Tamarack Tests Winglets With Fly-Off Event

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Tamarack Aerospace has completed a fly-off event testing a CitationJet equipped with the company’s Active Winglets against an unmodified aircraft of the same type. Intended to be a “real-world comparison” between the two, the fly-off route took the aircraft from Portland, Maine (PWM) to West Palm Beach, Florida (PBI). At the conclusion of the event, the unmodified aircraft had flown 1,496 miles in 5 hours and 37 minutes and used 3,650 pounds of fuel while the Active Winglet-equipped CitationJet traveled 1,386 miles in 4 hours and 36 minutes, using 2,610 pounds of fuel.  

“This was the first fly-off comparing an Active Winglet aircraft and a flat-wing aircraft operating under the same conditions,” said Tamarack CEO Nick Guida. “As we saw yesterday, the Active Winglet competitor was unable to make the east coast trip without a stop, we couldn’t plan it safely. The Active Winglet transformed CitationJet (N44VS) was able to complete the trip without a fuel stop.” 

The unmodified CitationJet also took a detour due to weather, resulting in a longer trip. The Active Winglet-equipped aircraft flew with a planned 200-pound weight penalty. According to Tamarack, its Active Winglets, which are currently available for Cessna 525, 525A and 525B business jets, are made up of a wing extension, winglet and autonomous load alleviation system.

Kate O’Connor works as AVweb's Editor-in-Chief. She is a private pilot, certificated aircraft dispatcher, and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. “The unmodified CitationJet also took a detour due to weather, resulting in a longer trip. The Active Winglet-equipped aircraft flew with a planned 200-pound weight penalty.”

    This was not an accurate flyoff. I am surprised that Tamarack had never done a side by side comparison with two identical airframes, one Tamarack equipped, one not. A flyoff would have them leaving at the same time, flying the same route, at the same flight levels with the same fuel loads, etc.

    With all the costs involved in gaining an STC, combined with performance claims by the manufacturer, by what means did those performance gains/claims come from? “This was the first fly-off comparing an Active Winglet aircraft and a flat-wing aircraft operating under the same conditions,” said Tamarack CEO Nick Guida.” Obviously, not from a flyoff.

    Now Tamarack emerges from bankruptcy caused by an AD grounding the active winglet fleet implicating the mod in potential or actual LOC events making claims of performance gains based on two airplanes flying not exactly the same routes nor the same distances nor at the same weights. Not particularly scientific nor proof positive their active winglets offer the claimed performance improvements.

  2. Stock airplane flight time was 4:48, not 5:37. It also flew more miles and was actually faster in the air by about 9 knots average. Stock airplane stopped at FL360 even though it could have climbed higher. Stock airplane was loaded to max gross even though it split the legs in two and could have flown well under gross. Winglet airplane took 24 minutes to climb the last 5000 ft, including 6.5 minutes for the last 1000 ft. Course was selected to be precisely in the narrow zone where winglet airplane just makes it non stop and the stock one doesn’t. A shift in the winds and both need to stop or both make it non stop.

    It was a rigged test.