Lufthansa takes delivery of world’s first aircraft with vortex generators

Environmental Noise

More than 200 Lufthansa aircraft Airbus A320 to become quieter.

Lufthansa will today take delivery of its first Airbus A320 with vortex generators. The brand-new Airbus aircraft with registration D-AIUB is scheduled to land at Frankfurt Airport at 4.20 p.m. Based here, it will serve short and medium-haul destinations in Germany and Europe.

Lufthansa is the first airline in the world to use an aircraft with this modification. The purpose of the vortex generators is to reduce the noise produced by aircraft during their final approach by up to two decibels. In addition to the “Uniform Bravo” (D-AIUB), all new aircraft of this type will be equipped with vortex generators standard. The aircraft of the A320 fleet that are already in operations will also be equipped with this noise-reducing technology. A total of 157 aircraft in the existing fleet will receive the new component, so that more than 200 aircraft in total, including the new deliveries, will be quieter.

“We are delighted to be taking delivery of our first Airbus with vortex generators today. This modification is part of our investment in active noise protection and will make our short and medium-haul fleet even quieter in the future,” says Kay Kratky, Member of the Lufthansa German Airlines Board, Operation & Hub Frankfurt. “This will enable us to implement a key aspect of the ‘Noise Protection Alliance’ initiative, comprising Lufthansa, Fraport, the Board of Airline Representatives in Germany e.V. association, German air traffic control, the Airport and Region Forum (FFR) and the state government of Hesse, and will particularly benefit local residents near our hubs in Frankfurt and Munich.” 

Flyover measurements taken by Lufthansa in cooperation with the German Aerospace Center have shown that vortex generators eliminate unpleasant tones and significantly reduce the total noise produced by aircraft. These tones are created on the underside of the wing by circular pressure equalisation vents for the fuel tanks. Airflows passing over them in flight have an effect like blowing across the mouth of a bottle. The new components will create a vortex in front of these vents and so prevent the noise. They can be fitted both to the existing fleet as well as to the new Airbus A319, A320 and A321 aircraft, which are still to be delivered.