Boeing announces details of ecoDemonstrator Program to help accelerate aviation environmental technologies
The jagged-edge engine chevrons on the 787 Dreamliner were developed during Boeing’s Quiet Technology Demonstrator programme
Mon 9 Aug 2010 – Boeing has set up a programme to help quicken progress on emerging technologies in the areas of fuel efficiency, noise reduction and operational efficiency. Part of the ecoDemonstrator Program will take place under the FAA’s CLEEN programme, which recently awarded Boeing a $25 million matching cost contract for technology development. Under the CLEEN contract Boeing will undertake flight testing using two ecoDemonstrator aircraft, including a Next-Generation 737 in 2012 followed by a second series of flights aboard a Boeing twin-aisle aircraft in 2013. The ecoDemonstrator Program will also include collaborative work with IHI Aerospace of Japan to evaluate regenerative fuel cell technology for onboard auxiliary power applications.
“Commercial aviation is in rapid pursuit of its goal of carbon-neutral growth by 2020, primarily driven by technology advancements,” commented Billy Glover, Managing Director of Environmental Strategy for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “The eco-Demonstrator Program can help accelerate industry efforts by providing a platform that integrates innovation and technologies in a way that ensures as they mature, they are market-ready. The programme also will enable emerging technologies to be tested for further research consideration.”
Technologies in development for CLEEN 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 Program 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, making demonstrator programmes a proven part of our commitment to environmental performance,” said Jeanne Yu, Director of Environmental Performance for Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
The programme follows on from the Quiet Technology Demonstrators, which took place from 2001 to 2005 and highlighted advanced noise reduction technologies using a Boeing 777 aircraft. Glover told journalists at the recent Farnborough Air Show that new technologies developed during that programme, such as the one-piece acoustic inlet and the soon-to-be-familiar jagged engine chevrons, have been adopted for Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner and 747-8 aircraft.
“The ecoDemonstrator Program won’t only be about noise but will be everything that makes the airplane more efficient, operate with less emissions and more integrated with the air traffic system,” he said. “Technology developed here will contribute to any new airplane decisions we make over the next few years.”