US aircraft maker Boeing and American Airlines unveiled a next-generation 737-800 ‘eco’ airplane in Washington DC earlier this week.
The ecoDemonstrator has been fitted with a range of environmental technologies including a regenerative fuel cell, engine vibration reduction, and flight trajectory optimisation to improve efficiency and reduce fuel costs.
The adapted 737-800, which Boeing has already been testing at its Glasgow, Montana facility, will serve as a testbed for the technologies over the next year, when it will be returned to standard configuration and given back to American Airlines.
Fuel is now the leading operating cost for airlines and increasingly stringent environmental legislation is coming into force around the world, so that airlines are more focused than ever on fuel efficiency and reducing carbon emission and noise.
“The ecoDemonstrator illustrates how we’re pursuing technologies and advanced materials that make airplanes operate more efficiently and produce fewer emissions and less noise,” says John Tracy, Boeing’s chief technology officer.
Some of the flight test costs and adaptive trailing edges on the plane are being funded by the US Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) CLEEN (Continuous Lower Energy, Emissions, and Noise) programme.
Next year, Boeing plans to use a wide-bodied plane as the testbed for new fuel efficiency technologies.
For further information:
Boeing and ANA make first 787 biofuel-powered flight (18-Apr)
Neste Oil and Lufthansa hail successful renewable aviation fuel trial (27-Mar)
Boeing, Airbus and Embraer to work together on biofuels (23-Mar)
Future aircraft could harness braking energy to generate electricity (28-Feb)
20 September 2012