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CX A340 Dolphin Skin  
User currently offlineAFa340-300E From France, joined May 1999, 2084 posts, RR: 25
Posted (15 years 8 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 1623 times:


I had read an article over two years ago about the test Cathay Pacific made on one of its A340-300Es with some dolphin skin on its wings, which were due to reduce drag. Thiswould result in 1 ton fuel economy on a "typical long-haul flight" (I know this is close to no meaning without the exact sector on a period pf the years in certain conditoins).

Anyone would have some information about this please?
Were the test successful?
What precise aircraft get these skins?
When was it made please?

Thank you,

Best regards,
Alain Mengus

6 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineFalcon-air From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (15 years 8 months 4 days ago) and read 1517 times:

you are right about the special skin, It was a success by reducing the total drag that the aircraft produced. Rather then the skin being smooth, it was covered in platelets like a Dolphin giving less drag. But the cost to fit an aircraft with ths special type skin was so much that they believe an airline would not bear the cost over fuel saving.
The Discovery channel ran a documentry on it some time a go. IF I can find some more infomation i'll let you know.

User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 30410 posts, RR: 57
Reply 2, posted (15 years 8 months 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 1492 times:

The tricky part with those type of skins is keeping the pores clean and free of dirt and grime. This type of technology has been used for years on racing sailboats.

Flipper must be relived. How many dolphins do you have to skin to cover an A  

User currently offlineAFa340-300E From France, joined May 1999, 2084 posts, RR: 25
Reply 3, posted (15 years 8 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 1465 times:



Any idea of the price?
If they have let the skin on the A340? If not why they removed it?

Thank you,

Best regards,
Alain Mengus

User currently offlineGreggj From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (15 years 8 months 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 1459 times:

I hope no tuna were hurt in this experiment.

User currently offlineFalcon-air From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (15 years 8 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 1431 times:

have found some more info on the skin, it was a special paint which contained tiny beads, will let you know, soon as I get more info.

User currently offlineMinuteman From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 271 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (15 years 7 months 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 1426 times:

I had an opportunity to work with some scraps of material similar to this

It was made by 3M for Airbus and went for about $10,000 per sq/yd (?)...EXTREMELY expensive, but it was a rivulet-covered film that was applied to the upper surface of the wing in an attempt keep the boundary layer attached. It was basically like a micro-scale corduroy (sp?) texture.

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