The “sharklets” on the wing tips improve aerodynamics, for greater fuel efficiency and lower emissions.
Iberia’s newest aircraft A320, named for the Picos de Europa National Park in northern Spain and registered as EC-MDK, landed in Madrid last night after a flight from the Hamburg factory where it was assembled. The new model A320 is Iberia’s first to be equipped with “sharklets” or raised wing tips 2.5 metres tall, which bring several improvements to operations, as follows:
Greater aerodynamic efficiency: A 6% reduction in the drag factor.
Great fuel efficiency: Less engine thrust is needed, which translates into fuel savings between 3% and 4%, depending on the route.
Lower exhaust emissions. Less fuel means less CO2 emissions –some 900 tonnes less per aircraft and year.
Iberia Maintenance has earned certification to install sharklets, so named because of their resemblance to a shark’s dorsal fins, at its Madrid hangars, both for the Iberia fleet and those of other airlines. The modification includes the addition of new software for the aircraft’s six on-board computers, and changes to the operating and maintenance manuals.