Aircraft on Display

Boeing 747-400 Winglets

Winglets at the Museum

Winglets in Flight

Winglets are designed to reduce wingtip vortices. The initial concept dates back to 1897 when English Engineer Frederick Lanchester patented wing end plates as a method for controlling wingtip vortices.

What are wingtip vortices?

They are swirling tunnels of air that form on wingtips. High-pressure air from the bottom of the wing escapes around the wingtip, moving up towards the lower pressure area on the top of the wing. This movement creates a vortex or tunnel of air, rotating inwards behind the wing.

This set of winglets came from a retired Cathay Pacific Airlines Boeing 747-467, B-HUA (C/N 25127) which ended its flying days in 2015.

The 747-400’s wingspan was stretched by 17 feet (5.2m) over the Classic 747 through wingtip extensions. For reduced aerodynamic drag, the wings were fitted with 6 feet (1.8 metres) tall winglets. Despite the added length, the wings were 6,000 pounds (2,700 kg) lighter as a result of new aluminium alloys.

Technical Specifications

Crew : 2
Passengers : 416
Length : 70.66m (231ft 10in)
Wingspan : 64.44m (211ft 5in)
Height : 19.41m (63ft 8in)
Engine : 4 x Rolls-Royce RB211
Thrust x 4 : 264.4kN (59,450 lbf)
Maximum Speed : 908 km/h (564mph)
Service Ceiling : 13,700m (45,100ft)
Empty Weight : 183,523kg (404,600 lb)
Loaded Weight : 396,893kg (875,000lb)
Range : 13,490km (8,382 miles)

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