Boeing Expands ecoDemonstrator Program With New Aircraft

Boeing will assign a Dreamliner to the new "Explorer" project under its ecoDemonstrator program.



April 28, 2023

DALLAS — Boeing, the American aircraft manufacturer, has announced plans to expand its ecoDemonstrator flight-test program with the introduction of new technology platforms and aircraft to further accelerate innovation for sustainability and safety. From June 2023, a new Boeing 787-10 will join the fleet of ecoDemonstrator aircraft.

The new Dreamliner will be the backbone of Boeing's new project called "Explorer," which aims to demonstrate how coordinating navigation across global airspace jurisdictions can improve operational efficiency and reduce fuel emissions by up to 10%. The Boeing 787-10 will conduct test flights from Seattle to Tokyo, Singapore, and Bangkok using the highest available blend of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) at each location.

Stan Deal, president, and CEO of Boeing, said, "To support our industry's goal for net zero carbon emissions by 2050, Boeing is expanding our ecoDemonstrator program with Explorer airplanes to test even more sustainability-focused technologies. We continue to invest in innovation that reduces fuel use, emissions, and noise on our products and to partner with governments and industry to make progress on sustainability during each phase of flight."

Continuing with its expansion, Boeing will also introduce the test of 19 new technologies on the current flagship of its ecoDemonstrator program, a Boeing 777-200ER registered as N861BC, which has previously flown for airlines such as Singapore Airlines (SQ), Air New Zealand (NZ) or Surinam Airways (PY) before becoming the main testbed of innovations for the manufacturer.

The Boeing 777-200ER will now work on proving the reliability of 40% recycled wall panels for the cargo hold of airplanes, a new Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) featuring Smart Airport Maps to ensure more safe taxi operations, and a fiber optic fuel quantity sensor compatible with 100% SAF.

Boeing 777-200ER. Photo: Michael Rodeback/Airways

About the ecoDemonstrator Program

The Boeing ecoDemonstrator program is a project designed by the American manufacturer to push the boundaries of innovation in commercial aviation since its first flight in 2012. It achieves this by testing new technologies outside of the lab and in real-world scenarios, sometimes even including the most remote and dangerous atmospheres worldwide.

Among its main goals, the company aims to decarbonize aviation, increase operational efficiency and improve passenger comfort, safety, and overall flying experience. As of 2023, the ecoDemonstrator program has successfully tested and introduced into the market around 250 new technologies, of which one-third have been incorporated on Boeing aircraft on a regular basis and already make part of the manufacturer's product showcase.

Apart from its famous 777-200ER, Boeing also operates a veteran 41-year-old 757-200, registered as N757A, which acts as a testbed for new navigation and avionics concepts that could eventually be incorporated into future Boeing jets and improve the safety and efficiency of flying commercial aircraft.

Featured image: This Boeing 787-10 will shortly become a new member of the ecoDemostrator family in June 2023. Render: Boeing