United Airlines demonstrates new fuel-saving methods on flight to Europe

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MINNEAPOLIS — United Airlines demonstrates new fuel-saving methods on two flights between Europe and the U.S.

The airline says it expects to save about 940 gallons of fuel on the flights, which will carry paying passengers. The testing includes a trip from Frankfurt to Chicago on a United 777 (triple-seven), and a return trip on the same plane.

Commercial flights usually stay at a precise altitude. But this flight will drift up and down as much as 3,000 feet. That way the pilots won’t need to burn extra fuel maintaining a precise altitude.

Several airlines have been testing ways to cut their fuel bill. Last year American Airlines tested fuel-saving technology and practices on a Paris-to-Miami flight. And United used synthetic fuel on a test flight in April.