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Boeing Gets FAA OK For Fuel-saving Airplane Brakes

next-generation 737-700 to Delta Air Lines.

Boeing says the carbon brakes weigh 700 pounds (320 kg) less than high-capacity steel brakes on 737-700, -800 and -900ER airplanes; and 550 pounds (250 kg) less than standard-capacity steel brakes for 737-600s and -700s. Boeing claims that the reduced weight contributes to reductions in associated fuel burn and CO2 emissions depending on airline operations.

  • You really think they will use that extra 550 to 700 pounds of weight savings to reduce fuel consumption and help save the environment? All I see is extra cargo capacity and therefore more revenue per flight.

    Cheesy Publicity Stunt Thru and Thru. Besides - what real difference does 700 pounds make on a 737 anyways? How much more do these brake pads cost than traditional ones? Lets see some numbers before we applaud boeing as the environmental champions of the year.
  • erichlund
    Even if you accept that they will use the extra capacity and generate more revenue, that improves the per pound cost to fly the airplane. My wife and I just took a trip that included two flights costing $600+, and typical of 737 type flights. We weigh less than the saved weight on those brakes, so you could add at least one and maybe two more passengers. That additional revenue becomes significant over time, even if the percentage of the total revenue is small.

    The bottom line is it costs fuel to carry weight. By being able to carry more passengers, you may be able to take one plane out of your fleet, or at least reduce the number of hours on each airplane by a small amount. Any way you calculate it, while the change is small, over time, it becomes a significant savings.
  • jeb1517
    How can they carry more passengers by reducing the weight of the brakes? Did they re-arrange the seats? Even over time this change is insignificant. Don't forget how much more carbon brakes will cost over steel brakes. Assuming a 737 weighs 170,000 lbs at take off, the saved weight is .4%. That would be the difference of having or not having some groceries in your car...