Two workers apply a shark skin-like coating, AeroSHARK, to an airplane’s red and white exterior, carefully working around a window with precision tools. We need all kinds of innovations, large and small, to help address the climate emergency. I'm not sure how much 2,200 tonnes of kerosene being saved means in the big scheme of the things, but the technology evidently works, and learning from nature is pretty cool.

The Swiss national airline has now incorporated the shark skin onto all of its long-haul 777 aircraft, with the final example to adorn the technology receiving it at the start of May… Last year, the airline saved nearly 2,200 tonnes of kerosene despite its 777 fleet not being fully fitted at the time.

Rather than being completely smooth, shark skin is unique in its ability to minimize drag through specific grooves, which, in aviation terms, allows for a smoother and more efficient flight.

AeroSHARK replicates this hydrodynamic property on aircraft. It is a “special film” made up of “tiny 50-micrometre riblets that reduce aerodynamic drag during flight.”

Source: Simple Flying