applies its proprietary KMS-6115*, an advanced composite material developed for use in aircraft. This is the first application of KMS-6115 for the Boeing aircraft. The new winglet is expected to find applications in Boeing's 747 and 767 models as well. Kawasaki's role in the partnership with APB covers a broad range of responsibilities, from the blended winglet design, to developmental tasks that include the testing and manufacture of full-scale test articles, to the manufacture of production models of winglets.
* KMS-6115 is a cost-effective aircraft material made from the latest, high-performance carbon fibers for industrial use and toughened epoxy resin. It has 60 percent greater tensile strength and 30 percent greater compressive strength than conventional composite materials.