ecodemonstratorWhile planes are probably the most efficient way of traveling great distances, they’re not exactly the most eco-friendly modes of transportation either. However both Boeing and NASA are hoping to change that with the testing of the Boeing ecoDemonstrator (a 757) where the plane is expected to go on a series of flights.

What makes these flights so significant is that the plane will be testing out NASA’s experimental fuel-saving techniques. One of those techniques is called the Active Flow Control Enhanced Vertical Tail Flight Experiment which involves the installation of 31 tiny jets on the plane’s vertical tail. This is said to help manipulate the airflow over the tail’s surface which should help stabilize the plane during takeoff and landing.

This could also potentially lead to planes using smaller tails which means less overall weight and lower fuel consumption. The other fuel-saving technique that will be tested is having the plane covered in an insect-repellent coating. This is to keep bugs off the body of a plane which apparently adds to the drag. It has been estimated that fuel consumption could be reduced by as much as 6% if airflow over the plane’s body remains smooth.

NASA claims that these techniques have been replicated successfully in their labs so it is time to see if their theory will hold up in real life.

Filed in Green >Transportation. Read more about boeing and NASA.

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