Following the successful production of Sharklets for the Airbus320 NEO, Korean Air has commenced production, concluding the development process. A Sharklet, designed by and accredited solely to Korean Air, is an “L”-shaped structure attached at the end of the wings of an aircraft. The Sharklet cuts down on aerodynamic drag, helping to reduce the spiral-shaped vortices that form at the wingtips of aircraft during flights.
Korean Air hosted a commemorative event at its Tech Center in Busan on Sep 13 to celebrate the delivery of the first A330 NEO Sharklet. Officials of Korean Air Aerospace Division and Airbus attended the event along with other employees of both organizations. A330 NEO is an improved model of the A330, an eco-friendly aircraft characterized by high fuel efficiency, minimized noise levels and long range of about 13,900km. The aircraft has already confirmed 180 orders from clients around the world and demand continues to increase.
The Sharklet has a width of 2m by 4m length, created with high-tech material which will be installed on the end of the A330 NEO’s main wings. It plays an essential role in improving aircraft performance, reducing carbon dioxide emissions, air-resistance and improving fuel efficiency by 4%.
In February last year, Korean Air set up a task force of specialists to take charge of the project. This September, the team finished the development of the A330 NEO Sharklet and started commencement of its mass production. In addition, Korean Air has been delivering more than 1,800 independently re-developed A320 NEO Sharklets since 2009. Korean Air has also been carrying out the manufacturing of the A350 cargo door since 2008.
Furthermore, Korean Air has participated in the international joint development of B787, developing the rear fuselage and six other main components, producing more than 10 per month. After having delivered its first B737 MAX winglet in May this year, Korean Air is now mass producing them.
Korean Air plays a major role in component manufacturing for both Airbus and Boeing, the world’s most famous aircraft manufacturers. Korean Air’s continued partnership with Airbus and Boeing is an acknowledgment of the airline’s outstanding production technique.