FedEx Is Testing Out New Technologies
FedEx has been testing out new technologies for its new Boeing FedEx Express 777. The new technologies include a 100% biofuel plane, collision avoidance, and 3-D printed titanium parts.
The exDemonstrator program began back in 2011. Last July, FedEx, and Boeing announced plans to create the fifth iteration of the program. FedEx and Boeing have had a relationship for over 40 years. This program strives to make aircrafts that are safer and more environmentally friendly and safer.
Back last December, “Hollie” was turned over to Boeing to begin testing. The plane made its first appearance on display during and Earth Day event at the Memphis International Airport this past Monday, April 23.
David Cummingham, president and CEO or Fedex Express, was able to tour the plane on Monday. Cunningham said, “Innovation is in FDX’s DNA, and Boeing and FedEx have had a long relationship of innovating and building new products and capabilities. “The ecoDemonstrator is just an example of that. At the end of the day, what we are all trying to do is make sure we have a safe environment, an efficient environment, and one that is sustainable from an environmental standpoint.”
A few other new neat features of this plane included a system that utilizes a laser which is able to identify clear air turbulence within 10 kilometers of the front of the plane. This new system would be able to detect any rough air in front of the planes, in turn, allowing pilots to get passengers in their seats before hitting the rough air.
Doug Christensen is the program test manager for this program and has been involved in all 5 iterations. While some of the technology is not close to implementation he said some, such as the new outflow valve, is very close.
Hollie Is the first commercial plane to be flown using only biofuel. Jeanna Yu, director of technology integration for Boeing Commercial Airplanes and who over sees this program, said, “It is just such a great testament to the great partnership we have with FedEx. FedEx has a goal of 30 percent biofuel by 2030, and we are supporting that and helping them bring new biofuels into market. Today, you can only fly a 50 percent blend, so this is a first-ever 100 percent.”