Airbus has begun flight testing of the A320 winglet design slated to be on standard A320s with certification planned late next year. The devices also are to be a standard element on A320NEOs when they come into service, planned for 2015.
Today's flight from Toulouse took off at 10:20 a.m. local time and landing at 3:03 p.m.
The winglets, which Airbus calls Sharklets, are being flown here on MSN0001, Airbus's narrowbody flight test aircraft. Around 220 hours of flight testing are planned.
(Photos: Airbus)The devices are supposed to improve fuel burn around 3% for regular A320s.
Flight trials of the winglets fitted to an aircraft fresh off the production line should start around August 2012. First customer deliveries are also planned for 2012.
Here is an Airbus video on the MSN0001 modification: