October 3, 2022
Tokyo - Nikon Corporation (Nikon) is pleased to announce that it will provide All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd. (ANA) with a film treated by riblet processing*1, which contributes to improved fuel efficiency in aircraft. ANA will operate the aircraft with the riblet film attached on a trial basis. ANA and Nikon will perform technical validation, test the durability of surfaces covered with the film, and obtain related data. ANA is the first Japanese airline company to operate aircraft with the riblet film attached to the surface of the airframe on a trial basis.*2
The ANA Group launched the "ANA Future Promise" in June 2021 with the aim of realizing a sustainable society and enhancing corporate value, and it has been implementing environmentally conscious choices, such as replacing plastic meal trays with trays made from eco-friendly materials. ANA is also planning to start the operation of the "ANA Green Jet" featuring special livery based on the Boeing 787 aircraft from October this year, as an icon of its sustainable corporate activities.
Nikon's proprietary film treated by riblet processing, which reduces fluid resistance and improves fuel efficiency by up to 2%, will be attached to two of the "ANA Green Jet" featuring special livery that will be in operation from October 5. This film applies the concept of biomimetics*3 and is treated by riblet processing, which forms structures that emulate shark skin on surfaces in contact with fluid, using laser and microfabrication technology.
In the field of aviation involving passenger and freight transport, various efforts are being made to realize a sustainable society, such as the reduction of CO2 emissions caused by flights and the reduction of resource waste. Most notably, technologies that reduce the drag on the surface of the airframe, which accounts for almost half of the resistance met by the aircraft during flight, have come under the spotlight.
Nikon is planning to test the durability of surfaces covered with the film and obtain related data through the operation and technical validation of the aircraft with the riblet film, so as to advance the technological development leading to practical applications.
Nikon is pursuing the technological development of riblet processing by utilizing its proprietary laser processing technology and going after new businesses. Nikon will contribute to the realization of a sustainable society by reducing energy loss in turbine blades and aircraft with riblet processing for improved fuel efficiency and reduction of CO2 emissions.
- *1Riblet processing: Processing to form structures that emulate shark skin on surfaces in contact with fluid, using laser and microfabrication technology. It reduces the friction drag caused by an irregular flow of fluid or gas and improves energy efficiency.
- *2Among aircraft released as of October 3, 2022, according to ANA
- *3Biomimetics: A generic term for the science and technology that emulate the functions of unique structures of living organisms to provide industrial products with great functionality.
For more information, please visit ANA's website.
The information is current as of the date of publication. It is subject to change without notice.