Etihad Airways inaugurated 2020 ecoDemonstrator into commercial service, recently. The aircraft, a brand-new Boeing 787-10 registered A6-BMI, is the latest arrival to Etihad’s 39-strong fleet of 787 Dreamliners; and highlights the airline’s progress in the journey towards sustainability.
Etihad’s 787 Dreamliner was used as a flying testbed to “accelerate technological developments with the goal of making commercial aviation safer and more sustainable.” The Dreamliner, kitted out with complex testing equipment, conducted extensive research flying above Montana and between Washington state and South Carolina.
To celebrate its launch into regular service, the special aircraft has been fitted with a commemorative plaque highlighting its contribution to sustainability. Its fuselage still retains some of the original ecoDemonstrator flight-test branding, including the ecoDemonstrator and Boeing logos, along with the words ‘From Abu Dhabi for the World’.
Improvement in aircraft noise prediction capabilities, advance ways for pilots to reduce noise and inputs for future quiet aircraft designs were being studied under the ecoDemonstrator programme.
Etihad and Boeing also tested two wellness technologies that will help airlines combat Covid-19, by safely and quickly cleaning high-touch surfaces. These were a handheld ultraviolet light disinfecting system and an antimicrobial coating that helps prevent the growth of bacteria on tray tables, arm rests and other surfaces.
The highest permissible blend of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) was used throughout the programme, as well as on the delivery flight from Charleston to Abu Dhabi.
Tony Douglas, group chief executive officer, Etihad Aviation Group said:
“As the first 787-10 to take part in the ecoDemonstrator programme, this very special aircraft stands testament to the innovation and drive for sustainable aviation that forms a core element of Etihad’s values and long-term vision.
“This is in line with the tremendous strides being made by Abu Dhabi, and the UAE, in the research and development of viable solutions to combat climate change.”
He further adds, “Etihad’s partnership with Boeing, and participation in the programme with NASA and Safran, is one the UAE’s national airline is incredibly proud of.
“This exciting and progressive programme will have a real-world impact on our industry as part of Etihad’s Greenliner Programme and demonstrates Etihad’s ambitious sustainability strategy.
“As a prime example of industry collaboration, this aircraft is a unique example of how the aviation industry can come together for a more sustainable future.”