Friday, September 9, 2022

Virgin Australia Boeing B737-800 VH-YIU Calls into CQ Airports now with Split Scimitar Winglets

On Friday 9 September, Virgin Australia Boeing B737-800 VH-YIU was noted calling into a couple of Central Queensland Airports, making its first visit into the region after recently returning from maintenance where it was retrofitted with new Split Scimitar winglets.

VH-YIU at the Gold Coast  (File photo)

VH-YIU firstly operated as VOZ601/4, flying to Mackay Airport from and then back to Brisbane. It later also operated as VOZ1497/8 from Brisbane to Hamilton Island Airport and back.

VH-YIU is the fifth and possibly final Virgin Australia Boeing B737-800 to be retrofitted with the new Split Scimitar winglets. VH-YIU spent June and July at Singapore undergoing planned maintenance where it is believed they were fitted. It returned to Australia in mid-July but has so far, avoided visiting CQ.

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 four other of the five Boeing B737-800s to be retrofitted with the Split Scimitar winglets were VH-YIV, VH-YIR, VH-YIS and VH-YIT - see Blog posts below.

Photo taken by Brodie Lawson  ©

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