Airbus has completed installation of the first set of ‘Sharklet’ wing-tip devices on the company’s A320 development aircraft.

Airbus has completed installation of the first set of ‘Sharklet’ wing-tip devices on the company’s A320 development aircraft.

On November 21, 2011 Airbus revealed the company's A320 development aircraft had been fitted with Sharklets, in preparation for flight-testing the new wing-tip devices

The manufacturer will now prepare the aircraft (which has the manufacturer’s serial number 001) for the Sharklet flight-test program in the coming weeks.

Sharklets, which have been specially designed for the Airbus A320 family, will reduce each fitted aircraft’s fuel burn by up to 3.5 per cent, according to Airbus.

The reduction in fuel burn will correspond to an annual CO2 reduction of around 700 tonnes per aircraft, Airbus says. This reduction is equivalent to the CO2 produced by around 200 cars annually.

These new wingtip devices are around 2.5 meters (8 feet 2.5 inches) tall and will replace the aircraft’s current wingtip fences, which look rather like arrowheads.

Sharklets will be offered as an option on new-build aircraft of the existing A320 family, as well as being standard on the forthcoming Airbus A320neo family.

The new wing-tip devices will also enhance the aircraft’s payload-range and take-off performance, according to Airbus.

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