Top officials from Boeing, American Airlines and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) showcased the ecoDemonstrator at Reagan National Airport Tuesday.
The ecoDemonstrator—a Next-Generation 737-800—is being loaned to Boeing by American Airlines to serve as a testbed for testing environmentally progressive technologies designed to increase fuel efficiency and reduce aircraft noise.
The testbed is also equipped with variable fan nozzles, active engine vibration reduction and a regenerative fuel cell. The regenerative fuel cell has the ability to store the surplus energy produced when the aircraft is climbing or cruising and use it to power the airplane systems during times of low supply. This reduction in the weight of on-board systems places less demand on the engines to generate electricity.
Boeing has recently been conducting extensive flight testing with the aircraft in Glasgow, Montana.
FAA’s Continuous Lower Energy, Emissions, and Noise (CLEEN) program provided funding for the aircraft’s adaptive trailing edge and some flight test costs.
"At American Airlines, we are working diligently to improve our carbon footprint. Reducing noise pollution, conserving fuel and waste minimization are just a few of the areas where we are making progress," said David Campbell, vice president of safety, security, and environmental for American Airlines. "This is why it is so crucial for us to participate in programs like the ecoDemonstrator, so that we can test technologies that will continue to improve not only American's environmental performance, but our entire industry as well. We remain committed to doing our part to be good stewards for the environment."