Etihad Airways and Boeing will work together starting in August on the seventh iteration of the ecoDemonstrator program to test innovative technologies in the air, building on the core innovation and sustainability tenets of their strategic partnership signed in November 2019.
Boeing says the “ecoDemonstrator program utilizes commercial aircraft as flying testbeds to accelerate technology development that will make commercial aviation safer and more sustainable now and into the future.” The 2020 program will be the first to use a Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner. It will leverage the Etihad Greenliner program as part of the broader Etihad-Boeing Strategic Partnership to test cutting-edge technologies and explore “blue sky” opportunities to improve airspace efficiency, reduce fuel use, and cut CO2 emissions.
“This is the latest program under Etihad’s industry-leading strategic partnership with Boeing, focusing on innovating real-world solutions to the key sustainability challenges facing the aviation industry,” Tony Douglas, Etihad Aviation Group CEO, said.
“When we launched the partnership with the announcement of the Etihad Greenliner program at the Dubai Airshow last year, we promised it was just the beginning of a deep, structural partnership between our two organizations that would go on to lead the industry towards a sustainable future. The ecoDemonstrator program is founded on innovation and sustainability. These are core values for Etihad Airways, Abu Dhabi, and the United Arab Emirates, and Etihad and Boeing see a great opportunity to collaborate and share knowledge to minimize the impact of aviation on the environment.”
Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Stan Deal said: “Industry collaboration is a key aspect of Boeing’s ecoDemonstrator program that enables us to accelerate innovation. We’re proud to broaden our sustainability partnership with Etihad Airways by testing promising technologies that can reduce emissions, help commercial aviation meet our climate goals, and allow the industry to grow in a responsible manner that respects our planet and its natural resources.”
Boeing and Etihad will work with industry leading partners, including NASA and Safran Landing Systems, to conduct aircraft noise measurements from sensors on the airplane and the ground. The data will be used to validate aircraft noise prediction processes and the sound reduction potential of aircraft designs, including landing gear, that are modified for quieter operations. In addition, a flight will be conducted during which pilots, air traffic controllers and an airline’s operations center will simultaneously share digital information to optimize routing efficiency and enhance safety by reducing workload and radio frequency congestion.
Test flights will be flown on a blend of sustainable fuel, which significantly lowers aviation’s environmental footprint. The testing program is expected to last approximately four weeks before Etihad’s Boeing 787-10 is entered into service in Abu Dhabi.