Tamarack Aims For Big Airplane Active Winglets

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While it's an established fact that a longer wingspan aids in aerodynamic efficiency, the other side of that coin is weight and structural complexity to support worst-case flight loads. A company called Tamarack Aerospace Group solves that problem with active winglets for business jets and at NBAA-BACE this week in Las Vegas, they announced they're going after the commercial transport market with yet larger winglets. Tamarack's mods work by extending the wingspan slightly, which reduces drag, and active trailing edge devices on the system dump lift when gust loads approach limits that would exceed the original design's limits.

We reported on Tamarack's winglets when they were introduced for the Citation five years ago and flew with developer Nick Guida. At the time, Tamarack was pursuing approvals for Citation models and at EBACE this week, they announced a project to add winglets to the XL/XLS Citation series. Guida says aircraft manufacturers have tilted toward winglets because they add small aerodynamic benefits and going up rather than out imposes minimal structural penalties. But he says the added span makes winglets three or four times more effective and yields measureable increases in climb rate and range, thanks to being able to cruise at the same speeds with less power and thus less fuel. At the company's display, Tamarack was showing off a much larger mod for commercial aircraft. We'll have a video on that later in the week.

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