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Lufthansa Technik steps up investment in innovation and research

03/18/2014 | by Lufthansa from press release

200 million euros over the next four years

Lufthansa Technik AG is stepping up its efforts in the area of product and service innovations and also in research and development. The multi-faceted innovation activities are to be further professionalized through central innovation management at the company's headquarters in Hamburg. The volume of investment is to be significantly increased, from 50 million euros over the last five years to 200 million euros over the next four years.

"We rely on developing product innovations to open up new markets and customers. Lufthansa Technik is always focused on preparing for new aircraft types and technologies," said August Wilhelm Henningsen, Chairman of the Executive Board of Lufthansa Technik AG, on March 18 in Hamburg. "New materials and technologies offer great opportunities to make our services more eco-efficient, less expensive and hence more attractive for our customers. In this way innovations are the main driver for our growth."

Working with partners from universities, research establishments and industry, Lufthansa Technik has already succeeded in putting many innovations for aviation into effect. The research topics include production technologies, measurement technology, improved MRO services, fault diagnosis and prognosis, robot-assisted repair processes and automated test procedures.

One of the projects already completed or else at an advanced stage is the Cyclean® mobile engine wash system, which is already used worldwide and results in fuel savings of around 0.5 percent. Work is also under way to improve engine efficiency and extend the service life of compressor blades using a novel laser welding method. A newly developed engine performance analysis methodology is now making it possible to perform tailored overhauls on engines for which OEM-independent data has been acquired for the first time.

Several research projects are geared towards the increasing use of fiber composite materials: involving partners from academia and industry, these projects are developing procedures for diagnosing faults directly on the aircraft fuselage and for damage rectification by a mobile repair robot. Another avenue for research activity has been to examine how, using modern materials, designs and production procedures, various OEM components can be replaced by self-developed, maintainable, lighter and more economical parts.

Under the concept "eMobility", alternative mobility concepts for taxiing and towing operations for aircraft are being tested with a view to cutting fuel consumption and emissions. These include an electric drive integrated in the main landing gear, a diesel-electric powered aircraft towing vehicle and a hybrid towbarless e-towing tractor.

"Research and innovative projects," said Henningsen. "These are elements with which we have built up our leading market position and with which we plan to extend it further."

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