Etihad Airways and Boeing leading the way towards “blue sky” opportunities

Etihad Airways and Boeing are working together to ‘lead the industry towards a sustainable future’ and improve airspace efficiency.

Etihad Airways and Boeing are extending their partnership with a sustainability-focused ecoDemonstrator testing. The pair, who will work together starting in August, is on the seventh iteration of the ecoDemonstrator programme which tests innovative technologies in the air. 

This partnership aims to build on the core innovation and sustainability tenets of their strategic partnership signed back in November 2019.

The ecoDemonstrator programme’s goal is to make commercial aviation safer and more sustainable, now and in the future. It will do this by utilising commercial aircraft as flying testbeds to accelerate technology development. 

Excitingly, the 2020 programme will be the first to use a Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner. This plane is the newest member of the ‘super-efficient’ 787 family.

Concerning the extension of their partnership, Tony Douglas, Etihad Aviation Group’s Chief Executive Officer has stated:

This is the latest programme under Etihad’s industry-leading strategic partnership with Boeing, focusing on innovating real-world solutions to the key sustainability challenges facing the aviation industry.”

Exploring “blue sky” opportunities to improve airspace efficiency, the programme aims to reduce fuel use and cut out CO2 emissions. It will also leverage the Etihad Greenliner programme as part of the broader Etihad-Boeing Strategic Partnership to test cutting-edge technologies.

When we launched the partnership with the announcement of the Etihad Greenliner programme at the Dubai Airshow last year, we promised it was just the beginning of a deep, structural partnership between our two organisations that would go on to lead the industry towards a sustainable future.

The ecoDemonstrator programme is founded on innovation and sustainability. These are core values for Etihad Airways, Abu Dhabi, and the United Arab Emirates, and Etihad and Boeing see a great opportunity to collaborate and share knowledge to minimise the impact of aviation on the environment,” Douglas continued.  

A clean future for aviation

Boeing and Etihad are going to work will leading partners, including NASA and Safran Landing Systems, in the programme. This is to conduct aircraft noise measurements from sensors on the airplane and the ground.

Using data from these measurements, they will validate aircraft noise prediction processes. Not only this, but they will be able to validate the sound reduction potential of aircraft designs, including landing gear. This can then be modified for quieter operations. 

In their sustainability-focused ecoDemonstrator, flight testing will be conducted during which pilots, air traffic controllers and an airline’s operations centre will simultaneously share digital information. This will optimize routing efficiency and enhance safety by reducing workload and radio frequency congestion. 

Stan Deal, Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO, has said about their partnership with Etihad:

Industry collaboration is a key aspect of Boeing’s ecoDemonstrator programme that enables us to accelerate innovation. We’re proud to broaden our sustainability partnership with Etihad Airways by testing promising technologies that can reduce emissions, help commercial aviation meet our climate goals, and allow the industry to grow in a responsible manner that respects our planet and its natural resources.”

The test flights in the ecoDemonstrator will be flown on a blend of sustainable fuel. The fuel will significantly lower aviation’s environmental footprint, cleaning up the aviation industry. 

Expected to last approximately four weeks, the programme comes just before Etihad’s Boeing 787-10 is entered into service in Abu Dhabi.

Catherine Gray

Catherine Gray is a Senior Writer at CleanTech News, eager to be part of the important discussion around clean technological advances, promoting and celebrating the things that can be achieved. Catherine is particularly interested in how writing can have an impact on people’s lives and hopes to make her own mark in the CleanTech community through championing new innovative technologies. With huge admiration for companies and individuals with the dedication to make positive advances towards a carbon net-zero future and an advocate for sustainably in day to day life, Catherine looks forward to being actively involved in the CleanTech community.