Boeing ecoDemonstrator 757 expands testing to improve aviation's environmental performance

Boeing has announced the next phase in ecoDemonstrator 757 testing, including the first flight with US-made 'green diesel' and two new environment-related technologies.

These developments advance the ecoDemonstrator programme's mission to accelerate the testing and use of technologies to improve aviation's environmental performance.

'With the ecoDemonstrator, Boeing looks to reduce environmental impact through the aeroplane's lifecycle, from improving fuel efficiency and cutting carbon emissions to recycling production materials,' says Mike Sinnett, VP of product development at Boeing Commercial Airplanes. 'In addition to our new technologies, flying the ecoDemonstrator 757 with US-made green diesel is another positive step toward reducing our industry's use of fossil fuel.'

NASA and TUI Group, the world's largest integrated tourism group, are collaborating with Boeing on ecoDemonstrator 757 tests.

In cooperation with NASA, the 757 flew on 17 June from Seattle to NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, using a blend of 95% petroleum jet fuel and 5% sustainable green diesel, a biofuel used in ground transportation.

Boeing is working with the aviation industry to approve green diesel for commercial aviation by amending the HEFA biojet specification approved in 2011. This would make aviation biofuel more widely available and price competitive with Jet A including US government incentives. Diamond Green Diesel in Norco, Louisiana, produced the 757's green diesel from waste animal fats, inedible corn oil and used cooking oil to reduce lifecycle CO2 emissions by up to 80% less than petroleum jet fuel.

The green diesel flight to Langley was coordinated with the US Federal Aviation Administration, Pratt & Whitney and Honeywell, among others. EPIC Aviation blended the fuel. In December 2014, the ecoDemonstrator 787 made the first-ever flights with green diesel, which is a different fuel product than biodiesel.