The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has granted Lufthansa Technik a so-called Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) that officially paves the way for the series modification of two Boeing 777 variants with the fuel-saving AeroSHARK riblet films.
Through the STC, the sub fleet-wide roll-out of this sustainability technology, developed jointly by Lufthansa Technik and BASF, can now commence at the launch customers Lufthansa Cargo and Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS). The next modification layovers in Frankfurt and Zurich are already scheduled for early January.
Thanks to its special surface structure of microscopic ribs – so-called riblets – AeroSHARK reduces the frictional resistance of the aircraft skin. As a result, the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are reduced by around one percent. For each Boeing 777-300ER operated by SWISS, this means annual savings of around 400 tonnes of kerosene and more than 1,200 tonnes of carbon dioxide. The slightly shorter Boeing 777F saves around 370 tonnes of fuel and 1,170 tonnes of CO2 each year.
A first AeroSHARK-equipped Boeing 777-300ER of the Swiss airline (HB-JNH), which also completed the flight test programme for the now-received certification, had already begun daily operations in October using a temporary “Permit-to-Fly” from the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) that was valid for this single aircraft only. The STC issued by EASA now allows Lufthansa Technik to serially apply the nature-inspired riblet films to any given Boeing 777-300ER and 777F aircraft.