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Southwest Airlines Community

A Quick Look at Winglets

blusk
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For those of you who read Gordon's post about bees, you will remember he mentioned winglets. One of our Customers recently sent us these stunning inflight views of these fuel-saving devices, and we thought that they would give you a big lift! Thanks to Paul von Heeder in Dallas for sharing these with us! winglet 3winglet onewinglet two
36 Comments
joe-mdw-plane-d
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Glad I got to ride on one of those 700 series with winglets from dtw to phx! I didn't even see them at first in the early dawn. About a half hour later I did see them. Impressive!
BOB
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YOU GUYS ARE EATING MARKET SHARE FROM EVERYONE ELSE..
Jack12
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It's funny to see how long it took other airlines (except ATA) to figure out what you guys figured out early on: winglets = gas savings.
Bill_Monoson
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I like to fly and Southwest is my favorite airline. When I used to travel for business, I liked it it was on time over 99% of the time. There was always a flight where I had to go and I could depend on it to get me there on time. I am now 67 years old, and don't fly as much, but when I do, it is Southwest for me! One thing, some flights have attendants that have a knack for humor. I think that should be expanded to all flight attendants. I know that some are probably a little shy for this kind of thing, but as personable as they all seem to be to me when I fly, a little professional writing should help them out. My future flights will almost certainly be on Southwest and I recommend it to all my friends.
Bruce2
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Just thought I'd share a great view of the winglets that I captured on a trip out of Florida... http://www.airliners.net/open.file/0800180/L/ Also another wingleted beauty lifting from BNA - shot from a great vantage point just off the runway! http://www.airliners.net/open.file/0988351/L/ Bruce
Dawn2
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"YOU GUYS ARE EATING MARKET SHARE FROM EVERYONE ELSE" to the person who wrote this statement i would like to know how soutwest is eating market share form every one else ? that's what good mangement does for a company.
joe-mdw-plane-d
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Travis, Some of the other airlines don't have money to buy the winglets.Even Boeing was unsure of them at first.
Connie_Evans
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Maybe the standing flight would not be so bad if there was a treadmill involved and a movie to watch!
Adam_Stanger
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Now what would it take for you to get the -300's and -500's STC'd for winglets? They would look awesome!
joe-mdw-plane-d
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Adam, Some of the 300's are almost 20 years old. Not enough life left in them to justify the cost of winglets. There are also other things that need to be done as far as extra bracing and support.
Ross2
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Hey there all, I am a Ramp Agent with SWA...and as far as I have heard we are phasing out the -300, and -500 lines..I believe and may be wrong but we only have something like 25 -500's so I don't think any winglets for them.. Take care!
Rachel1
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I worked at Horizon Air a few years ago at PDX. I remembered reading about the blended winglets WN was having outfitted on its 737s. I told a few coworkers about the winglets and they started laughing. I don't know what they imagined a winglet was but I got the impression they did not believe me. The day a WN 737 landed in PDX with the new blended winglets, I got the last laugh.
blusk
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Hi Ross, From what I have heard, the Dash 300s and Dash 500s will be replaced eventually, but the process probably won't start for another two to three years, and it could be an extended phase-out period.
blusk
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Hey Bruce, Those are great pics! Like you, I LUV to sit by the window. Brian
Eric_Olson
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Hi guys, Love the blog! I just flew Southwest from Chicago/Midway to Providence and back to attend the Podcast Academy at Boston University this past weekend. Had a great flight as always. I am glad you have been talking about winglets. I had to ask one of my buddies about them (who is a pilot) while I was in Boston this weekend as I wasn't sure what the purpose was. Take care and I look forward to your continued blogging! Cheers, Eric ------ Eric Olson Associate - Business Development FeedBurner - http://www.feedburner.com erico@feedburner.com AIM/Skype: EricJohnOlson office: 312.756.0022 x2034 cell: 508.335.9221
Kristina
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Ok, you've peaked my curiosity... how do the 'winglets' save fuel?? Inquiring minds want to know!
Brent_Finley
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Winglet save money by reducing fuel-wasting drag at the wingtips. If you've ever seen a picture of a jet flying through clouds you might remember that there is a swirling pattern at the tips. The air under the wing (high pressure causing the lift) wants to go sideways around the wingtip to get to the top of the wing. That is what causes the swirling pattern coming off the wingtips. The winglets prevent this airflow and the air that used to escape the bottom of the wing is now still down there creating lift. More lift for the same wing area = less drag. Since the Winglet prevents more drag than they cause, they give a net positive effect to the economy of the airplane. That equals fuel savings.
blusk
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Whew! Thanks Brent, I was going to try and answer Kristina, but I am glad that you beat me to it.
Nancy10
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I love flying by Southwest airlines. You people are funny and FUN to fly with. I too noticed the funny wingtips and was wondering what they were for, and now I know. Due to bad weather, our plane was late coming in to the Albuquerque, NM airport. After we borded the plane the pilot announced that since the bad weather had moved on east, we were going to try to make up time. Boy, did those wintips come in handy! We arrived only 15 minutes later than we should have. Good flying guys!!
