Boeing has completed assembly of an American Airlines 737-800 that will be used as a flying test bed for green flight technologies.
Known as the ‘2012 ecoDemonstrator’, the aircraft will test out a variety of devices and techniques meant to improve fuel efficiency and reduce noise. Those include adaptive trailing wing edges, a variable area fan nozzle, active engine vibration controls, regenerative hydrogen fuel cells, flight trajectory optimisation, modular carpets made from recyclable materials and biofuel test flights.
The aircraft is on loan to Boeing for three months, after which it will be returned to standard configuration and delivered to American. The ecoDemonstrator program, which is partly funded by the US Federal Aviation Administration, is due to resume next year with a widebody aircraft, Boeing said.