Airplanes provide quick transportation for many people but pollute the environment. We are all affected by changes to our environment so supporting manufacturers who are proactive in caring about the environment is one way to make positive changes. I have chosen to show some of the things Boeing is doing to cut down on the pollution while still providing air travel.
Innovation plays a key role in reducing the impact that aerospace has on the environment. Innovation is also a way to cut down waste, save time and money, and increase the efficiency of the workers and the company.
Boeing stakeholders have a part in determining the environmental goals for the company. Which include CO2 emissions, operations water and waste management, hazardous waste reduction, and lowering airplane noise in the community. The goal is to provide a cleaner environment through its impact on land, air and water. This is done through servicing plans, energy efficient plants and products. Boeing has included innovation to achieve these goals into its culture by encouraging the employees to join the process.
Through the years Boeing has looked for ways to build and deliver an airplane that is faster, more fuel efficient, and comfortable with great performance. In 1939, Boeing hired Edmund T. Allen to head up the research division. It was Allen’s idea to build a company wind tunnel. The wind Tunnel was built to produce winds up to Mach .9 (625 miles per hour). The B-47 jet was the first jet tested in the wind tunnel for the use of a swept wing and engines mounted below the wings not on them.
This jet used less fuel, while being able to fly faster and is the inspiration for all the jets flying today.
One way to save energy is to reduce the amount of energy it uses in building the planes. The 757-jet assembly line suffered from a bottleneck because the seating in the jet took 12 hours to install and consisted of many steps. A team called the Moonshine Shop worked late into the night exploring different means to reduce the bottleneck. A hay loader was the inspiration for a machine that could safely and quickly transport the seats up into the airplane reducing the time to install the seats by 10 hours.
To help provide cleaner air, Boeing invests in the restoration of forests by contributing to the Nature Conservancy which plant trees around Puget Sound and Portland and campaigns that help to restore areas that have been devastated by fire, such as the Jolly Mountain fire in Central Washington and areas in California. Trees help to increase a healthy ecosystem by removing CO2 emissions and producing cleaner air.
Boeing encourages and uses ideas from employees to help meet its environmental goals. A chemical process manager at the Auburn, Washington Boeing plant helped to devise a change for a water tank that reduced the amount of water used by 50% or 26 million gallons per year. A combined effort by the employees of the Everett, Washington plant, which is Boeing’s largest manufacturing plant contributed to the environmental goal by reducing the amount sent to a landfill by 1,000 tons. 1,000 tons is equivalent to the amount of trash produced by 1,300 people per year. They also changed older style light bulbs to 57,000 LED bulbs to help save energy. Their total reduction in energy saved was enough to power 3000 homes.
To help reduce the noise from airplane takeoff, Boeing developed a system called the Quiet Climb System (QCS). This system controls the thrust at take off reducing the sound by 14%. It is an automatic system that controls the throttle and engine thrust maintaining the best possible climb angle and has safety features which allow it to continue working when systems fail. With the QCS the plane can carry a greater number of passengers, cargo, and fuel with less noise. It is available on the 737-600 thru 900 series jets.
Boeing also offers an Optimized Maintenance Program (OMP). The OMP is a program customized to the buyer. It analyzes the buyer’s operational goals, business model, and their maintenance data during jet servicing. OMP increases the availability of the planes while using less resources and materials. It keeps the planes working properly, potentially saving the buyer hundreds of millions of dollars over a 10-year time period.
Boeing is working on reducing the carbon footprint of its airplanes by developing biofuel. Biofuel is fuel made from plants. Since the fuels are plant based, they absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) while they are growing reducing the amount of CO2 in the air. Biofuel helps to reduce the reliance on fossil fuel and offers a 50+ percent reduction in CO2 through the lifetime of the plant.
Boeing is dedicated to reducing fuel, emissions, and the noise effect in communities. It also is determined to provide cleaner water and air. When you buy a Boeing plane, you are supporting our environment.