many, according to Christensen. After storing equipment on the ground at the Louisiana airport for a week and a half, and reloading it on the jet, team members found the 757 filled with stowaway chiggers, or mites. Ironically, Boeing’s bug testers needed outside assistance before they could leave. They had to hire a local exterminator. “We had to close up the airplane and set off bug repellent inside,” Christensen said. n email@example.com AUGUST 2015 21 which was the plan all along. As part of Boeing’s ecoDemonstrator program, which is an effort to accelerate testing, refinement and use of new technologies and methods that can improve aviation’s environmental performance, this aging plane has been decommissioned and much of it is being recycled. In collaboration with the Europe-based tourism company TUI Group, the 757 was the third plane designated as an ecoDemonstrator, joining an American Airlines 737-800 in 2012 and a company-owned 787 Dreamliner last year. As is often the case in product development, information gleaned from the 757’s trip to the South will continue to be refined, Christensen said. Some version of these technologies might not be utilized for another decade, or until the next new airplane is designed. Shreveport provided an ideal location for Boeing testing, supplying researchers with more than enough bugs to analyze. In fact, it was too Photos: (From top) Mia Siochi, left, NASA research materials engineer, and Mary Sutanto, Boeing aerodynamics engineer, examine bug splattering during Shreveport testing; Al Gibson, flight-test mechanic, cleans the windshield of the ecoDemonstrator 757.
Frontiers August 2015 Issue
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