Successful run

The Boeing ecoDemonstrator Program is a terrific example of our investment to continually improve product efficiency for our customers and the environmental performance of our industry. In the program, we use airplanes as flying testbeds to accelerate the development of new technologies, from hardware and software to new types of aviation biofuel.

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The ecoDemonstrator 787 takes off from Boeing Field.

We completed a very successful ecoDemonstrator run late last year using ZA004, the 4th 787 Dreamliner.

In November and December, we tested more than 25 technologies during 21 ecoDemonstrator 787 flights. Our engineers spend years designing and planning for these tests, and it’s exciting to see their ideas literally fly.

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Mike Carriker, chief pilot for Airplane Development at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, checks out a new wireless tablet on the ecoDemonstrator 787 flight deck.

Ten of our ecoDemonstrator 787 flights used “green diesel,” which is made from vegetable oil and waste animal fat and is widely used as a biofuel for trucks.

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Filling up with green diesel.

We believe green diesel can become a significant new supply of biofuel for jets and used the ecoDemonstrator 787 to prove its capability. Our first green diesel flight used a blend of 15 percent biofuel and 85 percent petroleum in the airplane’s left engine, followed by 9 more flights using the blend in both engines.

The airplane performed just as it does with conventional jet fuel, supporting efforts to approve this fuel for commercial aviation and help meet our industry’s environmental goals.

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The ecoDemonstrator 787 taking off on its green diesel flight.

The 787 also tested NASA’s Airborne Spacing for Terminal Arrival Routes (ASTAR) to improve landing efficiency, new greenhouse gas sensors evaluated in collaboration with Japan Airlines, and real-time turbulence reports generated in collaboration with Delta Air Lines to mitigate turbulence.

Later this year, our ecoDemonstrator program will start testing more environmental technologies on a 757 in collaboration with TUI Travel and NASA.

We look forward to breaking new ground in 2015 as we continue to grow our industry while shrinking our footprint.

Comments (2)

Norman Garza (Long Beach, CA):

It's exiting to see Boeing take the challenge of greener fuels for the future of flight. Even if the price of fuel is inexpensive in North America right now it is important to think ahead rather than be complacent.

Glen Towler (Wellington ,New Zealand):

Seems like common sense to me. I just hope we can grow enough bio fuel plants to fuel the worlds aircraft. Maybe spending more time and money to stopping the deserts expanding in places like China would be a good place to start. So much land wasted

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