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.
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.”
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.