Airplane Technology & Emissions

Exploring Boeing's top environmental priorities
Aug 21, 2017 1:35 PM ET
Article

**This is the 11th article in a series focusing on The Boeing Company's environmental performance and progress in 2016. Visit www.boeing.com/environment for more information.**

Boeing's products connect people, protect nations, explore space and sea and inspire the world. We are committed to making the world’s best airplanes with the smallest environmental footprint and working with industry stakeholders on climate protection.

Reducing the environmental impact of our products starts with good design. We strive to use lightweight materials such as composites, which make up half of the 787 Dreamliner’s primary structure, including the fuselage and wings. We integrate highly efficient engines and incorporate other engineering innovations on all of our airplanes to achieve superior aerodynamics.

Our talented employees design and build the world’s most fuel-efficient commercial aircraft. The 737 MAX reduces fuel use and carbon dioxide emissions by 20 percent compared with the original Next-Generation 737and has a 40 percent smaller noise footprint than today’s single-aisle airplanes. The fastest-selling airplane in Boeing’s history, the 737 MAX had its first deliveries in the spring of 2017.

The revolutionary 787 Dreamliner family improves fuel use 20 to 25 percent compared with the airplanes it replaces. The efficiencies are due to new engines, lightweight composite materials, more efficient systems applications and modern aerodynamics. The 787 Family has saved airlines more than 14 billion pounds (6.4 billion kilograms) of fuel since it was introduced in 2011.

Technologies on the 787 also ensure that no sound louder than 85 decibels—about the level of loud traffic heard from the side of the road—leaves the airport boundaries. The 500th Dreamliner was delivered in 2016 and the first 787-10, the largest model, rolled out in February 2017.

The 777X, which is on track to begin deliveries in 2020, will be the world’s largest and most efficient twin-engine jet. With 12 percent lower fuel consumption than competitor airplanes, the 777X will have the world’s largest composite wing, aerodynamic improvements and a highly efficient GE9X engine.

To speed up development of new technologies that enhance safety and reduce fuel use, emissions and noise, Boeing has completed four ecoDemonstrator flight-test programs since 2012. Some 60 technologies have been tested, most recently in 2016 aboard an Embraer E170 regional jet—the first such collaboration between two airplane manufacturers.