Active winglets for Citations debuts

At the 2012 NBAA Convention, which opens today, Tamarack Aerospace Group introduced its new Active Winglet technology for Cessna Citation jets.

With shipments expected to begin in 2014, the Active Winglets will provide Citation owners with improved fuel savings, greater flying range, increased max zero fuel weight, better short field operation, improved climb performance, improved “high, hot” performance, smoother flights, lighter wing loading and substantially enhanced style, according to company officials.

Winglets have been around for decades and their impact on fuel savings is well known. A drawback to passive winglets is that in redistributing lift across the wing they can increase wing bending moments at the root, sometimes beyond design limits, Tamarack officials note. In turbulence or steep turns bending is exacerbated with passive winglets. To counter the forces, additional structure (i.e. weight) is needed, or a smaller, less optimized winglet is used.

Tamarack’s Active Winglets avoid the requirement for additional structure by employing new devices called Tamarack Active Control Surfaces, or TACS. Having the appearance of a small aileron, the TACS are placed outboard near the winglet. They measure approximately 18” by 8”. A sensor package measures several conditions and commands the electrical driven TACS. When the aircraft experiences an increase in wing loading, the sensor sends a signal out to the TACS actuators in each wing, causing them to deploy almost upwards or downwards, company officials explain. In effect, Active Technology Load Alleviation System, or ATLAS, aerodynamically cancels the effect of the winglet and mitigates the bending action on the wing. Reducing wing-bending moments due to turbulence or banking can extend the life of the wing. Additionally, though it will not eliminate the sensation of turbulence in the cabin, it does tend to “round off” the sensation of spikes or bumps, making the ride smoother, company officials note.

Two 2-foot carbon fiber sections have been added to the wings of the Citation, increasing the wingspan by 4 feet. These sections contain the 35-inch high winglets, TACS and the controls to operate them. It is estimated that the increased span with ATLAS will provide a net increased “Max Zero Fuel Weight” (MZFW) of 350 pounds.

The Active Winglet system operates independently of any pilot inputs and is constantly monitoring itself, Tamarack officials said. If a failure is detected, the TACS deactivate and go into trailing mode. An annunciator light informs the pilot and he will need to reduce speed.

Tamarack’s Active Winglets for the CitationJet will be sold as an STC kit and can be installed in about 80 hours. Kits will be available in late 2014 and deposits are being taken now.

For more information: TamarackAero.com or call 855-I-FLY-TAG (435-9824)

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