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Balance 2015 ENG

From “sharkskin” to TaxiBot: Innovations at Lufthansa Technik When it comes to innovation within the Lufthansa Group, Lufthansa Technik plays an important role through its participation in numerous research and development projects. Innovation is part of everyday business for the world’s leading provider of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services. To implement more innovations between now and 2018, the Executive Board of Lufthansa Technik has approved a budget of 200 million euros, as part of the 500-million-euro Group-wide package. To date the engineering specialist already has about 70 new projects in the pipeline. The focus is on innovation that provides both economic and ecological advantages, as the following examples illustrate. 01 Learning from nature: “Sharkskin” for aircraft In the framework of the research project FAMOS, Lufthansa Technik – together with its partners Bremer Werk für Mon- tagesysteme (bwm) and Airbus – is working to develop a highly automated system to clean, strip, paint and apply low-drag aircraft surfaces by 2017. According to the latest findings, these surfaces, which are modeled on the sur- face structure of sharkskin, can lead to fuel savings of around one percent. Hence they lower operating costs and reduce the burden on the environment. If the paint- based riblet-structured surface coating proves marketable, it will be a quantum leap for civil aviation in terms of fuel efficiency and environmental friendliness. In an earlier project, the experts of Lufthansa Technik tested and proved the durability of technically simulated sharkskin under operating conditions on the fuselages and the wing leading edges of two Lufthansa Airbus A340-300s. 02 Improved aerodynamics: Vortex generators reduce noise emissions Besides the sharkskin coating, Lufthansa Technik has set in motion several other aerodynamic improvements aimed at reducing kerosene consumption and noise emissions while flying. Since fall 2014, the Company has fitted Lufthansa’s Airbus A319, A320 and A321 aircraft with noise-reducing vortex generators in front of the circu- lar fuel-tank pressure equalization vents on the underside of the wings. These components are based on research results produced by the Lufthansa Group and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) (see page 54, Active noise protection). In addition, Lufthansa Technik is developing vortex generators for the upper wing surface. These are likewise to be used for refitting Airbus A320 aircraft. 70new research projects are being planned at Lufthansa Technik. 10 // Innovation – The key to a successful future