Bolzano-based regional airline Skyalps missed its fleet of Tamarack Aerospace de Havilland Dash 8-400 winglets. A corresponding declaration of intent has already been signed. The so-called « Eco Smartwing Winglet » is to be assembled.
There are different names for wingtips depending on the manufacturer. It’s a technology that engineers « copied » from large birds that glide over long distances. Winglets not only ensure a more stable position in the air, but also help operators save fuel and thus costs. The latter is also the main reason why many operators decide to retrofit.
For Skyalps, the fact that the wingtips should improve the climb performance of the de Havilland Dash 8-400 was also crucial. Due to the fact that the home base in Bolzano is surrounded by mountains on three sides, this is definitely an advantage. Furthermore, the regional airline will carry out additional measures or upgrades which should ideally lead to a 50 percent reduction in noise and emissions.
Man will achieve this, among other things, by redesigning the cabins. Material should be used that weighs less. This should result in lower fuel consumption. Lighter avionics are also to be installed. They are still buttoned up about the origin of the new parts and only declare that together with partners they want to achieve the Havilland Dash 8-400 in a particularly easy, quiet and sustainable way. In November of this year, the first converted machine is to go on a longer journey. The turboprop aircraft will be making demonstration flights in the United Arab Emirates and Japan, among other places.
Skyalps initially started as a so-called virtual airline in cooperation with the Maltese Luxwing. Since the beginning of this year they have had their own Italian AOC. However, the aircraft will continue to be entered in the Maltese aviation register. Currently the fleet consists of four de Havilland Dash 8-400. Two further units are to be fleeted shortly. In the future, up to ten more turboprop aircraft of this type will be added to the fleet and bases will be opened outside of Bolzano. Skyalps will also attract wet lease orders from larger airlines.
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