Tamarack Aerospace is sponsoring a fly-off between a Cessna CitationJet modified with the company’s Atlas active winglets and an unmodified “flat-wing” CitationJet. Slated to take place tomorrow, weather permitting, the race will start in Portland, Maine, and finish in West Palm Beach, Florida.
The Tamarack modification includes a wing extension, a winglet, and an autonomous load-alleviation system. According to the manufacturer, Atlas provides “an instantaneous and autonomous adjustment to turbulence, affording smoother and safer flights, quicker climbs, fewer stops, up to 33 percent reduced fuel use, and more stable approaches.”
Wick Zimmerman, an owner-pilot with more than three decades of flight experience, will be flying the Atlas-equipped Citation, while the standard CitationJet will be operated by Mike Laver, an industry veteran and owner of Carolina Turbine Support.
“This kind of race has never been done before, and it will put to rest once and for all any question about the value of these active winglet installations,” said Laver, whose shop is now an authorized Tamarack installer. “I’m doing to do my best to win the race.”
Based on the improved fuel economy, the winglet-equipped jet might make the 1,292-mile trip without stopping, according to Tamarack CEO Nick Guida. AOPA will document the contest along with the National Aeronautic Association, which will determine if a new city-pair record for the aircraft is set.