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Fri, Jul 13, 2012

ecoDemonstrator Airplane Prepares For Flight Test Program

Boeing, American Airlines, Flying A Modified 737-800 For Validation Of New Technologies

Assembly has been completed of an American Airlines, Next-Generation 737-800 to be used as a flying test bed for validating environmentally progressive technologies. The airplane, known as the ecoDemonstrator, is being outfitted with advanced technologies and test equipment before it begins a month of intense flight testing in Montana.

The 2012 ecoDemonstrator program is a partnership between Boeing, American Airlines, and the FAA. "The goal of the ecoDemonstrator program is to accelerate integration of these technologies for more fuel efficient, quieter, cleaner, more advanced sustainable material solutions for the future," said Jeanne Yu, Boeing Commercial Airplanes director of Environmental Performance.  "Demonstration programs give us a platform for better learning about new technologies in application.  This helps us incorporate these technologies more rapidly."

American Airlines is loaning one of its new Next-Generation 737-800s to Boeing for three months to serve as the test bed for these advanced technologies.  Each technology being fitted on the airplane for testing has the goal of reducing fuel consumption, lowering noise, and testing the viability of sustainable materials. After testing, the airplane will be returned to standard configuration and delivered later this year.

Technologies on the 2012 ecoDemonstrator airplane will include improvements to wing and engine efficiency as well as fuel-saving flight trajectory methods. "At American, we are committed to investing in or participating in pilot programs to test new equipment, develop alternative fuels and partner with like-minded companies, such as Boeing, to support promising developments that help reduce our carbon footprint," said David Campbell, vice president of Safety, Security and Environmental for American Airlines.  "The ecoDemonstrator is a critical milestone in helping to advance technologies that can help us fly more sustainably with future airplanes."

The FAA is participating in the 2012 and 2013 programs, providing funding for two of the technologies and sharing in the flight test costs.  The funding is provided through their Continuous Lower Energy Emissions and Noise program (CLEEN).

(Image provided by Boeing)

FMI: www.boeing.com, www.faa.gov

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