Switzerland is the first passenger airline to use Lufthansa Technik’s fuel-efficient surface technology.
From the middle of the year, twelve Boeing 777-300ERs of the Swiss subsidiary Lufthansa will be equipped with AeroSHARK Replicate films developed by Lufthansa Technik and BASF. The surface has a structure similar to shark skin, which consists of ribs – called ribs – about 50 micrometers in size. This reduces frictional resistance, which in turn reduces fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions.
According to Lufthansa Technik, AeroSHARK accounts for about 1.1 percent of the Swiss long-haul fleet. Converted to the operational profile of the 12 Boeing 777-300ER, according to Lufthansa Technik, that means annual savings of more than 4,800 tons of kerosene and about 15,200 tons of carbon dioxide, as much as is typically produced on about 87 long-haul flights from Zurich. to Mumbai.
Each Boeing 777-300ER is covered with approximately 950 square meters of corrugated film, mainly on the fuselage. The modification is therefore larger than the roughly 800-square-meter modification on the Boeing 777F of AeroSHARK’s first customer Lufthansa Cargo, according to Lufthansa Technik. The AeroSHARK film will be gradually attached to the Boeing 777-300ER from mid-2022 under appropriate maintenance times.
Other aircraft types and larger planned areas
Dr. says. Johannes Bosmann, CEO of Lufthansa Technik.
Swiss Lufthansa Technik and BASF have already supported the AeroSHARK development phase: in the summer of 2021, the wing of a Boeing 777 was measured on a scheduled flight between Zurich and San Francisco. Using the recorded data, Lufthansa Technik was then able to create high-resolution 3D models of flow simulation, on the basis of which the AeroSHARK modification will soon be extended to the wings of the Boeing 777. Switzerland will also provide one of its aircraft for the so-called STC flight to obtain the Extended Type Certification (Certificate of Extended Type (Certificate) Additional type) from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
Lufthansa Technik and BASF want to develop the rib technology introduced in 2021 for additional aircraft types and even larger areas. According to Lufthansa Technik, in the calculations of the first model, it was also possible to avoid carbon dioxide emissions by up to three percent by using shark technology in the maximum expansion stage.
By the way, shark technology for engines is also being researched, for example in the TURANDOT project by the Graz University of Technology, the American company GE Aviation and the Austrian company Bionic Surface Technologies.