The Federal Aviation Administration issued $125 million in contracts to develop commercial jet technologies that cut fuel consumption, emissions and noise.
The agency said it is contracting with aviation equipment suppliers Boeing, General Electric, Honeywell, Pratt & Whitney, and Rolls-Royce-North America to speed up green technologies under its CLEEN program for Continuous Lower Energy, Emissions and Noise.
FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt said the effort aims “to aggressively meet critical environmental and energy goals.” The CLEEN program helps develop environmentally friendly and energy efficient aircraft design and engine technology that could enter the commercial aircraft fleet starting in 2015.
The five companies will work on a range of technology goals, the FAA said, “including sustainable alternative aviation fuels, lighter and more efficient gas turbine engine components, noise-reducing engine nozzles; advanced wing trailing edges, optimized flight trajectories using onboard flight management systems, and open rotor and geared turbofan engines.“
While it estimates the five contracts will cost $125 million over the five-year program, there are cost-sharing features in which the companies will at least match the FAA’s portion, so that the program’s total value would top $250 million.
CLEEN’s goals include cutting fuel burn by 33 percent, nitrogen oxide emissions by 60 percent and aircraft noise levels by 32 decibels.
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