We’re committed to making the future of flying more sustainable. That’s why we’ve extended our partnership with Boeing to be part of the 2020 ecoDemonstrator programme. This programme, almost a decade old, trials advanced technologies and pioneers sustainability initiatives in aviation.
The ecoDemonstrator programme uses commercial aircraft as flying testbeds to accelerate technology developments and improve the entire aviation ecosystem – from cabins and landing gears, to CO2 emissions and noise produced by the aircraft.
The 2020 programme is the first to use a Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner, leveraging our strategic partnership with Boeing. For Etihad, this builds upon our already successful Greenliner programme, that takes proven technologies into an operational environment
Quieter, safer flights
Working with partners at NASA and Safran Landing Systems, our ecoDemonstrator aircraft conducted advanced aircraft noise measurements using sensors on the aircraft and on the ground. This data is used to understand how to make flights and operations quieter, reducing the impact on communities living close to airports.
We also conducted flights that trial new approaches for pilots, air traffic controllers and airline operation centres to simultaneously share digital information. This information sharing enables optimised routing efficiency and improved safety by reducing workload and radio frequency congestion.
As well as exploring ‘blue sky’ technologies to support the aviation ecosystem of tomorrow, we’re focusing on innovating real-world solutions to key sustainability challenges facing the aviation industry today.
As part of our response to the challenge of COVID-19 in aviation, a handheld ultraviolet light wand was tested to determine its effectiveness in disinfecting aircraft. In addition to testing the hardware, our frontline cleaning and disinfecting teams provided inputs to ensure the product is easy to use and ultimately effective at killing the virus. This is yet another step in ensuring aircraft cabins are clean and safe.
All scheduled test flights used up to 50% sustainable fuel, demonstrating the viability of sustainable aviation fuel. Speaking of demand, the 2020 ecoDemonstrator programme supported our fuel partners in producing the largest volume of 50/50 blend biofuel ever produced commercially.
All of this is just the latest proof of concept for our Greenliner Programme, our initiative dedicated to sharing knowledge, resources and learnings to benefit all Dreamliner operators and transform the aviation industry.
The Greenliner Programme tests new green technologies such as sustainable alternative fuels and eco-friendly in- flight products on our Dreamliner fleet, with a specially- themed Boeing 787 at the helm.