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Active winglets approvedActive winglets approved

The FAA has at last awarded a supplemental type certificate to install active winglets made by Tamarack Aerospace Group Inc. on various Cessna Citation models. The first prototype of the technology was installed on a Cirrus SR22. CEO Nick Guida’s invention could one day make passive winglets obsolete across the general aviation fleet and beyond.

Active winglets developed by Tamarack Aerospace Group, Inc., can be fitted to Cessna Citation jets without the need to augment the wing structure. Photo courtesy of Tamarack Aerospace Group.

Tamarack secured European approval for the Active Technology Load Alleviation System in December 2015, about a year ahead of the FAA approval announced Jan. 3. “The importance of the FAA approval cannot be understated," Guida said in the news release. "We have a long list of orders and our customers are actively working with our partner, Cessna, on scheduling installs. With the STC behind us, we expect a significant number of new orders from customers who have waited for certification.”

The company also is working to adapt the ATLAS system for other aircraft, since the system can be scaled to any aircraft type. AOPA flew the active winglets in 2012, noting performance benefits that any aircraft owner would welcome. Those benefits include reduced fuel consumption and weight, since the winglets can be added (and their aerodynamic benefits enjoyed) without needing to alter the airframe or wing structure.

Small, computer-controlled surfaces are installed just inboard of the winglets themselves, and eliminate the need to strengthen the wing to compensate for the higher bending moment induced by the lift winglets produce during turns. If the system fails, a warning light tells the crew to limit maneuvering speed for the duration of flight. In normal operation, the active winglet system improves performance and decreases fuel consumption by about 20 percent

The company announced in September that the aircraft valuation guide Vref had determined the winglet modification adds 100 percent of its cost to the aircraft’s value; a Tamarack spokesman said at that time that a typical retrofit costs roughly $220,000, a price that was expected to increase to $245,000 following FAA certification.

The FAA approval covers Cessna Citation CJ, CJ1, CJ1+, and M2 models.

Jim Moore

Jim Moore

Editor-Web
Editor-Web Jim Moore joined AOPA in 2011 and is an instrument-rated private pilot who enjoys competition aerobatics.
Topics: Aircraft Accessories, Aircraft Components

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