NEW DELHI: Boeing Co. and Alaskan Airlines are, in coming months, set to test new aviation technologies, which include a halon-free fire-extinguishing agent that reduces effects on the ozone layer, engine nacelle designed to reduce noise, and cabin sidewalls made of recycled materials, as a part of the Chicago-headquartered company’s ecoDemonstrator program.
The flights will test about 20 new technologies on a new Boeing 737-9 and the aircraft will be configured as a passenger service plane, after the completion of tests, before being delivered to Alaskan Airlines.
“We have a long history of working with Boeing to advance aviation technology, safety and fuel efficiency,” said Diana Birkett Rakow, Alaska Airlines’ vice president, public affairs and sustainability.
“This work with Boeing to accelerate innovation on the ecoDemonstrator program enables us to contribute to a more sustainable future for our global community,” she added.
In five months of ecoDemonstrator flight tests, Boeing and Alaska will work with nine other partners to test new technologies.
The ecoDemonstrator test flights are flown on special aviation fuel (SAF), a blend of petroleum-based and sustainable aviation fuel that reduces life-cycle CO2 emissions by up to 80%.
Some of the technologies Boeing has implemented on its aircraft from its past ecoDemonstrator test flights include advanced technology winglets on the 737 MAX family planes that reduce fuel use and emissions, iPad apps providing real-time weather and other data to pilots, a camera system on the new 777X aircraft that will enhance safety by helping pilots avoid obstacles on the ground.
“Boeing put additional emphasis on sustainability in 2020 to align with our stakeholder and business priorities as well as our values,” Boeing Chief Sustainability Officer, Chris Raymond said in a statement.
“Through our collaboration with industry partners, the ecoDemonstrator program is a great example of our commitment to work together to make flying safer and more sustainable for current and future generations,” he added.
Boeing had in January said it is working towards having all its commercial airplanes capable and certified to fly completely on SAF by 2030. Its ecoDemonstrator 777 Freighter test flight in 2018 was the world’s first commercial airliner flight completely on sustainable fuel.
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