These two aircraft play a key role in the project, in which Lufthansa Technik AG has participated since mid-2011 along with its partners Airbus Operations and the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials (IFAM) in Bremen.
The aim of the research is to test the durability of a surface coating for aircraft that mimics shark skin under real-life flying conditions. The riblets that cover the entire skin of fast-swimming sharks reduce turbulent vortices and the drag they cause. This diminishes surface resistance when moving at speed.
Thanks to a new technique developed by the Fraunhofer Institute in Bremen, shark skin structures can be embossed into aircraft paints. According to the latest research findings, this aerodynamic surface could reduce fuel consumption by about one per cent and lower operating costs.
More information is available on the website: http://www.lufthansa-technik.com/en/multifunctional-coating