DR Smith Foto
Air France Airbus A350-900 (F-HTYD) arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Aiport on a bright Sunday afternoon 2020 - Photo by Robson Smith
Air France Airbus A350-900 (F-HTYD) arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Aiport (YYZ) from Paris-Charles De Gaulle International Airport (CDG) on a bright Sunday afternoon 2020. This is a continuation of our F-HTYD study, which emcompasses two additional images in our Soaring Blog - one of which is from the same day (forward facing angle). This time, we shall dwelve into the fascinating Airbus A350 winglets. The A350's winglets - or "sharklets" as named by Airbus - gracefully curve out and back from its superbly engineered wing. (Note, they share a similar geometric shape with the Boeing 787, another 21st century jetliner). In fact, most most modern airliners come equipped with winglets of various designs. Contrary to popular belief, the idea behind winglets predates aviation. They were first conceived and patented in 1897 by an English engineer, Frederick W. Lanchester; subsequently, in 1910, the first functional winglets were patented by Scottish engineer William E. Somerville. However. the winglet as we know it today, including its name, was thanks to NASAs research engineer Richard Whitcomb in the 1970s. In general, winglets reduce the aerodynamic drag of an aircraft by mitigating the detrimental effects of wing vortices produced by all aircraft. This leads to significant fuel savings, lower noise emmisions, increased take-off performance, enhanced aircraft handling, and inproved safety. In all, this contributes to inproved crusing efficiency by upwards of nine percent - potentially saving hundreds of thousands of gallons of fuel per aircaft each year. Those on the Airbus A350 (both -900 and -1000 variants) sweep out five metres, augmenting the aircraft's already impressive wing span to 64.8 metres (212 ft.). Air France's sharklets don a seahorse, paying homage to one of the airline's founding companies. Indeed, the A350 is full of surprises. Enjoy the image!
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