A Southwest Airlines 737-700 aircraft has become the first to operate a revenue flight with an Aero Design Labs (ADL) proprietary drag reduction kit installed.
Aero Design Labs founder and Executive Chairman Lee Sanders was among the customers on the historic flight that was recently operated from Dallas to El Paso with the kit installed.
Boeing 737 evaluation
Southwest will be running a network evaluation of drag reduction kits installed on five of its 737-700 aircraft to measure fuel efficiency. ADL’s drag reduction kit is designed to reduce the amount of drag on the aircraft, resulting in reduced fuel burn rate and lower carbon intensity.
“This is exciting news for our entire team at Aero Design Labs who have worked diligently over the last several years to bring this important innovation to fruition,” stated Jeff Martin, Aero Design Labs President and CEO.
“We are delighted that Southwest has chosen to test our kits on five of its aircraft, and we are confident they will be able to take advantage of the reduced fuel burn rate and lowered carbon emissions intensity our kits provide.”
Chris Monroe, Southwest’s Senior Vice President of Finance, Treasury, and Sustainability made comment on the test programme, saying:
“As Southwest Airlines continues to seek opportunities to improve fuel efficiency, which reduces our carbon emissions intensity and helps us address our environmental footprint, we are partnering with ADL to test modifications to five of our 737-700s with the goal of reducing our fuel burn rate on a per aircraft basis.”
“In our constant search for new ways to operate more efficiently and safely, we look forward to this trial of ADL’s innovative and proprietary drag reduction kit.”
“Our work on these retrofit kits represents the first of what will be many opportunities with other aircraft types as we continue our research and development,” commented Chris Jones, Aero Design Labs’ Chief Commercial Officer.
“Airlines the world over have expressed interest in our programs, and we are working diligently to develop modifications for numerous aircraft types. We applaud and thank Southwest Airlines for seeing the value our kits can provide.”
About Aero Design Labs L.L.C.
Founded in 2015, Aero Design Labs (ADL) leads the way in the research, development and installation of drag reduction kits for airline fleets globally.
ADL modifications to airlines’ existing fleets can result in fuel savings and the potential for billions of pounds CO2 to be prevented from entering the atmosphere.
The Boeing 737-700 is considered to be relatively easy to modify for drag reduction due to several factors:
Winglets: The 737-700 is equipped with winglets, which are vertical extensions at the end of the wings. Winglets help reduce drag by reducing the size of wingtip vortices, which are created as air flows around the wings.
Fuselage shape: The 737-700 has a relatively streamlined fuselage shape, which helps to reduce drag. The smooth and rounded shape of the fuselage helps to reduce turbulence and improve airflow around the aircraft.
Engine placement: The engines on the 737-700 are mounted under the wings, which helps to reduce drag by shielding the engines from the airflow and reducing interference between the engines and the wings.
Composite materials: The use of composite materials in the construction of the 737-700 also contributes to its drag reduction. Composite materials are lighter and stronger than traditional materials, which can help reduce the weight of the aircraft and improve its overall aerodynamics.