Boeing 737 MAX winglets, which sweep up and down from the wingtip and differ from the current 737 model with its single upward wingtip sweep, stand already painted in the Lion Air livery as the wing is assembled at Boeing’s airplane production facility Monday, Feb. 13, in Renton. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, file)

Airliner winglets help to save billions of gallons of fuel

SEATTLE — Airlines and other operators flying Boeing jets have saved billions of gallons of aviation fuel thanks to winglets — wing-tip attachments that curve up and sometimes down, according to Aviation Partners.

The devices reduce turbulence and drag, which translates into burning less fuel during a flight. Aviation Partners Boeing — a joint-venture between the Seattle-based supplier and the airplane maker — produces two types: the blended winglet and the split scimitar winglet.

More than 8,000 blended winglets have been installed on Boeing 737s, 757s and other aircraft. Nearly 900 Boeing 737s have split scimitar winglets.

Adding the devices has saved an estimated 7 billion gallons in jet fuel, according to Aviation Partners.

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