Boeing will trial various composite components and flightdeck management technologies on its 787-8 ecoDemonstrator aircraft when flight tests begin next year.
The aircraft will be outfitted with ceramic matrix composites that will allow higher-temperature operations than are currently possible, says Jeanne Yu, director of environmental performance at Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
Advanced air traffic management technology will be integrated into the flightdeck, she points out. The ATM upgrades will include technologies that the airframer is not planning to test on the American Airlines Boeing 737-800 ecoDemonstrator that will begin undergoing flight tests next month in Montana.
Boeing is not planning to test advanced wing technology on the 787 when that programme begins in 2014. Yu says that it will use a "737-size" aircraft for initial testing.
The manufacturer is expected to use either 787 test aircraft ZA004 or ZA005 for the ecoDemonstrator programme next year. However, Yu emphasises that the final aircraft choice has not been made.
Boeing is planning to use a different aircraft for the programme every year.