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FRANKFURT: Lufthansa Cargo is to apply a surface film developed by BASF and Lufthansa Technik on its fleet of 10 B777 freighters to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

Called Aeroshark, the film mimics the structure of a shark’s skin with riblets of 50 micrometers to reduce wind resistance of an aircraft in flight.

At the end of 2019, Lufthansa Technik and BASF fitted almost the entire lower half of a Lufthansa B747-400 fuselage with 500 square meters of a jointly developed sharkskin surface. After 1,500 flight hours, emissions were reduced by around 0.8 percent due to the technology modification.

When the freighter programme is completed, Lufthansa Cargo says its fleet will save 3,700 tons of kerosene and just under 11,700 tons of CO2 emissions a year.

Both companies will continue developing the new technology to include additional aircraft types and even larger surfaces. Initial model calculations show that use of sharkskin technology could reduce CO2 emissions by as much as three percent.

“I am very proud that we will soon be able to transfer the positive findings of the validation phase into the series application with Lufthansa Cargo,” said Lufthansa Technik CEO Johannes Bussmann. “The extremely constructive collaboration with BASF is also the best example of cross-sector cooperation in the interest of the sustainability of the aviation industry,” he added.
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