Dubai: An Etihad Airways 787-10 Dreamliner decked out with special equipment meant for enhanced safety and lower CO2 emissions and noise has commenced flight testing this week for US plane-maker Boeing’s ecoDemonstrator programme, the airline said in a statement on Wednesday.
A series of flights will gather the most detailed information to date about aircraft acoustics from some 1,200 microphones attached to the outside of the 787 and positioned on the ground. The programme, which is a collaboration between NASA and Boeing, will improve the space agency’s aircraft noise prediction capabilities, advance ways for pilots to reduce noise and inform future quiet aircraft designs.
NASA has been “researching the individual airplane noise sources, their interactions with the airframe and how they combine to the total aircraft noise,” said Russell Thomas, NASA technical lead. “This unique, carefully designed flight test provides the environment where all these effects are measured, which will be key to advancing our ability to design lower-noise aircraft.”
This is the latest initiative under Etihad and Boeing’s partnership, which focuses on innovating real-world solutions to the key sustainability challenges facing the aviation industry. This is the first time the program is using a Boeing 787-10 since flight testing began in 2012.
“Etihad participating in this year’s ecoDemonstrator programme builds on our core innovation and sustainability tenets while supporting the research and development of our partners to bring innovation from the laboratory to a real world testing environment,” said Mohammad Al Bulooki, Etihad Aviation Group Chief Operating Officer.
“Sustainability remains a priority for Etihad in spite of the current Covid19 crisis and this is just one initiative we’ve taken since the start of the pandemic to continue our drive for sustainable aviation,” he added.