Boeing and FedEx Express will collaborate to test new technologies on a new 777 Freighter in 2018 as part of Boeing’s ecoDemonstrator project.
According to Boeing, testing will include installing a compact thrust reverser designed to save fuel, flight deck improvements that can improve efficient operations in and out of busy airports, and flying prototype airplane parts using manufacturing techniques that reduce material waste.
“The ecoDemonstrator programme is focused on harvesting exciting new technologies that will benefit our airline customers, the flying public and the environment,” said Mike Sinnett, vice president of Boeing Commercial Airplanes Product Development.
Boeing will borrow the aircraft for three months to carry out flight tests before returning it to the FedEx fleet.
“FedEx is committed to developing and implementing innovative solutions that connect the world responsibly and resourcefully,” said David Cunningham, president and CEO of FedEx Express. “We’re proud to work with Boeing and use our 777 Freighter to play a key role in bringing future benefits to the entire aviation industry.”
This will be the fifth iteration of the ecoDemonstrator flying testbed, after a 737-800 in 2012, a 787-8 in 2014, a 757-200 in 2015 and an Embraer E170 in 2016, according to Boeing.