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Air New Zealand conserving fuel with new technology

Oct. 14, 2009 at 4:34 PM

WELLINGTON, New Zealand, Oct. 14 (UPI) -- New wing devices installed on Air New Zealand passenger jets are producing significant fuel savings for the airline.

The National Business Review reported Wednesday that Air New Zealand Boeing 767-300ER jet airliners outfitted with the new blended winglet wing modifications are saving 19 percent more fuel than engineers had initially predicted. The 11-foot devices, installed on the end of the wings, increase wing efficiency by reducing drag, which results in lowering fuel consumption and carbon emissions.

While Air New Zealand initially expected the modifications to save more than 6 million liters of aviation fuel annually, the test results from the four Boeing 767-300ER jet airliners retrofitted with the modifications have led the airline to increase its estimates of fuel savings by 19 percent to more than 7 million liters, which besides lowering aviation fuel costs also produces a saving equivalent to 18,400 tons of carbon emissions annually.

Air New Zealand's general manager of airline operations, Capt. David Morgan, commented, "The installation of the blended winglets is part of Air New Zealand's ongoing drive to be the world's most environmentally sustainable airline. Our approach is constantly evolving as we continue to evaluate our operations and identify new opportunities and new technologies."

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