The greenest plane in the world takes off

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Lluis Enric Mayans

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Delivered to the Etihad airline in January 2020, the new ecoDemonstrator is about to take off, the greenest aircraft in the world. After a few test flights in the United States, this special model of Boeing 787-10 and the latest addition to the 787 Dreamliner fleet is therefore ready to take off with the first passengers.

The flag carrier of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi is very proud of it. Since 2019, when he spoke about it for the first time during the Dubai Airshow, one of the most important fairs for the world of aviation, he started working on the Etihad Greenliner program, so much so that he had already ordered 39 examples of this eco-sustainable aircraft and ultra-technological.

The aircraft was in fact developed in partnership, as well as with Boeing, also with NASA and has been used as a test bed to accelerate technological developments aimed at making commercial aviation safer and more sustainable.

The Dreamliner, equipped with numerous and complex test equipment, flew over the skies of the Northwest of the United States, and then conducted extensive tests flying over Montana and the territory between the State of Washington and South Carolina. seven tests were carried out to improve safety and to reduce CO2 emissions and noise pollution. In addition, during the EcoFlight phase, NASA collected very detailed information on aircraft noise by installing approximately 1.200 on-board and ground microphones connected to the outside of the B787.

The information gathered will improve the noise prediction capabilities of NASA's wall-mounted aircraft, allowing pilots to communicate how to reduce noise pollution and provide suggestions on how to design quieter aircraft in the future.

Two flights from the east coast to the west coast of the United States have highlighted a new way of communicating simultaneously between pilots, air traffic controllers and airline operations centers, allowing optimize routes, arrival times and the reduction of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.

But that is not all. Etihad and Boeing have also tested two innovative "wellness" technologies that will help airlines to fight the spread of Covid-19 through a safe and rapid sanitization of high-contact surfaces. These technologies consist in the use of a portable ultraviolet light sanitizer device and a antimicrobial coating on reclining tables, armrests and other surfaces, which helps prevent the proliferation of bacteria.

The goal is to halve net carbon emission levels by 2035 and reduce net zero emissions by 2050.

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