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UPS Aircraft Fleet Saves Fuel, Reduces Emissions With Winglets

UPS wingletsUPS has added wingtip devices to its Boeing 767 fleet that it says will save more than 6 million gallons of fuel each year and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 62,000 metric tons. The winglets will result in a 4 percent fuel saving on each 767 flight, the company says.

The arrow-shaped surfaces are attached to the tip of each wing, saving fuel by reducing drag while also lowering noise emissions by improving take-off performance, the company says.

UPS currently operates 54 of the 767 aircraft with five on order. The company plans to have winglets on all 767 aircraft by the end of 2014. Winglets are already installed on the company’s 747 and MD-11 fleets, and the A300-600 has a similar device called a wingtip fence.

The modifications will add about 5.5 feet of span to each wing, and each winglet is 11 feet tall. Aircraft weight will increase by about 3,000 pounds due to the weight of the winglets and the extensive structural reinforcement of the wing structure.

UPS says it already operates one of the cargo sector’s youngest and most fuel-efficient air fleet, and is working to reduce its carbon intensity an additional 20 percent by 2020 from a 2005 baseline.

Other highlights of the airline’s fuel conservation efforts include computer-optimized flight routes, aircraft taxi time management, and alternate-fuel ground support equipment.

UPS has also taken steps to make its ground fleet more sustainable. For example, last month the company announced it will purchase about 700 liquefied natural gas 18-wheelers and build four refueling stations to serve its heavy-weight rigs by the end of 2014. UPS has more than 1,000 natural gas vehicles worldwide.

In other airlines efforts to save fuel and reduce carbon emissions, United Airlines has set a goal to save 85 million gallons of fuel in 2013. The airline says this savings will equal 828,750 metric tons of CO2 or about $275 million dollars at current fuel prices.


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