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  • Writer's pictureMalcolm Lu

Boeing Announces New 'Explorer' Airplanes

Updated: Sep 16, 2023

  • Boeing Expands ecoDemonstrator Flight Testing with 'Explorer' Airplanes, Announces 2023 Plan

  • Accelerating technology development for sustainability with multiple airplanes

  • Boeing will use first Boeing ecoDemonstrator Explorer, a 787-10 Dreamliner, to partner with four countries on operational efficiency testing

  • Flagship ecoDemonstrator will test 19 new technologies in 2023

Image by Boeing

Boeing is expanding its ecoDemonstrator flight-test program to further accelerate innovation for sustainability and safety. The company today announced its 2023 plan to assess 19 technologies on the Boeing 777 ecoDemonstrator, while also adding "Explorer" airplanes that will focus tests on specific technologies.


The first ecoDemonstrator Explorer, a 787-10 Dreamliner, will conduct flight tests in June from Seattle to Tokyo, Singapore and Bangkokto demonstrate how coordinating navigation across global airspace jurisdictions can improve operational efficiency, which can reduce an airplane's fuel use and emissions by up to 10%. Utilizing today's onboard capabilities, Boeing and air navigation service providers (ANSPs) in the U.S., Japan, Singapore and Thailand will collectively sequence the airplane's routes to achieve the optimal flight path across multiple regions, factoring in conditions such as weather, air traffic and airspace closures. The airplane will fly on the highest available blend of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) at each location.


Image by Boeing

In 2023, Boeing also will use its current flagship ecoDemonstrator airplane, a 777-200ER (Extended Range), to test 19 technologies including:

  • Sustainable wall panels in the cargo hold that are made of 40% recycled carbon fiber and 60% resin made from a bio-based feedstock

  • A fiber optic fuel quantity sensor compatible with 100% SAF

  • An Electronic Flight Bag application featuring Smart Airport Maps, a component of Jeppesen FliteDeck Pro, which reduces operational costs and supports safe taxi operations with the depiction of contextual airport data

  • For all flight tests, the airplane will fly on the highest available blend of SAF locally

Since its initial flights in 2012, the Boeing ecoDemonstrator program has accelerated innovation by taking new technologies out of the lab and testing them in an operational environment. Including the 2023 plan, the program will have tested about 250 technologies to help decarbonize aviation, improve operational efficiency and enhance safety and the passenger experience. Approximately a third of tested technologies have progressed onto Boeing's products and services.



 

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