Boeing is testing 30 sustainable technologies on its 777-200ER ecoDemonstrator

June 21, 2022
For all flight tests, the 777-200ER will fly on a highest approved blend of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) available.

SEATTLE - Boeing unveiled its 2022 ecoDemonstrator with a livery that honors a decade of testing to reduce fuel use, emissions and noise. The latest ecoDemonstrator, a Boeing-owned 777-200ER, will test about 30 new technologies aimed at improving sustainability and safety for the aerospace industry, including a water conservation system and technologies to improve operational efficiency.

"Boeing is committed to support our customers and enable the commercial aviation industry to meet our shared commitment to net zero carbon emissions by 2050," said Stan Deal, Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO. "The ecoDemonstrator program's rigorous testing of new technologies further enhances the environmental performance of our products and services and is invaluable to continuously improving safety."

During six months of flight and ground tests starting this summer, the 2022 ecoDemonstrator will evaluate:

Additively manufactured airplane and engine parts including an auxiliary power unit (APU) exhaust duct support panel and an engine bracket. The goal is to reduce weight on the airplane, which saves fuel, and reduce waste in the manufacturing process. Both were developed by the Boeing Additive Manufacturing Innovation Center.

• Boeing and NASA are continuing their work on SMART vortex generators, small vertical vanes on the wing that improve aerodynamic efficiency during takeoff and landing. Shape memory alloys developed in collaboration with NASA will enable the vortex generators to retract into the wing during cruise, improving fuel efficiency and reducing carbon emissions.

• In partnership with Universal Avionics, the ecoDemonstrator pilots will help test next-generation head-worn head-up display (HUD) and enhanced vision system (EVS) camera. The SkyLens HUD is a transparent screen that places key information directly within a pilot’s line of sight. This technology, coupled with EVS, provides an enhanced vision system that allows pilots to see in low-visibility conditions, enhancing safety by improving situational awareness and reduces weight on the airplane.

• In collaboration with Diehl Aviation, the ecoDemonstrator will test a water conservation system that uses wastewater from handwashing to flush the lavatories. By saving water – potentially more than 400 lbs. (181 kg.) of weight per flight -- the system helps to reduce fuel use and carbon emissions.

• Partnering with Meggitt, Boeing is testing the discharge performance of a new fire suppression agent for the airplane’s cargo compartment in flight. This effort is part of Boeing’s commitment to eliminate the use of Halon 1301 across all commercial airplane models. International environmental and aviation regulations have imposed cutoff dates for using Halon 1301 — the standard agent for extinguishing airplane fires — due to its ozone-depleting properties.

• Boeing is testing several technologies aimed at improving operational efficiency, including a capability that can improve situational awareness for pilots during airplane taxiing. This includes combining airport data sources with Jeppesen airport maps to enable single-engine taxi operations to reduce fuel consumption.

• In partnership with Collins Aerospace, Boeing is testing the performance of a new air chiller that uses an environmentally-preferred refrigerant. Airplane galleys contain refrigerators to keep food and beverages cold in flight. Just like in consumer refrigerators, refrigerants often contain industrial chemicals which are potent greenhouse gases if they leak

"The Boeing ecoDemonstrator program brings together the two most important ingredients to a more sustainable future – innovative technologies and partnerships with customers, suppliers, government agencies and academia," said Chris Raymond, Boeing Chief Sustainability Officer. "We celebrate the past successes and look forward to continuing this iconic program to help decarbonize aviation, together."

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