Boeing announces environmental demonstrator

Boeing has unveiled a new programme for accelerating environmental technologies.

The ecoDemonstrator Programme will emphasise emerging technologies in the areas of fuel efficiency, noise reduction and operational efficiency, and aim to move them faster towards practical aviation application.

Jeanne Yu, director of environmental performance for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, says the programme "allows aviation to accelerate promising environmental technologies, from discovery to feasibility and airplane applicability. Moving these technologies from the laboratory to flight test enables industry to learn faster about addressing airplane integration challenges."

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently awarded Boeing a $25 million matching cost contract for technology development through its Continuous Lower Energy Emissions Noise (CLEEN) programme. Under this contract, which will be a part of the ecoDemonstrator Programme, Boeing will deliver the flight tests and targeted technologies. Two ecoDemonstrator aircraft will be used, including a Next-Generation 737 in 2012, with a second series of flights aboard a twin-aisle aircraft in 2013.

Technologies in development for the FAA CLEEN programme include ceramic matrix composite acoustic engine nozzles, advanced inlets, and adaptive wing trailing edge flaps that can help reduce fuel consumption and noise during the take-off, climb and landing phases of flight.

The ecoDemonstrator Programme will also include collaborative work with IHI Aerospace of Japan to evaluate regenerative fuel cell technology for onboard auxiliary power applications.

Boeing has conducted a series of sustainable biofuel test flights to demonstrate the technical feasibility of flying jetliners and military aircraft using renewable fuel sources. Other recent demonstration programme examples include in-service evaluations of chrome-free paint systems, tailored arrivals for optimising aircraft landing procedures and in-flight testing of recycled carpet developed for cabin interiors.

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