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Boeing ecoDemonstrator tests cabin recyclability
Wednesday, 22 May 2024
Seat cushion sensors reduce crew workload and smart galley tools improve efficiency, reduce waste. Other projects focus on single-engine taxi and digital taxi tests to reduce fuel usage and enhance safety.

Boeing is testing three dozen technologies on its ecoDemonstrator programme, focused on strengthening operational efficiency and sustainability in cabin interiors, one of the most challenging parts of recycling an aircraft. The company will begin testing this month using a 777-200ER (Extended Range).

The Boeing ecoDemonstrator projects include:

- Airport operations: Testing to enable single-engine taxi and digital taxi clearances to reduce fuel use and enhance safety by reducing pilot workload.

- Airport noise: Quantifying the benefits of flight operation procedures like steeper glide slope and continuous descent approach, to reduce community noise, fuel use and emissions.

- Waste-reducing materials: Lighter, recyclable and more durable floor coverings and recycled carbon fibre ceiling panels, both made with 25 per cent bio-based resin.

- Noise and weight reduction: Cabin insulation to better reduce noise and regulate humidity and temperature, and fabric-covered acoustic panels for the bulkhead and galley.

- Future cabin concepts: Economy and business class seats with sensors that detect if someone is seated during taxi, take off and landing to improve safety, and reduce crew workload and downtime for maintenance; a touchless water conservation lavatory; and galley technologies to make cabin service more efficient and reduce food waste.

"The Boeing ecoDemonstrator programme helps us make tangible improvements to our products - allowing us to reduce the environmental impacts of flying, improve the in-flight experience and strengthen the safety of our aircraft," says Stephanie Pope, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "We're grateful for the many partnerships within aviation and beyond that help us turn the seemingly impossible into reality."

"The ecoDemonstrator programme is among our most iconic flight demonstrators, having tested 250 technologies since it first took flight in 2012," adds Brian Moran, Boeing chief sustainability officer. "This year's testing of various cabin interiors aims to help solve for the portion of our aircraft that is not reusable or recyclable, while also reducing fuel use and crew workload."

Four of the cabin technologies are being featured at the 2024 Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Germany. Since its initial flights in 2012, almost every platform of the Boeing ecoDemonstrator programme has flown on SAF and, this year, the flagship aircraft will fly on a 30/70 blend of SAF and conventional jet fuel.

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