50 SKY SHADES - World aviation news

Lufthansa Technik: A shark learns to fly

Download: Printable PDF Date: 13 Jul 2017 08:32 category:
Publisher:
Lufthansa Technik: A shark learns to fly - Maintenance / Trainings publisher
Tatjana Obrazcova
Country: Germany Aircraft: Airplanes

Lufthansa Technik AG and its partners have succeeded in developing a guidance system for the automated application of multifunctional surface structures. This will make it possible in the future to coat large surfaces of an aircraft with a low-drag sharkskin structure. For the time being, the structure will be applied to the upper side of the wings and the upper and lower sides of the horizontal stabilizer only. Other application surfaces, especially on the fuselage, are expected to follow.

Earlier research conducted by Lufthansa Technik already confirmed the long durability and high benefit of this type of structure. In the process, the company was able to develop new coatings and demonstrate the stability of the riblet or sharkskin structure under real flight conditions. Thanks to the results of the "FAMOS" research project, the structure can now be applied automatically with the help of a guidance system.

For this purpose, the coating is first applied to a UV-transparent mold (matrix) comprising the negative of the riblets' shape. The negative mold is pressed into the fresh coating, which is simultaneously hardened through UV light. When the negative mold is removed, the positive of the sharkskin remains on the surface. The matrix can also take the form of an endless belt, thus making an automated process possible.

"Our research has shown that we can reduce drag by five to eight percent despite a small amount of wear of the microstructures. This means airline operators would not only benefit from fuel savings of around one and a half percent, but would also be able to reduce the exhaust emissions of their fleets by a corresponding amount," said project manager Dr. Mathias Nolte.

If the process of industrialization and transition into production begins in the coming months, the automated coating of aircraft with drag-reducing sharkskin could become reality as early as 2019.



Loading comments for Lufthansa Technik: A shark learns to fly...


Recommended

Passenger claim proves Vueling’s “technical issue” wrong

While aviation industry keeps expanding, its shortcomings are only getting worse – Eurocontrol 2017 data reveals increasing flight delays. Stuck in Barcelona waiting for her Vueling flight, Seli...

Emirates signs agreement for up to 36 additional A380s

Commitment to grow its flagship A380 fleet Dubai-based Emirates Airline has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to acquire up to 36 additional A380 aircraft. The agreement was signed this mo...

Ryanair New Cabin Bag Policy Goes Live

Ryanair’s new bag policy went live today (15 Jan) offering: – Lower check-in bag fees (down from €/£35 to €/£25 per check-in bag) – Bigger check-in bag allo...

EBASCON 2018 - Defining new levels of Safety in Business Aviation

Top-ranked international industry experts and visionaries to meet at Europe’s key Business Aviation Safety Conference in Vienna Now in its eighth year, the industry’s key European Busin...