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IndiGo will be first operator in India to receive A320 with Sharklets. Update 1 – First flight conducted

by Devesh Agarwal

A week ago, Airbus S.A.S. rolled out an A320 aircraft serial number MSN 5437 from its assembly line. This aircraft is destined to become Indian budget carrier IndiGo’s first ‘Sharklet’ equipped A320 VT-IFH, and when delivered only the second airline aircraft in the world to be fitted with the new fuel saving large wing-tip device.

Photo copyright Gerd Bielfuss. Used with permission. Do not copy or reproduce.

Sharklets are Airbus’ answer to the large wing-tip devices already found on the Boeing 737NG family i.e. 737-700, 737-800, and 737-900ER.

‘Sharklets’, so named, since they resemble the dorsal fin of a shark, are made from light-weight composites and are 2.4 metres tall and are designed to reduce fuel burn and emissions by improving the aerodynamics of the aircraft significantly. Over a longer flight, they are expected to improve fuel burn by 3.5% – 4%. Sharklets offer airline-operators the option of enhancing the performance of their A320s, either by adding around 100 nautical miles more range or allowing increased payload capability of up to 450 kilogrammes.

The first ‘Sharklet’ equipped A320 was delivered to Malaysian low cost carrier, AirAsia, less than a week ago on December 21. (Click here to see a video).

Hopefully we shall see VT-IFH grace the Indian skies in January.

Update 1 – January 17, 2013.

MSN 5437 conducted its first flight successfully on January 15th.

Photo copyright Gerd Bielfuss. Used with permission. Do not copy or reproduce.

About Devesh Agarwal

A electronics and automotive product management, marketing and branding expert, he was awarded a silver medal at the Lockheed Martin innovation competition 2010. He is ranked 6th on Mashable's list of aviation pros on Twitter and in addition to Bangalore Aviation, he has contributed to leading publications like Aviation Week, Conde Nast Traveller India, The Economic Times, and The Mint (a Wall Street Journal content partner). He remains a frequent flier and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly about the Indian aviation industry without fear or favour.

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