Boeing and Etihad Airways have concluded testing on the ecoDemonstrator programme with a flight across the US using a 50/50 blend of sustainable and traditional jet fuel.
Flying from Seattle to Boeing’s manufacturing site in South Carolina, Etihad’s newest 787-10 Dreamliner used the maximum sustainable fuel blend permitted for commercial aviation.
The transcontinental flight also demonstrated a new way for pilots, air traffic controllers and airline operations centers to communicate simultaneously and optimise routing.
Mohammad Al Bulooki, Etihad Aviation Group’s COO, said: “This is a prime example of industry collaboration towards sustainable aviation and innovation. Etihad’s collaboration with Boeing in the ecoDemonstrator programme has been a unique opportunity to lead the aviation industry’s drive for a sustainable future.”
Boeing’s ecoDemonstrator programme takes promising technologies out of the lab and tests them in the air to accelerate innovation. This year’s programme evaluated four projects to reduce emissions and noise and enhance the safety and health of passengers and crew.
All of the 787-10 test flights used a blend of traditional jet fuel and sustainable fuel produced from inedible agricultural wastes to minimise emissions, with the final flight operating at the maximum 50/50 commercial blend.
“Sustainable aviation fuels are proven and work in airplanes flying today and those that will fly tomorrow, but there’s a very limited supply,” said Sheila Remes, vice president of strategy at Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
“World Energy is making commercial-scale volumes of sustainable fuel at competitive prices, leveraging government low-carbon incentives to accelerate production and use in an industry that relies on liquid fuels.”
In January 2020, Etihad took delivery of its signature green 787-10 using a fuel mix comprising 30% SAF produced by World Energy.