Bombardier EcoJet Prototype Flies in 2nd Test Phase
Bombardier has unveiled exclusive images of the second test phase of its EcoJet research project at the NBAA-BACE 2023 event.
The impressive flight tests conducted with an 18-foot-wide demonstrator have yielded significant results that contribute to the advancement of this critical project.
The EcoJet research project by Bombardier is committed to reducing aircraft emissions by up to 50% through a combination of aerodynamic improvements, propulsion enhancements, and other innovative solutions.
This sustainability-focused research and technology initiative was initiated 15 years ago and has since evolved into a family of Blended Wing Body (BWB) test vehicles.
Flight tests are being carried out to develop and refine technologies relevant to this project. The data gathered from the 18-foot-wide prototype will provide valuable insights to Bombardier's engineering team as they work to master new aviation control laws tailored to the unique BWB geometry, which will play a crucial role in future, more eco-friendly business aircraft.
Stephen McCullough, Senior Vice President of Engineering and Product Development, expressed the team's eagerness to begin working with the results from the second phase of the flight test programme. Building upon the wealth of data obtained in the initial testing phase and utilising a model twice the size of the first prototype, they aim to further refine their analysis. Each additional experimental stage paves the way for more sustainable aircraft designs and the development of groundbreaking technologies.
The flight campaigns involving scaled test vehicles provide the organisation and its academic partners with an opportunity to explore the behaviour of BWB-designed aircraft in free flight. Comprising several free-flight campaigns conducted over multiple years, this flight-testing programme is geared towards generating increasingly precise data in real-world, representative environments.
The 18-foot-wide prototype of Bombardier's EcoJet research project took its maiden flight in 2022 and is capable of autonomous flight. Back in 2017, Bombardier's Research and Technology team initiated the practical feasibility testing of their theoretical work with the first prototype, which had an approximate wingspan of 8 feet. While laying the foundation for more sustainable business jets, Bombardier also intends to leverage its EcoJet prototypes to enhance the overall customer experience.
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