Marketing Hype or Facts?

Tamarack Active Winglets are known to provide unusually high efficiency gains for certain models of Cessna CitationJet, making the technology one of most immediately available carbon reduction solutions. Understandably, the potential of this technology has turned heads in the aviation industry as the Tamarack fleet continues to grow.

The performance enhancements and efficiency gains provided by Active Winglets are attributed to the technology’s structure; Active Winglets are not just a winglet, but a three-part system comprised of a wing extension, winglets, and load alleviation technology (ATLAS). Active Winglets increase an aircraft’s stability and decrease inflight turbulence, as well as allow an increase in MZFW. In addition, the technology provides better high/hot take off performance and most notably allows for longer nonstop trips with extra fuel reserve.     

While all winglets (including Active Winglets) reduce aircraft induced drag, improve climb, and save fuel to varying degrees, the benefits depend on the type of aircraft and flight mission. Think of this in the same way you think of your vehicle’s fuel efficiency – on the highway at optimal conditions, you will see peak benefits compared to driving in a city.

To optimize the variants associated with flight and increase winglet efficiency, wing aspect ratio must be increased first. Active Winglets transform flat wings into longer, higher aspect ratio wings to improve lift and reduce drag. Meanwhile, the winglets effectively increase aspect ratio to reduce drag from wingtip vortices in order to improve lift distribution over the wing. This is described in the below excerpt from a NASA description of Induced Drag.


While traditional “passive” winglets require additional wing reinforcement structure, which adds weight to carry the additional wing loads, Tamarack’s patented Active Winglet modification features an innovative load-alleviating technology (ATLAS) that allows for a wing extension AND winglet - with no compromise between weight and aerodynamic efficiency.

The ATLAS load alleviation aspect allows Tamarack to aerodynamically “turn off” the winglet in specific conditions, thus dumping additional loads autonomously and nearly instantaneously.

Getting Up To 33% Fuel Savings

This brings us to the numbers. How does the Tamarack Active Winglet achieve up to 33% fuel savings? 

A simple answer to this question lies in the performance enhancements provided in real-life data - a flatwing CJ/CJ1 aircraft that could fly three hours nonstop prior to installing Active Winglets can now fly four hours nonstop on the same fuel with Active Winglets.

                              4h / 3h = 1.333 =>> 33% increase 

Another way to measure the fuel savings associated with Active Winglets is with range.  A flatwing aircraft is generally a 900 nm aircraft – however, equipped with Active winglets, the same flatwing aircraft can fly at least 1,200 nm. 

                              1200/900 = 1.333 =>> 33% increase

As this result has been recorded and informed by those in the Active Winglet fleet and cannot be considered an analytical conclusion, real-world customer testimonials have shown a consistent pattern of fuel savings that closely match the above savings projection.

  • After flying from Page Municipal Airport, AZ to Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport, TX, Aviator Randy Brown saved 27% of fuel on his flight.
  • Another customer, Noel Yantos of LOFT, flies routine trips from Bozeman, MT to Carlsbad, CA, regularly landing with 700 extra pounds of fuel than before, saving approximately 28% in fuel.
  • Customer Lorin Myers flew a newly modified Cessna 525 from Driggs, ID to Smithfield, NC nonstop. After a 4.5-hour flight, Meyers noted the ability to climb to max ceiling with ease even on short flights, reporting a “significant” 20-gallon difference per hour.

While achieving 33% fuel savings with Active Winglets on Cessna CitationJets is a common scenario for longer flights on aircraft variations like the CJ/CJ1, this does not suggest that every flight in every model will yield this amount of savings, and no one would expect such. Again, as with any measure of fuel efficiency, it is entirely dependent upon the aircraft, the length and altitude of the flight, and the conditions of that day.

As mentioned, a fuel-efficient vehicle may have the ability to achieve 40 mpg but can only optimize that efficiency in particular situations (such as driving long distances at highway speeds). Applying this same rule to aircraft, short hops or low-altitude flights will not yield performance and efficiency benefits to the same degree as longer flights.

Contrarily, there are documented high/hot flights with Tamarack Active Winglets that have provided much more than 33% savings.  Taking off from Telluride, CO in the summer for instance, a Tamarack aircraft can legally depart 1,000 lbs. heavier than a flatwing aircraft. If the pilot chooses to carry that in fuel alone, there are cases where this will yield double the range, for a 100% increase.

The Promise of Active Winglets

This groundbreaking ATLAS technology is the first and only of its kind to enter the aerospace market with such high promises of not only fuel efficiency, performance gains, and safety benefits, but also as an immediate retrofittable solution. Currently, Active Winglets have transformed over 100 CitationJets internationally.

For more information about Active Winglets and ATLAS technology on business jets, please visit the Tamarack Technology page or reach out to a Sales Associate today.