Lufthansa Cargo will begin equipping all its Boeing 777 freighters with the AeroSHARK technology in 2023, which would help reduce the C02 emissions of the aircraft.
AeroSHARK is a surface film that mimics the microscopic structure of shark skin. Its structure consists of ribs around 50 micrometres in size - so-called riblets.
Lufthansa said if the flow pattern on the fuselage and engine nacelles of the Boeing 777F is optimized in this way, significant savings in fuel and, thus, emissions can be achieved.
In its announcement, the German carrier said the innovative surface technology from Lufthansa Technik, and BASF improves fuel efficiency and helps achieve sustainability goals.
"This modification, developed by Lufthansa Technik and BASF, will now gradually be used on Lufthansa Cargo's entire fleet of 777 freighters, making them more fuel-efficient and reducing emissions," Lufthansa Cargo said.
Lufthansa Cargo's first AeroSHARK-modified Boeing 777 freighter, registered D-ALFA, already took off for the first time on February 3, 2023. Under flight number LH8410, the B777F started from Frankfurt (FRA) to Bengaluru (BLR), from where it will fly on to Chengdu (CTU).
Fuel savings, lower C02 emissions
For the modified Boeing 777F, Lufthansa noted that it expects fuel savings of slightly more than 1%.
Extrapolated to Lufthansa Cargo's entire 777 fleet, this will result in annual savings of more than 4,000 metric tons of kerosene and nearly 13,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions, equivalent to about 53 individual cargo flights from Frankfurt to Shanghai.
"We are proud to be able to operate our entire freighter fleet even more efficiently in the future thanks to Sharkskin technology and to further reduce the carbon footprint of our modern fleet," said Dorothea von Boxberg, chairwoman of the executive board and CEO of Lufthansa Cargo.
"Our investments for the introduction of AeroSHARK bring us closer to our goal of being 100% CO2-neutral in the air by 2050; on the ground, we would like to achieve this goal as early as 2030," she added.
In cooperation with BASF, Lufthansa Technik is responsible for the specification of the material, the airworthiness certification and the implementation of the aircraft modifications, which are carried out during regular maintenance layovers.
In December of last year, the company obtained a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for two types of Boeing 777 from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), paving the way for the serial application now underway on the 777 freighter fleet.