- Drag-reducing riblet film helps airlines to save fuel and reduce
- Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) paves the way for series
modification of 777-300ER and 777F
- Next modification layovers at SWISS and Lufthansa Cargo to commence
already in January

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 subfleet-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
tons of kerosene and more than 1,200 tons of carbon dioxide. The
slightly shorter Boeing 777F saves around 370 tons of fuel and 1,170
tons of CO2 each year.

A first AeroSHARK-equipped Boeing 777-300ER of the Swiss airline
(HB-JNH), which also completed the flight test program 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.

The AeroSHARK modification of HB-JNH already began at the end of
August and culminated in so-called STC flights with EASA on September
8 and 9. During these flights, detailed proof had to be provided that
the AeroSHARK modification had no negative impact on the operational
safety and handling of the Boeing 777. The STC flight was followed by
several weeks of evaluation of the collected data and other
documents, such as measured values from flow simulations. After
recently completing its review of all submitted documents, EASA
finally granted the STC.

"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 Soeren Stark, Chief Executive
Officer of Lufthansa Technik. "With our partner BASF, we can now
support our customers in making entire subfleets more
climate-friendly. Moreover, we intend to realize the use of the new
technology for further aircraft types. We are the only MRO company in
the world to offer such solutions to reduce fuel consumption and
CO₂ emissions for commercial aircraft. We are naturally very
proud of this."

"Realizing such a project is only possible through cooperation in
partnership and great trust in each other's expertise. Together, we
have succeeded in developing a tailor-made solution that combines
economic action and sustainability in equal measure," explained Dr.
Uta Holzenkamp, head of BASF's Coatings division and in this position
also responsible for functional films. "With the Novaflex Sharkskin
functional film, we are helping our customers to achieve their
individual sustainability goals and in this way make aviation
measurably more environmentally friendly."

SWISS and Lufthansa Cargo will successively equip all twelve of their
777-300ERs and eleven 777Fs with AeroSHARK. They will thus be the
first passenger and cargo airlines worldwide to optimize a complete
sub-fleet with the riblet films. Once all Boeing 777s at Lufthansa
Cargo and SWISS have received their AeroSHARK modification, they will
reduce the Lufthansa Group's carbon footprint by more than 25,000
tons annually.

Lufthansa Technik and BASF intend to consistently develop AeroSHARK
further for additional aircraft types and larger surfaces, so that in
the future they can support airlines around the world in achieving
their emissions targets. In initial model calculations, the sharkskin
technology in its maximum expansion stage could even avoid CO2
emissions on the scale of up to three percent.