UPS has unveiled a new look for its flagship Boeing 767 fleet by adding winglets as a part of its efforts to save fuel and reduce emissions.
The company claims the wingtip devices enhance the overall efficiency of the aircraft, saving fuel by reducing drag while also lowering noise emissions by improving take-off performance. The modifications will save UPS more than six million gallons of fuel each year and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 62,000 metric tons. The company estimates approximately a four percent fuel savings on each 767 flight.
“UPS continues to lead the industry in sustainable business practices,” said David Abney, UPS chief operating officer. “With the widest portfolio of services in the industry, we are constantly looking for ways to reduce emissions and drive down operating costs so our customers have the solutions they need to compete in a global economy. These winglets are a perfect example of sustainability in action. They are good business and good stewardship.”
UPS says it currently operates 54 of the 767 aircraft with five on order and plans to have winglets on all 767 aircraft by the end of 2014. Winglets are already installed on UPS's 747 and MD-11 fleets, and the A300-600 has a similar device called a wingtip fence.
The modifications will add approximately five-and-a-half feet of span to each wing, and each winglet is 11 feet tall. Aircraft weight will increase by nearly 3,000 pounds due to the weight of the winglets and the extensive structural reinforcement of the wing structure. Even at this size and weight, the winglets will still reduce the amount of fuel used per flight and improves the aerodynamics of the wing by extending the length of the wing and reducing the amount of drag, which is the force that opposes an aircraft's motion in the air.
The winglet project is a sustainability initiative implemented by UPS Airlines, which has pledged to reduce its carbon intensity by 20 percent by 2020 through fuel conservation efforts such as computer-optimized flight routes, aircraft taxi time management and alternate-fuel ground support equipment.
UPS recently announced an expansion to its alternative vehicle fleet with plans to purchase some 700 liquefied natural gas (LNG) vehicles and to build four refueling stations by the end of 2014.