Boeing Eco-Incubator Will Promote Green Technologies

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Boeing said last week it will launch an ecoDemonstrator program to help develop new green aviation technologies and get them to market more quickly. The project will focus on fuel efficiency, noise reduction and operational efficiency. "Commercial aviation is in rapid pursuit of its goal of carbon-neutral growth by 2020, primarily driven by technology advancements," said Billy Glover, managing director of Environmental Strategy for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "The ecoDemonstrator program can help accelerate industry efforts by providing a platform that integrates innovation and technologies in a way that ensures as they mature, they are market-ready. The program also will enable emerging technologies to be tested for further research consideration." The FAA recently awarded Boeing $25 million in matching funds to support the project.

Technologies in development for the FAA's initiative include ceramic matrix composite acoustic engine nozzles, advanced inlets, and adaptive wing trailing edge flaps that can help reduce fuel consumption and noise. Boeing will also collaborate with IHI Aerospace of Japan to evaluate regenerative fuel cell technology for onboard auxiliary power applications. Two ecoDemonstrator aircraft will be used -- a next-generation 737 in 2012, with a second series of flights aboard a Boeing twin-aisle aircraft in 2013.