Pioneering Environmental Technologies
Improving Product Performance
Boeing's approach to achieving higher performance involves developing fuel-efficient new products and improving our current product line at the same time. The fuel efficiency of airplanes has improved significantly since the first commercial jetliners were introduced, and the next generation promises to be even more efficient.
The new 747-8 and 787 Dreamliner, both scheduled to enter commercial service in the second half of 2011, are more fuel efficient — with a smaller noise and emissions profile — than the airplanes they replace. In addition, Boeing is introducing enhancements to boost fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions of our entire product line of commercial airplanes.
The 787, with its composite fuselage and wings, is designed to be 20 percent more fuel-efficient than today's airplanes of comparable size. The Dreamliner recently completed its 1,000th flight, marking another milestone in the flight-test program. As of May 2011, the seven airplanes participating in flight testing accumulated more than 3,500 hours of flying and more than one million miles (1.6 million kilometers).
The 747-8, with its advanced engines and systems, will have the lowest seat-mile cost of any large commercial jetliner. The airplane provides 16 percent better fuel economy and 16 percent lower carbon emissions, and generates a 30 percent smaller noise footprint than the 747-400.
We also are making improvements to our existing airplanes to improve fuel efficiency, while reducing CO2 and nitrogen oxides emissions. For example, the 777 is delivering greater fuel efficiency along with reduced emissions as a result of a new Performance Improvement Package that reduces emissions of the 777-200,
-200ER and -300 models through improved aerodynamics and wing vortex generators. Nineteen operators with fleets totaling more than 350 airplanes have ordered the upgrades, and these improvements also will be installed on new 777 models during factory production.
Improved fuel consumption is at the core of our research-and-development efforts. Each gallon of fuel conserved prevents 21 pounds of CO2 from being emitted (or, each kilogram of fuel conserved prevents approximately 3.16 kilograms of CO2 from being emitted).
Starting in 2012, Boeing will begin flying an ecoDemonstrator 737 to test low-emission and low-noise technologies. The following year, an ecoDemonstrator twin-aisle airplane will join the program. These first ecoDemonostrators will be conducted in partnership with the Federal Aviation Administration's CLEEN (Continuous Lower Energy, Emissions, Noise) program.
"The 777F is a game changer. Its operational efficiencies and environmental benefits alone are impressive."
— Michael L. Ducker, president, International, FedEx Express
The ecoDemonstrator program will accelerate the development of technologies in the areas of fuel efficiency, emissions and noise reduction. The program will explore concepts such as ceramic matrix composite acoustic engine nozzles, advanced inlets, and adaptive wing trailing-edge flaps that can help reduce fuel consumption and noise during the takeoff, climb and landing phases of flight.
Photo: Boeing Photo
These innovations continue a long trend in commercial aviation. Compared to the Boeing 707, Douglas DC-8 and other early jetliners, today's commercial airplanes generate 70 percent fewer emissions and have a 90 percent smaller noise footprint. We continue embedding environmental design considerations in our products, and are committed to deliver at least a 15 percent improvement in fuel and CO2 efficiency with each new generation of commercial airplane.
Throughout Boeing Defense, Space & Security, teams are identifying and implementing effective solutions that improve the performance of our military products and reduce their environmental footprint. The F/A-18E/F Super Hornet — recipient of numerous U.S. Navy awards for environmental excellence — and AH-64 Apache helicopter programs are testing new chrome-free coatings and related processes that will reduce exposure to hazardous materials in the factory and in the field. Super Hornet engine noise reduction efforts also are under way to help improve the communities where the jet flies. Our Joint Direct Attack Munition program is using advanced Lean manufacturing techniques to optimize its workflow and reduce waste. Environmental advances also are helping us win new business, with aggressive efforts to write proposals that address our customers' needs.