This month I’d like to talk about the importance of clouds. Not the pretty white ones you cruise over at FL410, or even the annoying ones that occasionally prevent us from seeing the runway when we reach DH on an approach. The clouds that Tamarack is interested in are data clouds and they are very important to understanding the performance benefits of Active Winglets. Clouds are the great equalizer because the nature of the data.

Here’s why:

Not surprisingly, there is a degree of performance variation among supposedly identical aircraft. Aircraft A might be a rocket ship with new engines, tight gear door fit and great paint. Aircraft B might have engines that are approaching overhaul, chipped paint or a slight difference in the way the leading edge bonds onto the wing. These can make a measurable difference in performance. OEM published performance values take into account a certain amount of variability in the fleet, and as such may not absolutely match your aircraft.

Tamarack has been gathering data from CJ owners for many years and assembles this mass of information into cloud charts. These help us to see the real-world performance of these aircraft, both the high end and the low end. We can then accurately plot and analyze the performance of baseline versus Active Winglet equipped CJs and see the tremendous difference the product makes. Here’s an example:


The reason these graphs are important is because of the variance shown.  We normalize this data to duration instead of distance to get rid of winds. Then we don’t care about weight, altitude flown, temperature or pilot techniques.  We do care a bit about throttle settings as that has a major impact on range. 

Of course, this wouldn’t be possible without the help of our customers. Receiving data from owners is critical to maintaining our data cloud efforts. In an era of digital data downloads, it can be as easy as dumping the files on an SD card and then emailing them to us. Tamarack’s Becky Kusler is our customer data gatekeeper and she’d be happy to accept any flights you’d like to send us, with or without Active Winglets. Please include the aircraft takeoff weight with your data, as obviously this makes a big difference in performance. You can contact her at

In my next blog we’ll talk about the effect of power settings on endurance/range.

Until then, blue skies and tailwinds!