Boeing has launched the latest round of
flight-testing to assess new technologies that could address
real-world challenges for airplane operators and passengers — from
enhancing safety and sustainability, to improving the flying
A Boeing 777 will serve
as the 2019 flying test bed for 50 projects.
"This is the latest addition to our
ecoDemonstrator program, where we look at how crew and passengers
can have a better experience and how technologies can make flying
safer, more efficient and more enjoyable," said Mike Sinnett, vice
president of product strategy and future airplane development at
Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "Using the 777 flying test bed lets
us learn faster and move forward on improvements much quicker and
with greater fidelity in defining their value."
Among the technologies being tested on this
year's ecoDemonstrator program are:
Sharing digital information between air traffic
control, the flight deck and an airline's operations center to
optimize routing efficiency and safety.
An electronic flight bag application that uses
next-generation communications to automatically provide rerouting
information to pilots when weather conditions warrant.
Connected cabin technologies that make galleys
and lavatories smart, and monitor cabin conditions such as
temperature and humidity to facilitate automatic adjustments.
Cameras to provide more passengers with a view
outside the airplane.
Boeing's ecoDemonstrator program first took to
the skies in 2012. Five airplanes - a 737-800, 787-8 Dreamliner,
757, Embraer E170 and 777 Freighter - have thus far tested 112 technologies.
More than a third of the technologies have transitioned to
implementation at Boeing or by program partners. Nearly half
remain in further development while testing on the other projects
Among the technologies now in use are iPad apps
that provide real-time information to pilots, enabling them to
reduce fuel use and emissions; custom approach path information to
reduce community noise; and a camera system on the 777X that will
help pilots avoid ground obstacles.
More than a dozen
partners are participating in the 2019 program, including an
industry consortium developing a connectivity standard for
networked cabins of the future known as iCabin.
Flight tests will be conducted this fall. The
flights will include a trip to Frankfurt Airport in Germany, where
the ecoDemonstrator's technology mission will be presented to
government officials, industry representatives and STEM students
to help inspire the next generation in aerospace leadership.
majority of the test flights will fly on sustainable aviation fuel
to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and demonstrate the fuel's
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