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Boeing expands ecoDemonstrator flight testing with 'Explorer' airplanes

It announces 2023 plan; it will test 19 new technologies this year

Boeing is expanding its ecoDemonstrator flight-test program to further accelerate innovation for sustainability and safety. The company announced yesterday its 2023 plan to assess 19 technologies on the Boeing 777 ecoDemonstrator, while also adding "Explorer" airplanes that will focus tests on specific technologies.

The first ecoDemonstrator Explorer, a 787-10 Dreamliner, will conduct flight tests in June from Seattle to Tokyo, Singapore and Bangkok to demonstrate how coordinating navigation across global airspace jurisdictions can improve operational efficiency, which can reduce an airplane's fuel use and emissions by up to 10%. Utilizing today's onboard capabilities, Boeing and air navigation service providers (ANSPs) in the US, Japan, Singapore and Thailand will collectively sequence the airplane's routes to achieve the optimal flight path across multiple regions, factoring in conditions such as weather, air traffic and airspace closures. The airplane will fly on the highest available blend of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) at each location.

In 2023, the industry also will use its current flagship ecoDemonstrator airplane, a B-777/200ER (Extended Range), to test 19 technologies including:

Sustainable wall panels in the cargo hold that are made of 40% recycled carbon fiber and 60% resin made from a bio-based feedstock

A fiber optic fuel quantity sensor compatible with 100% SAF

An Electronic Flight Bag application featuring Smart Airport Maps, a component of Jeppesen FliteDeck Pro, which reduces operational costs and supports safe taxi operations with the depiction of contextual airport data

For all flight tests, the airplane will fly on the highest available blend of SAF locally.

Since its initial flights in 2012, the Boeing ecoDemonstrator program has accelerated innovation by taking new technologies out of the lab and testing them in an operational environment. Including the 2023 plan, the program will have tested about 250 technologies to help decarbonize aviation, improve operational efficiency and enhance safety and the passenger experience. Approximately a third of tested technologies have progressed onto Boeing's products and services.

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AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency