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GE to Lower Boeing Fuel Use, Reduce Emissions

GE Aviation has won a Boeing contract to provide a flight management system designed to save money by using less fuel, while producing fewer emissions.

The flight management system, which will be manufactured at GE facilities in Grand Rapid, Mich., and Clearwater, Fla., will be integrated into the Boeing 737 MAX airplane. The first 737 MAX is scheduled to be delivered in 2017, GE Aviation said.

The flight management system makes the track of an aircraft accurate within 10 meters, at any point in the flight plan, and within 10 seconds of its time of arrival, GE said. The system allows airplanes to fly shorter flight paths and to conduct idle-thrust descents, which reduces fuel consumption and noise in surrounding communities.

Boeing has made a series of design updates to its 737 MAX engine variant that improve fuel savings. The 737, which is equipped with LEAP-1B engines from CFM International, reduces fuel burn and carbon dioxide emissions by 13 percent while maintaining an 8 percent operating cost advantage compared to the nearest competitor, said Boeing.

In July, Boeing and Virgin Australia finalized an order for 23 fuel-efficient 737 MAX airplanes with options for an additional four.

Earlier this month, Boeing’s efficient 787 Dreamliner plane, which promises a 20 percent reduction in fuel consumption, was grounded due to battery-related fire risk. A number of countries, including the US, Japan, India and Europe have prohibited flights using the aircraft.

The Federal Aviation Administration issued an order to US airlines to stop flying the lightweight passenger jets until they can prove the onboard lithium-ion batteries are safe, following an emergency landing on an All Nippon Airways plane in Japan the same day.

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