by Rob Finfrock
Earlier this year, Tamarack Aerospace Group announced it had received European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) approval for its “Atlas” Active Winglet system to be installed on the Cessna C525 CitationJet, and its variants CJ, CJ1, and CJ1+. The company expects EASA certification for the Cessna M2 to follow this Spring, with FAA certification for all four variants by this summer.
“This technology is truly game changing,” said TAG founder Nick Guida. “Active Winglets set a new standard as they are two to three times more efficient than previous designs. We are very excited to have certified our product on the Cessna Citation and we are already planning modifications to larger aircraft for which we have predicted similar improvements in fuel economy.”
Although a valuable tool for improving fuel efficiency by reducing aerodynamic drag off an aircraft’s wingtips, traditional winglets often hold several downsides. The added weight often results in lower useful load, and the need to strengthen the wing structure to cope with increased aerodynamic forces also frequently means extensive aircraft downtime.
Tamarack managed to avoid these pitfalls by utilizing an active load alleviation device that de-stresses the winglet from aerodynamic forces. The system may be installed with no additional required structural strengthening, and without the need to open the wings to add reinforcement to the wing spar. As the active winglets continually operate to reduce aerodynamic loading on the winglets, the system also serves to smooth out inflight turbulence.
The company has recorded more than 300 hours on its testbed aircraft, a straight-wing CJ (N86LA, s/n C525-0012), including several flights at Max Takeoff Weight to its ceiling limit of FL410 in around 30 minutes or less.
At max continuous thrust, the company noted a block fuel burn on these flights averaging 96 gallons per hour. TAG also noted that Atlas will allow an increase in max zero fuel weight, and provide better high/hot takeoff performance.