Continuously improving product performance is part of our DNA. Environmental improvements only enhance the exceptional performance our customers expect from Boeing. The 747-8 and 787 Dreamliner have established new standards among jetliners for efficiency, environmental performance and noise reduction.
The technology that shapes the environmental performance of the 787 Dreamliner and 747-8 Intercontinental includes advanced materials, more fuel-efficient engines, new wing designs and improved aerodynamics. And efficient new airplanes — such as the 737 MAX — are on the way.
The 747-8 Intercontinental carries more passengers for a longer distance while being cleaner, quieter and more fuel efficient than any previous 747, while the 747-8 Freighter brings improved economic and environmental performance to the global cargo market. These new additions to the 747 family give double-digit improvements in fuel economy and carbon emissions with a 30 percent smaller noise footprint.
With a composite fuselage and wings, the 787 Dreamliner is 20 percent more fuel-efficient than other airplanes of comparable size and proves to be more environmentally progressive throughout the product life cycle. The airplane is manufactured using fewer hazardous materials, consumes less fuel and produces fewer emissions. The Dreamliner is also quieter for airport communities than any previous airplane.
Boeing launched the 737 MAX in 2011, continuing the legacy by making the world’s best-selling jetliner even more environmentally efficient. Airlines operating the 737 MAX will realize a 13 percent reduction in fuel consumption — with a corresponding reduction in CO2 emissions — over today’s most fuel-efficient single-aisle airplane, the Next-Generation 737. Recent design updates, including the Advanced Technology winglet, will result in less drag and will further optimize the new engine variant’s performance, especially at longer-range missions. The 737 MAX will also incorporate the latest in quiet engine technology, substantially reducing noise relative to current aircraft.
The 777 is the most fuel-efficient airplane flying today in the 300- to 400-seat market. It is 20 percent lighter and produces 25 percent less CO2 than its closest flying competitor. In 2011, the 777 received type-design approval from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration for up to 330-minute extended operations (ETOPS), which allows the 777 to fly more direct routes between city pairs, resulting in up to 16 percent less fuel burned and less carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere. And, with 777X, we are currently working with customers and suppliers to study additional options for further improvements to the jetliner.
Spectrolab, the world's leading manufacturer of solar cells and panels, powers everything from satellites to renewable solar energy projects in high-sunlight areas around the world. Spectrolab, which has manufactured space products for more than 50 years, produced its three millionth space-based solar cell in 2010 and expects to surpass four million this year.
Technology used to power satellites in space also has applications here on Earth, converting sunlight into clean electricity. Spectrolab production solar cells convert sunlight into electricity more than twice as efficiently as any silicon solar cell. The company manufactured more than seven million terrestrial cells in 2011, producing about 100 megawatts of electricity — enough to power approximately 2,000 average homes. In March 2011, Spectrolab began manufacturing its fourth-generation solar cell, which converts 40 percent of sunlight into electricity.
Spectrolab is nearing completion of a major manufacturing upgrade project that will reduce costs, increase annual terrestrial manufacturing capacity to about 250 megawatts, and launch a new space solar panel design that will ensure continued leadership in the space market.
Delivering a more environmentally sustainable 777
747-8: A new lift in performance