Boeing Expands ecoDemonstrator Program with “Explorer” Aircraft
Boeing is taking a bold step forward in the realm of sustainability and safety by expanding its ecoDemonstrator flight-test program. With the addition of Explorer airplanes and a 2023 plan to assess 19 technologies on the Boeing 777 ecoDemonstrator, the company aims to further accelerate innovation for a more sustainable future in aviation.
The First ecoDemonstrator Explorer: 787-10 Dreamliner
The first ecoDemonstrator Explorer, a 787-10 Dreamliner, is scheduled to conduct flight tests in June from Seattle to Tokyo, Singapore, and Bangkok. The focus of these tests is to demonstrate how coordinating navigation across global airspace jurisdictions can significantly improve operational efficiency. By optimizing flight paths across multiple regions and factoring in conditions such as weather, air traffic, and airspace closures, Boeing and air navigation service providers (ANSPs) can reduce an airplane’s fuel use and emissions by up to 10%. During these flights, the airplane will utilize the highest available blend of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) at each location.
Boeing’s Commitment to a Sustainable Future
Boeing’s expansion of the ecoDemonstrator program with Explorer airplanes highlights the company’s commitment to supporting the aviation industry’s goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, emphasized the importance of innovation in reducing fuel use, emissions, and noise, while also fostering partnerships with governments and industry stakeholders to advance sustainability efforts during each phase of flight.
Testing a Wide Range of Technologies in 2023
In 2023, Boeing will employ its current flagship ecoDemonstrator airplane, a 777-200ER (Extended Range), to test 19 different technologies, including sustainable wall panels in cargo holds, fiber optic fuel quantity sensors compatible with 100% SAF, and an Electronic Flight Bag application featuring Smart Airport Maps. The ecoDemonstrator aircraft will fly on the highest available blend of SAF locally for all flight tests.
The Impact of the ecoDemonstrator Program
Since its inception in 2012, the Boeing ecoDemonstrator program has played a pivotal role in accelerating innovation by taking new technologies from the lab and testing them in real-world operational environments. With the 2023 plan, the program will have tested around 250 technologies aimed at decarbonizing aviation, enhancing safety and passenger experience, and improving operational efficiency. Approximately a third of these tested technologies have been integrated into Boeing’s products and services.
Boeing’s expansion of the ecoDemonstrator program with the introduction of Explorer airplanes signifies the company’s commitment to pioneering sustainable solutions in the aviation industry. As the program continues to push the boundaries of innovation, the aviation industry can look forward to a cleaner, safer, and more efficient future.
What other innovations do you think will help the aviation industry achieve its sustainability goals?