Boeing and Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China (COMAC) have signed a new agreement to expand their joint research collaboration in support of the long-term sustainable growth of commercial aviation. Boeing and COMAC have also confirmed plans to open a joint venture facility in Zhoushan, China, that will install interiors and paint 737s for delivery to Chinese customers.
The two companies, which signed an initial collaboration agreement in March 2012, have been researching ways to improve aviation's fuel efficiency and greenhouse-gas emissions reduction, including sustainable aviation biofuel and air traffic management (ATM) efficiency.
Through this new agreement the companies will explore six areas of mutually beneficial research through the renamed Boeing-COMAC Sustainable Aviation Technology Center. They will also continue to exchange commercial aviation market forecasts.
Research areas will include:
- Technologies supporting sustainable aviation fuel development and assessing the benefit to aviation of using these technologies;
- ATM technologies and applications;
- Environmentally sustainable manufacturing, including enhanced recycling of materials;
- Technologies to enhance the airplane cabin environment related to environmental stewardship and air travel by aging populations;
- New industry or international standards in aviation energy conservation and emissions reduction;
- Improvements in workplace safety during cabin and ground operations.
Boeing and COMAC will jointly select and fund research by China-based universities and research institutions. Their initial agreement created the Boeing-COMAC Aviation Energy Conservation and Emissions Reductions (AECER) Technology Centre. Since then, the Boeing-COMAC AECER Centre conducted 17 research projects, leading to an aviation biofuel demonstration facility that turns waste "gutter oil" into jet fuel and three ATM software prototype systems.