June 28, 2022

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Ecodemonstrator: Boeing turns the 777-200 ER into a new technology test plane

Recently I flew to Suriname Airlines. Boeing is now using the 777-200 ER as a test aircraft for new technologies. This also applies to the water in the toilet.

It’s a jubilee: For ten years, Boeing has been flying a plane as a so-called environmental demonstrator to test new technologies that could make flying more sustainable. It all started in 2012 with the American Airlines 737-800.

This was followed in 2014 by a 787-8 from Boeing itself, in 2016 a 757 from Tui, in 2016 an Embraer E170, in 2018 a 777F from Fedex Express, in 2019 a 777-200 from Boeing, in 2020 a 787-10 from Etihad Airways and in 2021 a 737 MAX 9 from Alaska Airlines.

Recently with Suriname Airlines

Boeing now offers the next Ecodemonstrator, which will be on the road by 2024. It’s the 777-200 ER (short for Extended Range), which entered service with Singapore Airlines in 2002. In 2018, it was repurchased and leased to Air New Zealand by Boeing. and Suriname Airlines.

As an environmental demonstrator, the aircraft will test about 30 technologies. For example, additionally manufactured parts, i.e. 3D-printed, aircraft and engine parts, including auxiliary power unit (APU, auxiliary power unit) will be used. This makes the parts lighter and reduces waste during manufacturing.

Save weight with toilet water

In partnership with NASA, Boeing is testing a new type of vortex generator on the wings of the Ecodemonstrator. These small elements increase the aerodynamic efficiency during take-off and landing. However, they provide additional resistance while cruising. Therefore, retractable versions are now being tested.

In collaboration with German company Diehl Aviation, Ecodemonstrator will test a water-saving system that uses handwashing wastewater to flush toilets. This saves about 180 kg of weight per flight.

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Expansion takes a month

However, the process cannot begin immediately. Ecodedemonstrator is currently empty. Boeing wants to be ready with the equipment in about a month.

Take a look at and inside Ecodemonstrator in the image gallery above.