Lufthansa Rolls Out Sharkskin Film on Aircraft to Reduce Emissions

December 16, 2022

Lufthansa Technik, the airline's maintenance and aircraft overhaul division, has begun rolling out a special film applied to the outer fuselages of it's planes that will reduce emissions and produce additional benefits.

The film, named AeroSHARK, has been developed in conjunction with BASF that is modeled on the microscopic structure of shark skin and is applied to the aircraft's outer skin. It directly reduces aircraft drag, cuts kerosene consumption and thus CO₂ emissions.

The Lufthansa Group will be the first airline in the world to equip more than 20 long-haul aircraft in its fleet with the aerodynamic sharkskin film.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has recently granted Lufthansa Technik a Supplementary Type Certificate (STC) for the use of their technology on two Boeing 777 models. This certification process was an extensive one that took several months to complete, and involved thorough testing of the technology in question.

Lufthansa Technology with AeroSHARK Will Produce Multiple Environmental Benefits

In the near future, SWISS will be introducing fuel-saving technology features to their entire fleet of twelve Boeing 777-300ER long-haul aircraft. This innovative surface technology is expected to reduce the amount of fuel consumed during each flight, helping to ensure a more environmentally friendly experience for passengers and crew alike. 

SWISS has become the first airline to equip its aircraft with AeroSHARK, a revolutionary riblet film technology. The first aircraft to receive this modification was the HB-JNH, a Boeing 777, and its flight test program for certification was successfully completed in October.

For a more sustainable future in aviation, we are consistently driving change in our industry. Our ambitious goal: a neutral CO₂ balance by 2050. Already by 2030, we want to halve our net CO₂ emissions compared to 2019. With the broad rollout of the AeroSHARK surface technology developed by Lufthansa Technik together with BASF, we are once again underlining our innovation leadership. We are the first airline group worldwide to use this new technology," said Christina Foerster, Member of the Lufthansa Group’s Executive Board, responsible for Brand and Sustainability. "By covering more than 20 aircraft with the new sharkskin film, we will reduce the Lufthansa Group's CO₂ footprint by more than 25,000 tons annually."

More on AeroSHARK Film

AeroSHARK consists of millions of ribs around 50 micrometers in size, known as riblets. They imitate the properties of sharkskin and thus optimize aerodynamics at flow-relevant points of the aircraft such as the fuselage or the engine nacelles. As a result, less fuel is required. By covering 950 square meters of a Boeing 777-300ER’s outer skin, for example, annual savings of around 400 tons of kerosene and more than 1,200 tons of CO₂ can be achieved.

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