Two first visits in a week!
Certainly another wonderful surprise for Central Queensland Plane Spotters with Virgin Australia Boeing B737-800 VH-YIS touching down at Rockhampton Airport on dusk on Friday 13 March, making its first visit to the region only two days after returning from maintenance where it was retrofitted with new Split Scimitar winglets.
VH-YIS is pictured arriving into Rockhampton Airport from Brisbane as VOZ1249. It later returned to the capital as VOZ1252.
VH-YIS is the third of possibly five Boeing B737-800s to be retrofitted with the new Split Scimitar winglets that will mostly be used on international flights to New Zealand, the Pacific Islands and Bali.
The Split Scimitar winglets, which have been named after a type of Middle Eastern sword with a curved blade, aim to reduce drag and improve fuel efficiency. It features a split tip, with one part curved upwards at the end of the wing and a second tip pointing downwards and backwards at an angle.
The winglets, developed by Aviation Partners Boeing, have been available for retrofit on existing Boeing B737 Next Generation aircraft (B737-600, -700, -800 and -900/900ER series aircraft) since 2014. Virgin is the first airline in Australia to introduce the winglets into service.
The two other of the five Boeing B737-800s to be retrofitted with the Split Scimitar winglets were VH-YIV and VH-YIR with the latter making its first visit to CQ but at Mackay Airport earlier in the week - see Blog post below.
Sincere thanks to local plane spotter Micah S for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos!
All photos taken by Micah S ©