While Boeing has done much to increase the efficiency of their planes, they are continuing to research ways to improve that efficiency.
Aircraft use a notoriously large amount of fuel, but recent changes in engine technology and the use of lighter-weight strong materials have allowed them to increase the overall effeciency of their planes.
The only ways to really make the current planes more efficient is in three areas: aerodynamics, fuel use by the engine, and weight. There is little that can be gained in the area of aerodynamics. We have had those problems tackled for some time. So really, increases in engine efficiency and materials weight are where the major changes can be made.
Also, at the expense of aesthetics, planes can be more efficient. A painted plane may look nicer, but all that heavy paint requires more fuel by weighing down the plane when the plane flies. A lighter plane needs less fuel.
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