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Aero Design Labs: Westjet gives Boeing 737-700 an aerodynamic upgrade

Aero Design Labs: Westjet gives Boeing 737-700 an aerodynamic upgrade

An American startup has developed aerodynamic improvements for the Boeing 737 to reduce fuel consumption. Westjet wants to offer these first.

Westjet wants to make its Boeing 737 fleet more efficient. Air Canada is working with a small US company that offers modifications to reduce wake turbulence and thus reduce fuel consumption.

Texas-based startup Aero Design Labs has received the Boeing 737-700 certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). By the end of the year, they’d also like to have it for the longer 737-800 and 737-900 variants.

Improved aerodynamics

Aero Design Labs has developed the so-called Aerodynamic Drag Reduction System (ADRS 1) and hopes this will lead to a 1.5 percent reduction in kerosene consumption for the Boeing 737. This will also reduce the plane’s emissions. The conversion should only take some time.

This should work with structural upgrades between the wing and fuselage, extended landing gear rail terminations, and minor modifications to reduce air resistance under the fuselage – such as the aerodynamics of the landing gear. Although these additives increase the empty weight by about 50 kilograms, this generally does not have a negative effect due to improved aerodynamics.

Westjet as launch customer

Aero Design Labs worked with the Calgary-based airline to develop the project. The two companies conducted joint testing for installation, data collection and certification. Westjet is now set to become the launch customer and implement upgrades for its Boeing 737-700 fleet of more than 40 aircraft.

Before doing this, you must obtain approval from Transport Canada. However, this is a formality, as approval has already been given by the Federal Aviation Administration in the neighboring USA.