NEWS OF ecoDEMONSTRATOR DRAWS STRONG POSITIVE RESPONSES ON AVIATION’S CAPABILITY TO ACHIEVE ENVIRONMENTAL GAINS

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ARTICLE: More Than One Way to Protect the Environment?

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The value of a new airplane that incorporates many environmental enhancements in the Boeing ecoDemonstrator and the symbolic value of such an effort has been mentioned here before. But the above National Journal article on the same subject is notable not for the “news” but for the responses its publication inspired. The three responses listed below the article demonstrate the depth and breadth of the aviation community’s commitment to environmental improvement.

The first, written by A4A’s Nick Calio, mentions the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuel Initiative® (CAAFI), jointly founded by his association, the FAA, the airports and aircraft and engine manufacturers. This initiative holds great promise to develop and deploy sustainable alternative aviation fuels. His message includes the caveat that the alternatives being examined must also recognize that the economic consequences of a chosen option must be financially sustainable.

The second reply comes from the Smarter Planet folks of IBM and is written by David Pickeral, Global Development Executive for ITS Solutions. His thoughts include the prediction that computer analytics will provide some of the innovation needed to attain aviation’s lofty environmental goals.

Finally Billy Glover, VP of Global Business Development & Policy, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, reaffirms his company’s support of the public/private partnerships which may find a practical path to better environmental performance. His optimism derives, in part, from his tracing of the gains attained from past efforts in this realm—starting in the early 2000’s, Boeing partnered with NASA to pioneer acoustically treated engine inlet barriers and saw-toothed chevrons around engine exhausts, which helped quiet the 787 Dreamliner and 747-8.

What is most telling is that a fairly standard, if not innocuous, National Journal article on a test case aircraft, had three major players respond with optimism that with time, effort and concerted thought, the goal of setting the aviation environmental bar higher is realistic.

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