Boeing unveils new 777 ‘ecoDemonstrator’ test jet

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(CNN) – US aircraft maker Boeing has just announced its new 2022 Ecodemonstrator plane – a converted, 20-year-old 777-200ER that will be tasked with testing new technologies to make air travel more durable and safer.

The ecoDemonstrator will go through a six-month series of tests in both land and sky, starting this summer.

The 30 or more technologies set up for testing during the campaign include a project designed to reduce fuel consumption, emissions and noise while incorporating more sustainable materials.

For example, Boeing is collaborating with NASA to create a smart vortex generator – a small vertical van on the wing designed to improve aerodynamic efficiency during takeoff and landing.

Other projects include a system designed to save onboard gray water – water washed into the sink will be used to flush the toilet, which also reduces the weight of the aircraft.

The plane will also be used to conduct tests on “environmentally preferred” refrigerants, new fire suppression agents to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and head-up enhanced vision systems for pilots to improve operational efficiency.

Meanwhile, Boeing will continue its extensive study on the impact of sustainable aviation fuel on the reduction in emissions.

The aircraft maker says the team plans to power the 777-200ER using a 30/70 mix during its test period. Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) And conventional jet fuel.

Boeing’s EcodMonstrator program began a decade ago and takes technologies out of the lab to test them in an operational environment.

It has tested a total of about 230 techniques “to help decarbonize aviation, improve operational efficiency and enhance safety and passenger experience”.

The Boeing 2022 ecoDemonstrator will test 30 technologies to enhance safety and durability.

The Boeing 2022 ecoDemonstrator will test 30 technologies to enhance safety and durability.

Boing

The 2022 Ecodemonstrator plane with registration number N861BC was first delivered to Singapore Airlines in 2002, after which it flew with Air New Zealand and Suriname Airways in its 20 years of life.

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It is repainted with an earth-themed lever, which Boing says symbolizes a decade of testing to reduce fuel consumption, emissions and noise.

“Boeing is committed to supporting our customers and enabling the commercial aviation industry to meet our shared commitment to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050,” Stan Dale, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said in a statement.

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“The rigorous testing of new technologies by the Ecodemonstrator program further enhances the environmental performance of our products and services and is invaluable in continuously improving safety.”

Boeing’s statement says about a third of the technology tested has already been incorporated into its products and services.

The aviation industry is pushing for a more sustainable aviation environment in the face of long-standing criticism.

Various reports from industry watchdogs and environmental groups estimate that aviation produces 2-3% of global CO2 emissions.

At its annual meeting in October 2021, IATA, the International Air Transport Association, announced a resolution in support of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

At the IATA AGM to be held in Doha, Qatar on June 19-21, the “Focus on Sustainability” session will address related industry issues, including the challenges of achieving sustainability – including single use plastics, SAFs and net zero carbon emissions by 2050. .

Many airlines have already pledged to offer carbon-neutral flights and explore alternative fuels to reduce pollution.

Earlier this month, the Spanish airline Air Nostrum announced it Ordering 10 new hybrid airships. The Airlander 10 aircraft is scheduled to be delivered by 2026. Manufactured by UK-based Hybrid Air Vehicles, the company claims that airships can reduce emissions by up to 90%.

Top Image: Boeing 2022 Eco Demonstrator. Credit: Boeing

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