By Rob Finfrock
CJP Platinum Sponsor Tamarack Aerospace kicked off 2017 by announcing its Active Winglet system is now STC’d for installation on the Cessna C525 CitationJet, and its CJ, CJ1, CJ1+, and M2 variants. These innovative winglets bring greater fuel efficiency and climb performance to Cessna’s vaunted CitationJet lineup, with none of the tradeoffs associated with conventional, “passive” winglet designs.
For decades, winglets have been a valuable tool for improving fuel efficiency by reducing aerodynamic drag off an aircraft’s wingtips. However, traditional winglets also held several downsides related to the hundreds of pounds of additional structural reinforcement needed to support those devices.
This added weight translated directly to reduced useful load, and other drawbacks negating at least some of those efficiency gains. However, Tamarack’s system avoids these pitfalls by utilizing an active load alleviation device (dubbed “Atlas”) continually operating to reduce aerodynamic loading on the winglets, allowing installation of the system with no additional structural reinforcement necessary.
For many Citation pilots, one test flight in an aircraft equipped with Active Winglets is all it takes to realize the benefits of such a system. “To be honest I was never a fan of winglets installed on any Citation including the Citation X,” said Kirby Ortega, former Cessna Test Pilot and Yingling Aviation’s Chief Pilot. “From my experience, they just didn’t seem to provide much of an advantage for the expense… but that skepticism changed one morning in September.”
According to Tamarack, Citations equipped with Active Winglets enjoy significant fuel savings (25% for the CJ & CJ1, 13% for the CJ1+ & M2) as well as increased range, higher initial altitudes and faster climb performance, and a 400-lb. increase in maximum zero fuel weight (MZFW). The system also results in better high-hot performance, and a smoother ride in turbulent conditions.
Other benefits of the Active Winglet system include increased stability at all phases of flight, and elimination of the current yaw damper inop restriction on C525s limiting operations to FL280 and under if you suffer a yaw damper failure.
The FAA’s signoff followed approval by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in 2016, and allows Tamarack’s winglets to be installed by Citation Service Centers throughout in the United States and Europe. The company is also testing the system on the CJ3 and CJ3+, with certification expected near the end of Q3 2017.
More information about Tamarack’s Active Winglet system is available at www.tamarackaero.com, or by calling (208) 255-4400.