D1: Winglets: Reducing Drag

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D1: Winglets: Reducing Drag

 

Background:

This discussion addresses the following Module Outcomes:

Determine the present value of cash and cash flows to be received at a future date or dates. (CO3)

Determine the future value of an investment made today. (CO3)

Analyze the effect of interest rates on managerial decisions. (CO2, CO4)

Textron Aviation unites Hawker®, Beechcraft® and Cessna® brands, creating aviation’s most iconic family of aircraft and the industry’s broadest product portfolio and largest company-owned service network (Textron Aviation, 2016). The most noticeable feature to appear on airliners and smaller airplanes alike, since 2000, are winglets. These are wing tip extensions which reduce lift-induced drag, and provide extra lift (Larson, 2001). The original winglet design was by NASA Langley aeronautical engineer Richard Whitcomb during the 1973 oil crisis: most essentially, they reduce fuel consumption by reducing drag. One available brand of Winglets is estimated to reduce interference drag to provide a 4% fuel-burn reduction over long ranges. Thus, Winglets are now available as a standard production line option on many varieties of airplanes. Many well-known makers now utilize Winglets. For instance, Bombardier’s Challenger 601 (first flown 1987), for instance, was one of the first aircraft with production-standard Winglets (Warwick, 2016).

Discussion Prompt:

Assume that you are the project manager at Textron Aviation (TXT). Textron Aviation products include corporate and business, personal, and military aircraft. For purposes of this discussion, you have knowledge that in recent years most of Textron Aviation’s military products have, where possible, been outfitted with Winglets. Further, the design of these wing components has evolved to make them more efficient and maximize the fuel savings they provide. Textron Aviation flight operations manager reports finding that the addition of Winglets to an existing aircraft offers fuel savings of approximately 3% of the gas bill, or 150,000 gallons of jet fuel per year (Aviation Partners, Inc., n.d.). At a cost of $1.06 per gallon (which for simplicity, we will assume to be stable), this is a significant source of cost-reduction which accrues to the end user over the useful life of an aircraft. While the useful life of the corporate craft is 30 years, Textron’s research indicates that clients typically use a 10-year planning horizon, at most.

Tasks:

As Textron’s production manager, you have been asked to offer an evaluation of the following:

If Textron chooses to discount these savings at a rate of 15% per year of useful life, considering only a 10 year planning horizon, what is the potential cost savings to the customer over the life of this plane? Evaluate the potential financial benefit to Textron of adding winglets to an existing corporate aircraft, if the cost to Textron of each winglet is $556,000 per craft, assuming that demand for corporate aircraft will allow Textron to increase the craft’s price by the full amount of the savings accruing to the customer (Aviation Partners Boeing, 2016).

The manager that originally brought this idea forward understood this addition of Winglets to represent a net increase in revenues of almost double of the price of the Winglet. As Textron’s production manager, it is your opinion that this estimate may not encompass facts related to project production and financing. Using concepts covered in this and previous modules, analyze additional concepts that indicate other concerns that we might have in making this change, including the impact on other areas of financial policy. Calculate the rate of return that would make the net present value of this project equal to zero, and comment on its importance in terms of the impact of this project, through the diversion of existing resources, and on future growth and sustainability in the face of fluctuating revenues.

Responses should comprise 200–600 words.

Post two additional replies to classmates, offering critical analyses and comments relating to their determinations and evaluations of Textron’s options. Please cite sources of additional research, and examine areas where you do and do not believe that your classmates’ statements make optimal use of assigned readings, or could otherwise include additional considerations.

References

Aviation Partners Boeing. (2016). Program list prices

 (Links to an external site.)

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Aviation Partners, Inc. (n.d.). Over 110 million gallons of jet fuel will be saved next year with Aviation Partners blended Winglet™ technology

 (Links to an external site.)

. [PDF, File Size 419 KB]

Larson, G. (2001). How things work: winglets. Smithsonian Air and Space

 (Links to an external site.)

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Textron Aviation. (2016). Company

 (Links to an external site.)

.

Gavrilovic, N., Rasuo, B.,Dulikravich, G. & Parezanovic, V. (2015). Commercial aircraft performance improvement using winglets. FME Transaction43. 1-8.

Consult the Discussion Posting Guide for information about writing your discussion posts. It is recommended that your write your post in a document first. Check your work and correct any spelling or grammatical errors. When you are ready to make your initial post, click on the “Reply”. Then copy/paste the text into the message field, and click “Post Reply.”

To respond to a peer, click “Reply” beneath her or his post and continue as with an initial post.

Evaluation

This discussion will be graded using the discussion board rubric. Please review this rubric, located on the Rubrics page within the Start Here module of the course, prior to beginning your work to ensure your participation meets the criteria in place for this discussion. All discussions combined are worth 20% of your final course grade.

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