Active Winglets Show Promise on CitationJet

Though Tamarack Aerospace Group, based in Sand Point, Idaho, emphasized that it was quoting "… preliminary results that we've seen with our prototype airplane …" a blog on the company website still had something to crow about. On a 1,100-nm flight from Dallas (KDAL) to Jackson Hole, Wyoming (KJAC), the TAG CitationJet equipped with the company's Active Winglets saved an estimated 300 pounds of fuel, according to the company.

Tamarack boasts the trip actually saved 800 pounds when they factored in the fuel stop that would have been required in an unmodified CJ. The fight plan included five souls on board (1,000-pound payload) and a 50-knot headwind.

Active Winglets improve takeoff performance (allowing an expected increase in max gross weight); time to climb; and cruise speed, Tamarack says. The winglets are augmented by auxiliary ailerons that automatically relieve wing loading caused by the winglets. That eliminates the need for beefed up structure (and associated weight increase) within the wing that would have been required to absorb the added loading. Tamarack is accepting deposits for its Active Winglets, expected to be available for Cirrus aircraft later this year ($59,649) and for the CitationJet ($196,000) in 2014.

Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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