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Illustrated technical information covering Vol 2 Over 800 multi-choice systems questions Study notes and technical information Close up photos of internal and external components A compilation of links to major 737 news stories with a downloadable archive Illustrated history and description of all variants of 737 Detailed tech specs of every series of 737 Databases and reports of all the major 737 accidents & incidents General flightdeck views of each generation of 737's Description & news reports of Advanced Blended Winglets Press reports of orders and deliveries A collection of my favourite photographs that I have taken of or from the 737 Details about 737 production methods A compilation of links to other sites with useful 737 content History and Development of the Boeing 737 - MAX A quick concise overview of the pages on this site


Boeing has run an ecoDemonstrator Program since 2011 in cooperation with American Airlines and the FAA to test new eco technologies. The program went on to use other Boeing aircraft testing other technologies as follows:

  • 2012 an American Airlines 737-800, N897NN, with more than 15 new technologies.
  • 2014, more than 25 technologies were tested on the Boeing-owned 787 Dreamliner ZA004.
  • In 2015, the ecoDemonstrator Program tested more than 15 technologies on a 757 in collaboration with NASA and TUI Group.
  • iN 2018 a FedEx Boeing 777 freighter is set to start testing emerging technologies, the companies said. Technologies include propulsion advancements and new flight deck technologies.

Jeanne Yu, Boeing Commercial Airplanes director of Environmental Performance said "The goal of the ecoDemonstrator program is to accelerate integration of these technologies for more fuel efficient, quieter, cleaner, more advanced sustainable material solutions for the future. Demonstration programs give us a platform for better learning about new technologies in application.  This helps us incorporate these technologies more rapidly."

This article describes the 737 ecoDemonstrator program.

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*** Updated 18 Apr 2019 ***

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The ecoDemonstrator 737-800

The ecoDemonstrator 737NG was used to validate additional aerodynamic performance of natural laminar flow technology on the new 737 MAX Advanced Technology Winglet, which improves fuel efficiency by up to 1.8 percent.

The 737 also featured a modified wing with an adaptive trailing edge that could be manipulated to optimize the wing profile during different stages of the flight. The changed profile is designed to move lift further outboard to improve efficiency. This was funded by the FAA's Cleen (continuous lower-energy, emissions and noise) environmental research program. Other wing improvements were made to improve aerodynamic efficiency by cutting drag and redistributing pressure loads eg the addition of a fixed wedge on the trailing edges of the inboard and outboard flaps. The fixed shape simulated a mini split flap. A set of 40 shapes were made for the tests using stereolithography before being taped and glued onto the trailing edge. Bands of sensors were mounted fore and aft at different positions of the trailing edge along the span to assess the impact of the shapes.

It also had a PEM (proton exchange membrane) regenerative fuel cell, developed in conjunction with IHI Corp. of Japan, for an experimental galley application. It was the size of this cell that forced the demonstrator to be a 737-800 rather than a -700 because of the space it took up in tthe hold. One of the aims of the program was tol earn how to downsize that technology.

There was also an active engine vibration cancellation system developed by Hutchinson Aerospace. The system was designed to counter a natural vibration in the cabin that emanates from the engines. The current approach is to increase engine power at specific times during descent; by canceling the vibration, designers hope to save fuel by reducing required thrust.

The 737 also had a variable area nozzle (VAN). As the aircraft climbs to cruise altitude, the VAFN closes to produce an optimum exit area more suitable for the higher-altitude regime and acts “like a constant speed prop,” Although during the tests, the nozzle was fixed in a position to expand outlet area by 10%. This moderates jet velocities at takeoff, reducing noise. The technology, while not applicable to the CFM56, could offer added performance benefits to future high-bypass engines such as the Pratt & Whitney PW1100G geared turbofan.

Flight deck technology will include tests of a flight trajectory optimization system designed to fly more fuel-efficient routes. The cabin was fitted with recycled carpet.

Radio-frequency identification devices (RFID) were trialled for faster checking of emergency equipment, such as passenger oxygen masks and life jackets. Mandatory manual checks of such equipment currently take operators 5 hr. to perform per aircraft, and the demonstration hoped to show this could be done in as little as 90 sec. using an RFID reader that scans them electronically.

Ground connectivity including the uplink of weather data. The configuration tested on the 737 included a Swift intermediate-gain broadband antenna from CMC Electronics, a Thales satcom data unit and a Boeing-built Onboard Network System (ONS)—a network file server that connects via a wireless network to other aircraft systems.

The entire 45-day test phase was flown with blended biofuel.

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