Airbus has rolled out the first A320 equipped with winglets installed during the production process.
Previous flight trials used a winglet, which is called "Sharklet" in Airbus marketing-speak, which was bolted on to MSN1, the A320 flight test aircraft. This time the winglets are on MSN5098.
The goal is to cut fuel burn 3.5%.
Airbus projects a flight test campaign of around 600 hours using seven aircraft equipped with CFM56 and V2500 engines. That is to validate also the structural modifications that had to be made to accomodate the higher loads the winglets impart on part of the airframe. The certification process is to get going next month.
First customer deliveries are planned still this year on an A320 powered by CFM56s.