last year, the commercial and military aviation industry has started to talk a
lot about greener aircraft and biofuel to reduce the need for crude oil and
produce less pollution. Much of the news focuses on biofuels that reduce the need for
traditional petroleum based jet fuel, but there are other technologies at work
in the airline industry to make aircraft produce less pollution.
The industry isn't only talking about producing less pollution in the way of
hydrocarbons, but in less noise pollution with quieter aircraft. Boeing has
announced that American Airlines will be the first company to test a new Boeing 737-800 jet that will use new
technology to make it more efficient and produce less noise.
"We are proud to have American Airlines as our launch partner for this new
generation of technology that can bolster aviation's role as the most efficient
means of global transportation," said Boeing Vice President of Environment
and Aviation Policy Billy Glover. "There's no better way to prepare
advanced technologies for market entry than flying them and no better choice
than the best selling single-aisle airplane of all time -- the Boeing
The American 737-800 will be the first plane to use the new technology
including adaptable trailing edge technology that is part of the FAA Continuous
Lower Energy Emissions Noise or CLEEN program. The trailing edge tech will
reduce noise and emissions in all phases of flight including takeoff, cruise,
Other CLEEN program tech that will be in the aircraft includes a variable fan
nozzle to reduce noise and enable other advanced efficiency tech to be
implemented. The aircraft will use a flight trajectory optimization system to
pick the most fuel-efficient path to a destination. The aircraft will also has
regenerative fuel cells onboard for power that could potentially reduce weight,
fuel burn, and CO2 emissions.
"Our ecoDemonstrator flight test program allows us to accelerate promising
technologies and move them onto airplane models and into new aircraft design
considerations across the industry," said Boeing ecoDemonstrator Program
Manager David Akiyama. "It also allows us to verify airplane applicability
and identify and eliminate potential integration challenges."
American Airlines will also test a dual isle aircraft that is unnamed at this
time. The testing on the other aircraft will start later. The American Airlines
737-800 with the new tech onboard will start operations in 2012.
quote: I wonder if they're planning on just keeping the 737 name to represent a class of single aisle plane since they have so many versions with some being replaced (767 replaced by 787 etc.)