Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner ecoDemonstrator program is set to begin later this week. The program will see an Etihad Airways Boeing 787-10 used to test several methods of potentially reducing emissions and noise produced when flying.
Moving into the current decade, it was clear that there would be a significant focus on sustainability within the aviation industry. We’ve seen many airlines making progress on carbon neutral operations. Most recently, JetBlue revealed that its entire United States domestic operations had become carbon neutral. Now, Boeing and Etihad are teaming up to test eco-focused strategies within the airline environment.
Debuting this week
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner ecoDemonstrator program was announced jointly by Boeing and Etihad at last year’s Dubai Airshow. Since then, we’ve seen a couple of special flights by the airline, in addition to a special environmental aircraft livery. However, the main focus of the program is yet to get underway.
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Around a month ago, Boeing revealed that, in August, the 2020 program would begin. Now, according to a tweet from the United States aerospace giant, we know that testing will get underway next week. The experiment will take place on one of Etihad’s Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner aircraft while in everyday passenger service.
Our 2020 #ecoDemonstrator will take promising technologies out of the lab and evaluate them in the sky. Check out a few of the technologies that this @etihad 787-10 Dreamliner will start testing next week! pic.twitter.com/YWJxQQ07UE
— Boeing Airplanes (@BoeingAirplanes) August 18, 2020
What is being tested?
A range of different solutions to cutting two types of pollution will be tested on the 787-10 Dreamliner. The solutions are intended to reduce the aircraft’s carbon emissions, in addition to cutting the noise pollution emitted by the plane.
Boeing hasn’t gone into specific details about what is being tested on the aircraft. However, they did list the following themes:
- Sustainable aviation fuel
- Quieter landing gear
- En-route airspace efficiency
- Less airframe noise
- Cabin sanitizing technology
- Efficient arrivals
The technologies are going to be tested on a brand new 787 that is yet to be delivered to Etihad. The aircraft, to be registered as A6-BMI, is being tested with the registration N8572C according to data from Planespotters.net. According to data from FlightRadar24.com, the plane completed a 10-hour flight over the United States from Charleston to Gary on Friday.
Last month, Etihad Aviation Group Chief Executive Officer Tony Douglas said,
“The ecoDemonstrator program is founded on innovation and sustainability — and these are core values for Etihad Airways, Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates. Etihad and Boeing see a great opportunity to collaborate and share knowledge to minimize the impact of aviation on the environment.”
Etihad has previously completed tests with other aircraft as part of the ecoDemonstrator program. In January, the airline completed an eco-flight to Brussels as part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2020.
Single-use plastics were, of course, removed from the aircraft where possible. However, the plane also used optimized procedures to cut its emissions. It was given an expedited taxi to reduce its carbon emissions from the engines idling on the ground.
Earlier this year, Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport toyed with the idea of towing aircraft to the runway to reduce CO2 emissions. Additionally, Etihad’s eco-flight received priority routing from Eurocontrol to keep its emissions in flight down to the minimum possible level.
Are you excited to see Etihad’s ecoDemonstrator take to the skies? Let us know what you think in the comments.