Etihad and Boeing launch new sustainable aviation testbed

Published: 21 July 2020 - 5 a.m.

Etihad Airways is working with Boeing to test new technologies on-board a brand new 787-10 Dreamliner in an effort to make commercial aviation more sustainable.

The initiative was unveiled at FIA Connect on Monday, a virtual event replacing the Farnborough International Airshow 2020.

From August, Etihad and Boeing will use the jet to test technology and operational techniques designed to reduce fuel consumption, noise pollution and CO2 emissions.

The move follows on from Etihad and Boeing’s ‘Greenliner’ partnership, unveiled at the Dubai Airshow last year in a bid to improve efficiency and cut aviation CO2 emissions

The 2020 iteration of the ecoDemonstrator programme will be the first to use a Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner.

“This is the latest programme under Etihad’s industry-leading strategic partnership with Boeing, focusing on innovating real-world solutions to the key sustainability challenges facing the aviation industry,” said Tony Douglas, Etihad Aviation Group’s CEO.

“When we launched the partnership with the announcement of the Etihad Greenliner programme at the Dubai Airshow last year, we promised it was just the beginning of a deep, structural partnership between our two organisations that would go on to lead the industry towards a sustainable future.”

Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO Stan Deal said: “Industry collaboration is a key aspect of Boeing’s ecoDemonstrator programme 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.”

The two companies will work with the likes of 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 optimise 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 programme is expected to last approximately four weeks before Etihad’s Boeing 787-10 is entered into service in Abu Dhabi.

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