Boeing has launched a new round of tests with its specially outfitted B-787 ecoDemonstrator, employing it to test more than two dozen technologies to improve the aircraft’s environmental performance. The tests will evaluate software to improve the plane’s operational efficiencies, remote sensors that cut down on wiring, improvements in flight controls and special anti-icing wing coatings.
Other tests include automated, satellite-based continuous-descent spacing to make landings more efficient, new greenhouse gas sensors, real-time turbulence reports, cutting edge instrument landing systems and wing access doors made from recycled carbon fiber.
“The ecoDemonstrator is focused on technologies that can improve airlines’ gate-to-gate efficiency and reduce fuel consumption, emissions and noise,” says Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO Ray Conner. “Through the ecoDemonstrator Program, Boeing continues to invest in innovation that benefits the environment and our customers.” The 787 joins a B-737 ecoDemonstrator that included wing and fan nozzle improvements.
The ecoDemonstrator program is part of Boeing’s commitment to improving sustainability in flight and its goals are aligned with the EU focus on sustainable transport. The 787 Dreamliner itself represents a 20 percent improvement in efficiency compared with similarly sized aircraft.