Under the new program — propelled by a $25 million matching-cost contract from the Federal Aviation Administration’s Continuous Lower Energy Emissions Noise initiative — Boeing will test out emerging technologies on its Next-Generation 737-800 aircraft.
Two ecoDemonstrator planes will undergo testing in 2012, with a subsequent flight series occurring in 2013.
Some of the methods that will be assessed include adaptable trailing-edge technology, a technique that minimizes noise and emissions during all flight phases, and flight trajectory optimization for in-flight planning, a technology alerting airline crews about the most fuel-efficient routes and rerouting them in adverse weather conditions.
Reducing carbon emissions through the utilization of regenerative fuel cells will also be tested.
John Hale, vice president of flight at American Airlines, points to the far-reaching implications of this program.
“American Airlines recognizes our responsibility to minimize our impact on the environment as much as possible, and we look for every opportunity to do so,” he said in a statement. “Our partnership with Boeing allows us to make significant strides in putting more fuel-efficient planes in the air, which is the most effective way to reduce our carbon footprint.”