Etihad's new Greenliner has landed in Abu Dhabi.
The modified Boeing 787 touched down at Abu Dhabi International Airport just after 8am on Thursday, January 23.
The Greenliner will now be used as a flying "laboratory" for Etihad and Boeing. It will test new technology in an effort to help reduce carbon emissions and make the aviation industry more sustainable.
Etihad's newest 787 successfully banked its first 7,500 miles flying from the Boeing campus in Charleston, South Carolina to the UAE.
Sporting a custom green-and-blue livery, the almost 13-hour flight landed in Abu Dhabi ahead of schedule after an early departure from the US.
The Greenliner started as it means to go on. The delivery flight operated with a 30 per cent blend of bio-fuel. This can produce up to 50 per cent less CO2 emissions than regular jet fuel.
Registered as A6-BHM, the Greenliner is Etihad's eighth 787-10 and a notable addition to the Abu Dhabi fleet.
Pilots on the delivery flight made use of Boeing's FliteDeck Advisor. This uses detailed metrics during a flight to suggest live adjustments that can reduce fuel consumption and save time. The jet's fuel mileage and consumption patterns are also carefully tracked.
As it neared Abu Dhabi, the Greenliner strayed from a standard multi-step landing and piloted a continuous descent. This style of landing is more efficient than the common approach where an aircraft descends, maintains altitude, and then descends again.
The jet has been built to operate as environmentally friendly as possible and will fly on normal routes, with regular passengers – rather than being reserved solely for the sake of research.
Commercial flights on the Greenliner will begin next week.
The 787 Dreamliner already has a strong track record in terms of environmental performance. Greenliner flights will see Etihad and Boeing trial new procedures and initiatives aimed at reducing fuel consumption and carbon dioxide output.
More details on the exact sustainable policies set to be tested have yet to be revealed but findings from the project will be shared with all 787 operators to boost the efficiency of the entire fleet.
Boeing and Etihad are also planning to work together to identify ways of making regular airplane maintenance more environmentally efficient.