Lufthansa Cargo leading the ‘green’ change with its first AeroSHARK-modified Boeing 777 freighter

Lufthansa Cargo from 20233 will begin equipping all Boeing 777 freighters with AeroSHARK- an innovative surface technology from Lufthansa Technik and BASF that improves fuel efficiency and helps achieve sustainability goals.

Registerd as D-ALFA, Luftansa Cargo’s first modified Boeing 777 equipped with AeroSHARK,  took off for the first time at 05:07 (CET) 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).

A surface film that mimics the microscopic structure of shark skin, AeroSHARK’s structure consists of ribs around 50 micrometers in size – so-called riblets. 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. Developed by Lufthansa Technik and BASF, this modification will gradually be used on Lufthansa Cargo’s entire fleet of 777 freighters, making them more fuel-efficient and reducing emissions.

The modified Boeing 777F, are expected to save fuel slightly more than one percent. Once the entire Boeing 777 fleet of Lufthansa Cargo is modified, the company is expected to save more than 4,000 metric tons of kerosene and nearly 13,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions annually.

“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. Our investments for the introduction of AeroSHARK bring us closer to our goal of being 100 percent CO2-neutral in the air by 2050; on the ground, we would like to achieve this goal as early as 2030,”

Dorothea von Boxberg, Chairwoman of the Executive Board and CEO of Lufthansa Cargo

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.

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