Etihad’s 787-10 Dreamliner has started flight testing for Boeing’s ecoDemonstrator programme. This collaboration between Boeing, NASA, Etihad and Safran Landing Systems aims to boost the role of sustainability in air travel.
Commenting on this partnership, ecoDemonstrator programme chief engineer Rae Lutters said “Our collaboration with NASA and Safran is key to accelerating innovation and furthering the ecoDemonstrator’s mission to improve the sustainability of air travel. We are eager to see a year’s worth of planning come to life when we begin testing.”
As a part of this programme, a series of flights will gather in-depth information about aircraft acoustics from some 1,200 microphones attached to the outside of the 787 and positioned on the ground.
Improvement in aircraft noise prediction capabilities, advance ways for pilots to reduce noise and inputs for future quiet aircraft designs are being studied under this.
NASA technical lead Dr. Russell Thomas said, “At NASA, we have been researching the individual airplane noise sources, their interactions with the airframe and how they combine to the total aircraft noise. This unique, carefully designed flight test provides the environment where all these effects are measured, which will be key to advancing our ability to design lower-noise aircraft.”
Two flights are being conducted during which pilots, air traffic controllers and an airline’s operations centre simultaneously share digital information and use a NASA system called tailored arrival management.
A handheld ultraviolet light wand will also be tested to check its effectiveness in disinfecting flight decks and cabins.
Mohammad Al Bulooki, Etihad Aviation Group chief operating officer said, “By choosing to take part in this programme we are proud to work with the likes of Boeing, NASA and Safran to test cutting-edge technologies and explore “blue sky” opportunities to improve airspace efficiency, reduce fuel use, lower noise for the community and cut CO2 emissions.”