The partners are employing an “ecoDemonstrator 757”, based in Seattle, to test various systems and components.
“The Boeing ecoDemonstrator programme is focused on putting new, more environmentally efficient technologies and airplanes in the hands of our customers sooner,” said Mike Sinnett, vice president of Product Development, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
TUI Group, as the world’s largest integrated tourism group with about 140 aircraft, is also working to reduce its environmental impact and encourage its suppliers and customers to do the same. “We are very pleased to partner with Boeing for the next phase of their ecoDemonstrator programme, as TUI Group is highly committed to achieving further environmental efficiency across our whole business and remaining the industry leader on carbon efficiency with our airlines,” said Thomas Ellerbeck, member of the TUI Group Executive Committee.
New technologies under evaluation include active-flow control, which is designed to aid aerodynamic efficiency, and more amusingly, bug-phobic wing coatings.
Based on wind-tunnel testing, active flow control could improve the rudder’s efficiency by up to 20 percent and may allow for a smaller vertical tail design in the future.
“Our researchers have been working hard to develop technologies to reduce airplane fuel consumption, noise and emissions. Being able to prove those concepts in flight tests gives them a better shot of getting into the commercial fleet,” said Fay Collier, Environmentally Responsible Aviation project manager, NASA.
With the exception of Boeing proprietary technology, the knowledge gained from ecoDemonstrator research will be publicly available to benefit the industry.