Accelerating innovation for a sustainable future

Boeing ecoDemonstrator Overview

For the past decade, Boeing’s ecoDemonstrator program has accelerated innovation by taking promising technologies out of the lab and testing them in an operational environment to solve real-world challenges for airlines, passengers and the environment. Eleven airplanes have served as flying test beds for the program since it began in 2012.

The latest ecoDemonstrator is a Boeing-owned 777-200ER that will test 19 projects that can make aviation safer and more sustainable.

Projects include technologies that improve sustainability and safety for the aerospace industry, including sustainable wall panels in the cargo hold that are made of 40% recycled carbon fiber and 60% resin made from a bio-based feedstock and a fiber optic fuel quantity sensor compatible with 100% SAF.

In 2023, the ecoDemonstrator program also added “Explorer” airplanes that will test specific technologies.

ecoDemonstrator Program Backgrounder

ecoDemonstrator News Release

Featured Video

Videos

    ecoDemonstrator Gallery

    2023 ecoDemonstrator Program Technology Projects

    ecoDemonstrator in flight

    SAF emissions testing

    Boeing, NASA, the German Aerospace Center, FAA and GE Aerospace conducted flight tests to measure how sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) affects contrails and non-carbon emissions. The Boeing ecoDemonstrator Explorer, a 737-10 destined for United Airlines, flew with 100% SAF with NASA’s DC-8 Airborne Science Lab following behind to measure emissions.

    ecoDemonstrator landing

    Operational Efficiency Testing

    Boeing's first ecoDemonstrator Explorer, a 787-10 Dreamliner, completed the world’s first multi-regional Trajectory-Based Operations (MR TBO) test flights with the air navigation service providers of Japan, Singapore, Thailand and the U.S. The exercise demonstrated how a collaborative approach to navigation can help optimize an airplane’s flight path from takeoff to touchdown. Air Traffic Management improvements can reduce emissions by 10%.

    Digital Taxi Testing

    In partnership with NAV CANADA, who owns and operates Canada’s civil air navigation system, Boeing tested a new electronic flight bag (EFB) capability to coordinate a digital clearance to the airplane for taxiing to gate upon arrival or toward the runway for departure. This can improve pilots’ situational awareness and operational efficiency for airlines. The capability features Smart Airport Maps, a component of Jeppesen FliteDeck Pro, and provides a graphical depiction of the taxi instructions.

    Fuel Quantity Indicator System

    The 2023 Boeing ecoDemonstrator tested a fiber optic fuel quantity sensor that is compatible with 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). This optical system can accurately sense the fuel level in the tank and enables accurate fuel quantity readings whether the airplane is loaded with conventional Jet A or 100% SAF, which will be a key capability as the industry makes the transition to sustainable fuel.

    Cargo Halon Replacement

    The Boeing’s ecoDemonstrator flight tests studied the effects of a new fire-retardant system from Parker Meggitt using Verdagent gas in the cargo hold. The aviation industry has been searching for an alternative to Halon fire suppression systems for nearly three decades. Halon 1301 gas is extremely effective at putting out fires but is an ozone-depleting gas and new production has been banned since 1994.