Winglets responsible for saving billions of gallons of jet fuel

During the 1973 oil crisis, NASA Langley aeronautical engineer Richard Whitcomb designed and tested a vertical wingtip that he called a winglet, a device that reduces wingtip vortices and creates less drag.

With less drag, an aircraft uses less fuel with fewer emissions, can carry more payload, and has a greater range. Winglets also help planes operate more quietly by reducing noise.

Aviation Partners Boeing (APB), a partnership with Seattle-based Aviation Partners Inc. and The Boeing company (NYSE: BA) has estimated that winglets have saved billions of gallons of jet fuel worldwide, saving billions of dollars and reducing carbon dioxide emissions by over 20 million tons.