Boeing 737 split-tip winglet

737 max winglet

In a remarkable coincidence, the split-tip winglet that went out of fashion with the demise of the MD-12 concept in the early 1990s has suddenly re-appeared in in two applications — Boeing’s straight-edged Advanced Technology (AT) winglet for the 737 Max (above) and Aviation Partners’ scimitar-edged split-tip blended winglet on the 737 Next Generation series.

Aviation Partners is jealous about guarding what it considers proprietary information, but founder Joe Clark says he has no suspicions that Boeing copied the Aviation Partners design. Robb Gregg, Boeing’s chief aerodynamicist on the 737 Max, agrees that both companies came to a similar conclusion from different directions. But the joint venture partners remain divided on the potential benefits of applying a more efficient split-tip design on the 737NG as a retrofit.

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