'Riblet' Skin To Reduce Fuel Consumption on Jets

 - December 21, 2022, 4:36 PM
Swiss International Air Lines workers apply the AeroSHARK skin to the fuselage of a Swiss Boeing 777-300ER. (Photo: Lufthansa Technik)

Lufthansa Technik has received a supplemental type certificate from EASA for the installation of AeroSHARK riblet films on two Boeing 777 variants. Developed jointly by Lufthansa Technik and BASF, AeroSHARK is a surface structure composed of microscopic ribs that reduces the frictional resistance of the aircraft skin, thereby decreasing fuel consumption and carbon emissions by 1 percent.

That means an annual reduction of about 400 tonnes of kerosene and more than 1,200 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions on a Boeing 777-300ER. On the slightly shorter 777F, AeroShark is expected to provide an annual savings of about 370 tonnes of fuel and 1,170 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.

With the approval, launch customers Lufthansa Cargo and Swiss International Air Lines can begin applying the modification to their 777 fleets. “The approval of AeroSHARK for the Boeing 777 variants is an important step in the distribution of this new technology for more sustainability in air transport," said Lufthansa Technik CEO Soeren Stark. “With our partner BASF, we can now support our customers in making entire sub-fleets more climate-friendly. Moreover, we intend to realize the use of the new technology for further aircraft types.”