Sunday, July 9, 2017

FedEx's new Boeing 777 becomes a flying testbed

A Boeing 777 made for FedEx Express will be the latest in the aircraft manufacturer’s "ecoDemonstrator" series of planes designed to test emerging technologies.

The companies said the cargo hauler, featuring propulsion advancements and cockpit innovations, will undergo three months of testing next year before returning to the FedEx fleet.

Key features will include a Boeing-developed compact thrust reverser designed to save fuel, flight deck improvements to increase the efficiency of operations at busy airports and prototype parts using manufacturing techniques that reduce material waste.

It’s the fifth aircraft and the first for FedEx in the program, which creates flying testbeds to improve environmental performance and safety of future airplanes.

The program began in 2011 with an American Airlines 737-800.

“FedEx is committed to developing and implementing innovative solutions that connect the world responsibly and resourcefully,” FedEx Express CEO David Cunningham said in a statement.

“We’re proud to work with Boeing and use our 777 Freighter to play a key role in bringing future benefits to the entire aviation industry,” Cunningham said.

The Boeing 777 Freighter is FedEx's largest and longest range aircraft, capable of connecting the world hub in Memphis nonstop to cargo hubs in Europe, China and the Middle East. The company had 30 777s in its 657-aircraft fleet as of May 31 with deliveries of another 16 scheduled by 2022.

(Wayne Risher - The (Memphis) Commercial Appeal / USA Today) 

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