DALLAS – A SWISS (LX) Boeing 777-300ER equipped with Lufthansa Technik and BASF’s AeroSHARK surface technology has taken off on its first passenger flight.
The fuselage and engine nacelles of the triple seven were modified with roughly 950 square meters of Riblet film, which mimics the flow-efficient features of shark skin.
Flow models have revealed a savings potential of slightly more than 1% for this sort of aircraft. The first scheduled flights with the aircraft registered as HB-JNH will now help to validate these potential savings in day-to-day flying operations.
According to calculations and flow simulations, AeroSHARK’s distinctive surface structure of microscopic ribs (Riblets) reduces the frictional resistance of this aircraft’s outer skin.
As a result, fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are lowered by the same factor. This would amount to annual savings of roughly 400 tons of fuel and more than 1,200 tons of CO2 for LX’s Boeing 777-300ER.
AeroSHARK Test Flights
The HB-JNH AeroSHARK upgrade began in late August and culminated in numerous test flights on September 8 and 9.
It had to be proved in detail during these flights that the AeroSHARK modification had no negative influence on the operational safety and handling of the Boeing 777.
The full-scale roll-out at launch customers LX and Lufthansa Cargo (LH) is intended to begin as soon as the predicted savings potential has been proven in actual flight operations.
Following the tech proof of flight, as it were, more Boeing 777s will receive the AeroSHARK upgrade as part of routine maintenance layovers, according to Lufthansa Technik.
Both airlines intend to retrofit all of their Boeing 777-300ERs and 777Fs with AeroSHARK. This would make them the first passenger and freight airline in the world to use this technology to optimize an entire sub-fleet.
When all 11 Boeing 777s at LH Cargo and 12 at LX have undergone the AeroSHARK modification, LH says its carbon footprint will be reduced by more than 25,000 tons per year.
Featured image: SWISS Boeing 777, HB-JNH. Photo: Lufthansa Technik