Via its international research centers in Europe and Australia, Boeing Research & Technology, the company’s central R&D unit, is actively finding and creating environmentally progressive technologies.

In Madrid, Spain, Boeing Research & Technology-Europe researchers and engineers, who hail from seven different European countries, work on ways to incorporate clean fuel-cell technology in aerospace applications. They also are looking at environmentally progressive corrosion protection of aluminum alloys and composite materials for airplane cabin interiors. In addition, they are developing advanced trajectory prediction and management techniques that will help relieve crowded airspace and airports in an efficient, collaborative and fair manner.

In Brisbane and Melbourne, Australia, Boeing Research & Technology-Australia researchers are integrating advanced air traffic management technologies from across Boeing to demonstrate reduced fuel burn and noise for commercial and military aircraft. Researchers also are engaged with Boeing Commercial Airplanes to provide in-country advocacy and strategy coordination regarding the use of advanced-generation sustainable biofuels for commercial airplanes.

In addition to work at our international research centers, Boeing and three European technology companies—Rolls-Royce, RUAG Aerospace and Deharde Engineering—have entered into a collaborative research agreement to explore the potential of fuel-efficient open-fan propulsion technology for future commercial airplanes. Using technologies and techniques contributed by each of the parties, tests of a model concept airplane with open-fan engines are planned for early in 2010 at the RUAG Low Speed Wind Tunnel in Emmen, Switzerland. Open-fan propulsion technology has potential for reducing specific fuel consumption significantly below current turbofan engines.

Caption: Jan Närlinge (left), president of Boeing Northern Europe, and Jan Kristiansen, senior vice president of Global Research at Vestas, exchange models of a Boeing 787 Dreamliner and a Vestas wind turbine in March 2008 at the International Scientific Congress on Climate Change in Copenhagen. Narlinge and Kristiansen represented their companies at a news conference to announce that Boeing and Vestas, the world’s largest manufacturer of wind turbines, would be seeking opportunities to collaborate on joint research projects that further the development of environmentally progressive technologies.