Jet builders Boeing and Embraer S.A. agreed to collaborate in an “ecoDemonstrator” program to test performance-focused environmental concepts, expanding their ongoing cooperation in that area of aviation research and development.
Frederico Curado, president and CEO of Embraer, and Marc Allen, president of Boeing International, inked a memorandum of understanding at the Brazil-U.S. Business Summit in Washington, DC.
Earlier this year the two companies established a research center in Brazil to coordinate and co-fund aviation biofuel research, focusing on feedstock production, techno-economic analysis, economic viability studies, and processing technologies. Their cooperation extends back to 2012, and involves efforts to improve runway safety and support Embraer's KC-390 defense aircraft program.
"Industry leadership in today's world requires creative and global collaborations that ignite progress on hard problems faster than ever," stated Allen. "Boeing and Embraer are both industry leaders committed to addressing aviation's environmental goals through innovation and technology. Working together in this exciting new way, our companies will speed progress to improve aviation's efficiency and reduce environmental impact."
Boeing initiated its own ecoDemonstrator Program in 2011 to fast-track testing and application of new technologies to reduce fuel consumption, carbon emissions, and noise. So far, the OEM has so far tested over 50 such technologies on various commercial aircraft series, including the Next-Generation 737-800, 787 Dreamliner, and the 757.
Those projects (which have involved Boeing suppliers, airlines, and government agencies) have included a new winglet design and wing coatings that improve aerodynamic efficiency, software that improves in-flight efficiency, and a new aviation biofuel.
Starting next year, Boeing will conduct comparable tests with an Embraer airplane in 2016.
While Boeing’s commercial aircraft are designed for the medium- and long-range jet markets, Embraer’s specialty is the smaller, regional aircraft.
"Innovation is a key pillar of Embraer's strategy, and we are pleased to continue our work with Boeing to support the long-term sustainable growth of our industry," stated Curado. "The ecoDemonstrator program offers a new and valuable opportunity for collaboration between our companies to boost environmental development tests, benefiting customers, our industry and the society."
Boeing has worked with suppliers, airlines and government agencies on previous ecoDemonstrator flight tests. Those technologies include a new winglet and "bug-phobic" wing coatings that can improve aerodynamic efficiency, software applications that can improve in-flight efficiency and new types of sustainable aviation biofuel.