SWISS tailfin

Switzerland’s flag carrier SWISS has decided to equip its long-haul Boeing fleet with the fuel-saving AeroSHARK surface technology.

According to Lufthansa Technik, starting in the middle of the year, the carrier’s 12 Boeing 777-300ERs will gradually be fitted with the riblet films developed jointly by Lufthansa Technik and BASF. The significantly reduced frictional resistance resulting from this modification will make the sub-fleet more than one per cent more fuel-efficient and lower in emissions.

SWISS is the first passenger airline in the world to use the surface technology to significantly reduce fuel consumption and emissions of one of its existing fleets.

Dieter Vranckx, Chief Executive Officer of SWISS said the airline is keen to actively promote and invest in the use of new technologies. “We are pleased to be the world’s first passenger airline to offer the innovative AeroSHARK technology on our Boeing 777 fleet, making another important contribution to more sustainable air travel in the future,” he noted.

Dr. Johannes Bussmann, Chief Executive Officer of Lufthansa Technik commented: “Due to the long lifecycles in our industry, we cannot only rely on new aircraft generations to reduce our environmental footprint, but also need to specifically optimise existing fleets towards sustainability. AeroSHARK makes a significant contribution to this, and I am very pleased that SWISS is leading the way.”

The solution consists of ribs around 50 micrometres in size, known as riblets. It specifically imitates the properties of sharkskin, which has particularly favourable flow characteristics, optimising aerodynamics at relevant points on the aircraft.

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