Boeing, FedEx to test fuel-saving tech with ‘ecoDemonstrator’ aircraft

Airfreight is notorious for being one of most polluting modes of transportation, so news that Boeing and FedEx Express are teaming up to test fuel-saving technology is welcome news in an industry that has been slow to adapt.
As part of the 38-year-old “ecoDemonstrator” program, Boeing will install experimental technology on a FedEx 777F to test propulsion advancements and flight-deck innovations.
The ecoDemonstrator program converts aircraft into flying aeronautics laboratories, designed to improve the environmental performance and safety of future airplanes.
“The ecoDemonstrator program is focused on harvesting exciting new technologies that will benefit our airline customers, the flying public and the environment,” explained Mike Sinnett, vice president of Boeing Commercial Airplanes Product Development.
This latest round of testing will study the effectiveness of Boeing’s compact thrust reverser, which is designed to save fuel. The program will also test flight-deck systems that can streamline operations into and out of busy airports, and prototypes of airplane parts that reduce material waste.
Perhaps the most visible technology to come out of the ecoDemonstrator program is the 737 MAX Advanced Technology Winglet, which improves fuel efficiency by up to 1.8 percent. Launched in cooperation with American Airlines and the FAA in 2012, Boeing tested aerodynamic performance of natural laminar flow technology, which is a fancy way of describing those upturned winglets that are now a ubiquitous modification on many of Boeing’s aircraft.

Source: aircargoworld