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Friday, June 21, 2024

SWISS Boeing 777 Fleet Now Features CO2-Reducing ‘Sharkskin’ Film

Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) has been steadily providing its Boeing 777-300ER long-haul aircraft fleet with the fuel-saving AeroSHARK technology since the first aircraft so equipped performed the world’s first scheduled AeroSHARK flight in October 2022. The final member of the SWISS Boeing 777 fleet, HB-JNF, received its ‘sharkskin’ film at the beginning of this month, and all 12 aircraft are now in service with the innovative new technology.

The transparent AeroSHARK film is applied to the aircraft’s fuselage and engine nacelles. With its micrometers-deep ‘riblets’ that are aligned to the direction of airflow, the film replicates the hydrodynamic skin of a shark, reducing air resistance in flight by around one per cent. As a result, even with only part of its Boeing 777 fleet equipped with the new technology, AeroSHARK lowered SWISS’s kerosene consumption last year by over 2,200 tonnes, with concomitant reductions of some 7,100 tonnes in the airline’s carbon dioxide emissions.

“We are very pleased with the results that we have achieved with AeroSHARK to date,” says Claus Bauer, SWISS’s Head of Technical Fleet Management. “We’re proud, too, to be the first airline in the world to have equipped an entire aircraft fleet with this innovative technology. Each aircraft takes about a week to have its AeroSHARK film applied, which requires high-precision workmanship from our personnel. I am delighted that our commitment to this technology is delivering such positive results, and is enabling us at SWISS to take a further substantial step in making our flight operations more sustainable.”

Possible extension to further aircraft types

The AeroSHARK aircraft skin technology has been jointly developed by Lufthansa Technik and coatings manufacturer BASF. SWISS is also considering extending its AeroSHARK application programme to further aircraft types in its long-haul fleet in the medium-term future.

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