MIAMI – Alaska Airlines (AS) and Boeing will test 20 new technologies utilizing a brand new Boeing 737 MAX 9 as part of the latest iteration of the ecoDemonstrator program. 

Before entering service with AS, the new aircraft will complete five months of test flights, helping Boeing to test its newest technology and innovation. 

Some of the proposed testing subjects include a new fire extinguishing agent that reduces effects on the Earth’s ozone layer and working with the US government to measure greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere.

Boeing will be testing a new concept for an acoustic lining within engines that will hopefully reduce noise, an important factor in the development of aircraft. 

Also, the tests will utilize new, recycled carbon composite materials used in Boeing 777X wings. The material will be implemented into the aircraft’s cabin sidewall panels. 

The new material, which is lighter and more durable, is boasted by Boeing to reduce fuel use and carbon emissions. 

Photo: Michael Rodeback/Airways

The ecoDemonstrator Program

Boeing’s ecoDemonstrator program has paved the way for new innovations, and even some unique special liveries. 

Dating back to 2012, the program was initially designed to fast track innovation in “fuel efficiency, noise reduction and operational efficiency, while readying technologies at a faster pace for aviation applications.”

Boeing has collaborated on ecoDemonstrator projects with American Airlines, the TUI Group, Embraer, Etihad Airways, and now, Alaska Airlines. 

Some currently used technologies tested by previous ecoDemonstrators include 737 MAX winglets, 777X ground cameras and iPad apps providing pilots with real-time weather data. 

Photo: Daniel Gorun/Airways

Executive’s Comments

Diana Birkett Rakow, Alaska Airlines’ vice president, public affairs and sustainability said, “We have a long history of working with Boeing to advance aviation technology, safety and fuel efficiency.”

She continued, “Alaska Airlines flies to some of the most beautiful and geographically diverse regions in the world and we are committed to finding ways to reduce climate impacts across our network. This work with Boeing to accelerate innovation on the ecoDemonstrator program enables us to contribute to a more sustainable future for our global community.”

Stan Deal, Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO said, “Boeing is committed to continually improve air safety and the environmental performance of our products.”

Featured Image: Boeing