KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Boeing announced (08-Mar-2013) a series of commercial flights to demonstrate how several advanced technologies, fuels and concepts can significantly improve operational efficiency, save fuel and reduce carbon and noise emissions. The technology demonstration encompasses all aspects of an aircraft's flight – preflight, takeoff, cruise, descent and post-landing. A total of 26 flights are planned for the programme, called 'Optimal Flight', which will continue through 2013. Each flight is being powered in part by second generation sustainable aviation biofuel sourced from used cooking oil. The flights also feature new services that provide various advisories directly into the aircraft's flight management computer (FMC) and mobile device in the flight deck. Developed by Boeing Research & Technology, the flight services highlight applications that increase real-time situational awareness for pilots using advanced digital aviation and air traffic management concepts. They include:
- Automation to integrate the dispatch and modified versions of the flight plan and performance data into the FMC;
- Procedures and software applications that provide the air crew with recommendations to optimise the aircraft's speed variance while providing real-time weather advisories in flight to save fuel and enable more accurate waypoint arrival predictions.
If the Optimal Flight Programme is successful, Boeing and KLM will establish new operational procedures and recommendations for follow-on development programs with the partners, including NLR, TU Delft (Delft University of Technology), New York JFK International Airport, Gander, Shanwick, NATS Domestic and Schiphol Group. There is also focused research and development through a joint agreement between Boeing, KLM, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and air traffic control in the Netherlands. This agreement is an extension of an agreement first signed in 2002 to develop solutions for the sustained growth of aviation in the Netherlands. Schiphol Group together with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and Delta Air Lines will also be involved in the programme. [more - original PR - Boeing] [more - original PR - Schiphol Group]