Bynum
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Wow! That is interesting how juat the slightest wing tip can chage fuel costs. Very Intersting!
Carolyn_Tenorio
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Whenever I first get to my seat, I buckle up, say Hi to my neighborly passenger and then close my eyes and beg God to send His Angels to take this plane safely to and from its destination. Talk about saving costs, Angels do their part and I would like some angel wings next time I fly on SWA which is just a few times a year as I am old and living on SS&SmallRetirement money. SWA is cheap, fast, fun and kindly most of the time. My daughter is winging her way home from Afghanistan in a C130 (talk about luxury) and I always pray for her plane to be surrounded by angels and sure nuf my brother sent me pics of a C130 surrounded by angel decoys. God Bless all you who are willing to take us into the wild blue yonder. ALtho I love my hot air balloons living in ABQ flying in a KEWL SWA plane is so much easier and lots more comfortable. I also look for the pilot on the plane and place him in God's hands with a special angel to help him along the way. It is a big responsibility. And of course I so rely on those refreshing drinks and little snacks to just calm me down and ease those hunger pains and stop those gurgling noises. The bathrooms are a little scary but they are there and that's important to me who could make commercials about gotta go right now!! You guys keep up the good work and May God always sends Angels to watch over each and every SWA and C130 in the air at any given moment. God Bless You!
columbia107
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Based in Bermuda, I have never flown Southwest but your 737s are dreams come true for aviation photographers. Why not plug for a Bermuda service. JetBlue have just commenced servicing the island from NY today. I would then be ready with my DX2 to snap away
Harris_Joel_Sha
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As a long term user of and stockholder in your services, it was no surprise to see the stellar write up you received in THE ART OF BUSINESS by Raymond and Stephanie Yeh My service dog and I also thank you for the very friendly, and gentle services.. I guess the planning, and comic relief of your crews are a result of your loving your jobs. Mr Kelleher, and all of us passangers relly appreciate the joy that your crew exudes. Thank you.
Ray_Kelly
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Southwest Airlines is a great airline. Congratulations on winning all those awards at the Freddie Awards. Your Rapid Rewards program is the best. The Southwest Website is excellent and so easy to use. Sincerely, Ray Kelly
Don8
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I asked a WN pilot about the winglets and his explanation was different. He equated it to his first firebird with the awesome spoiler. He told me it just feels cooler to fly the 700's especially when all your friends are flying the 300's. Of course he said it with a grin. 🙂
joe-mdw-plane-d
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While saving fuel, winglets allow you to cruise at 41,000 feet and get up there faster.
Lisa4
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Hello, Sooooooo....the winglets have nothing to do with a smoother, more aerodynamic flight? My S.O. told me that but now I'm reading different. Yay or Nay? Just curious...
joe-mdw-plane-d
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Yes,Lisa they can help smooth out the ride. Unless you sit in the very back like we did. Quite bouncy back there!
Catherine_Frenc
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Was wondering how long it would be before the larger airlines put these on their crafts. For those of us GA pilots who fly and own small aircraft, we know that these "wing kits", otherwise known as Vortex Generators, help stabilize aircraft. I have them on mine, although they point downwards. Makes it a bit harder to stall the craft, which is what we want.
joe-mdw-plane-d
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anyone who would like more info can click here. http://www.b737.org.uk/winglets.htm
Beckles
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My understanding of the blended winglets is, and this is why not all new Boeing 737's have them, is that the fuel savings does not offset the additional weight of the winglets themselves and the additional cost (I seem to recall they cost something like $500,000 a set) on shorter flights, such as DAL-HOU flights for example. Of course, with the increased priced of fuel, they are viable for shorter flights than previously, but I don't know if they are a positive net benefit on all Southwest flights yet.
Bruce2
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Catherine, some airlines (American and Continental) are putting winglets on Boeing 757s. The 747-400 models all have them too. The newer Boeing 777 doesn't get much benefit from winglets because of the very efficient shape of its wing. The new 767-400 also doesn't need them - those have a raked-back wingtip and allegedly, the design for the new Boeing 787 will include raked wingtips. I've also seen some old Boeing 727s retrofitted with winglets (and newer engines). Probably the only plane that will never see winglets is the MD-80.
Matt29
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Passengers often ask us if the wing is bent...I love explaining blended winglets to them and how they save us fuel!
Tim22
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JET Engineering just introduced their MD-80 Winglet at Farnborough, and say's they'll be available by next year for $695,000, with a 5-6% savings on fuel consumption.
Brenda6
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I, too, enjoy the humor of flight attendants on southwest. I can never remember all of the funny comments after I leave the plane. Is there a sight w/some of the comments that I could access? I am a teacher and think some of these comments could be used in the classroom for attention getters.
Captain_Peter_C
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Winglets are just one way in which airlines can save fuel. Please go to my Blog and view other ways that airlines can Trim minutes off each flight leg by utilizing tailored Line Selectable FMC CDU approaches that overlie current Non precision approaches, Circling to Land & Charted Visual approaches...i.e Expressway Visual Approach La Guardia KLGA/LGA.