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Boeing unveils plans for advanced ecoDemonstrator Program

Boeing (NYSE: BA) today announced its ecoDemonstrator Program for accelerating environmental technologies. The ecoDemonstrator Program will emphasize emerging technologies in the areas of fuel efficiency, noise reduction and operational efficiency, while readying technologies at a faster pace for aviation applications.

"Commercial aviation is in rapid pursuit of its goal of carbon-neutral growth by 2020, primarily driven by technology advancements," said Billy Glover, managing director of Environmental Strategy for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "The ecoDemonstrator 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 program also will enable emerging technologies to be tested for further research consideration."

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), through its Continuous Lower Energy Emissions Noise (CLEEN) program recently awarded Boeing a $25 million matching cost contract for technology development. Under this contract, which will be a part of the ecoDemonstrator Program, Boeing will deliver the flight test portion of the program and targeted technologies. Two ecoDemonstrator aircraft will be used, including a Next-Generation 737 in 2012, with a second series of flights aboard a Boeing twin-aisle aircraft in 2013.

The ecoDemonstrator Program will build on the FAA CLEEN program foundation and be a continuum of focused technology testing, which will include further collaboration across the aviation industry. Technologies in development for the FAA CLEEN program 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 Boeing ecoDemonstrator Program also will include collaborative work with IHI Aerospace of Japan to evaluate regenerative fuel cell technology for onboard auxiliary power applications. That technology also will be flight tested with other emerging technologies in an effort to quicken technology development through rapid prototyping methods, challenging goals and the rigorous process of integrating technologies onto a flight-test platform.

"The ecoDemonstrator Program allows aviation to accelerate promising environmental technologies, from discovering 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 programs a proven part of our commitment to environmental performance," said Jeanne Yu, director of Environmental Performance for Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

Recently, Boeing completed a successful series of sustainable biofuel test flights, which demonstrated the technical feasibility of flying jetliners and military aircraft using renewable fuel sources. Other recent demonstration program examples include in-service evaluations of chrome-free paint systems, Tailored Arrivals for optimizing aircraft landing procedures and in-flight testing of recycled carpet developed for cabin interiors. The ecoDemonstrator Program builds on the Quiet Technology Demonstrators, which successfully highlighted advanced noise reduction technologies aboard a Boeing 777 aircraft from 2001 to 2005.

Press release issued by Boeing Commercial Airplanes on July 21, 2010


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