Building Green Airplanes: "This is Not Star Trek"
That's what the CEO of UK discount airline EasyJet said while introducing a design that would slash CO2 emissions by 50%. Andy Harrison continued "This is not leading-edge technology. It is there, it is available. It needs putting together." A couple of his engineers cobbled together a bunch of ideas, like open rotor engines, composite materials and flying more slowly.
We might note that it may not be Star Trek but it still science fiction; open rotor engines are noisy and have been rejected before. This reminds us of "efficient incandescents"- lets keep doing what we are doing until this wonderful new technology makes it all better.
The Guardian notes that the easyJet announcement follows a stark admission last week by a senior industry figure that airlines had "lost the battle" over the environment and would pay the price in excessive government regulation for several years. ::Guardian