‘New Jet’ – the Future of Air Travel – is the Answer to the Biggest Problem Facing Airlines

With 24,000 airplanes flying worldwide, air travel still accounts for 13 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. The general industry goal is to halve the airline industry’s carbon emissions by 2050. Improving fuel efficiency has…

‘New Jet’ – the Future of Air Travel – is the Answer to the Biggest Problem Facing Airlines

With 24,000 airplanes flying worldwide, air travel still accounts for 13 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. The general industry goal is to halve the airline industry’s carbon emissions by 2050.

Improving fuel efficiency has been the most effective and tangible step taken by the industry to date. Since 1992, the amount of fuel a Boeing 737 consumes has reduced by 20 percent. But the standard fuel efficiency rules laid out by the International Civil Aviation Organization, which is working on an international agreement, are not very rigorous. Airlines earn a “carbon neutral” label by meeting targets for producing renewable energy or reducing emissions from landfills. They don’t even have to meet quantitative fuel efficiency goals.

Other efforts by the airlines, such as using quieter engines and more insulated cabins, have had greater impact. In 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency estimated that lower emissions from aircraft prompted the airline industry to save 1 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide over 20 years, enough to offset the emissions of 72 million passenger cars.

But the global airline industry needs a major overhaul of its industry standard for fuel efficiency. Compared to diesel, electricity is about 30 percent more efficient. This provides more flexibility to increase fuel efficiency. In August, the ICAO reported that its meetings had focused primarily on energy efficiency.

How About Hints of What the Jets Will Look Like in 2050?

In 2010, New York City Metro Newscopter NYC told the story of 2 pilots and their attempt to build a jetski helicopter pilot training program. H-DYNAME, the company attempting to create a hyper-efficient 3-rotor aircraft with three propellers, made a fantastic progress report in August. But the company wants to scale up drastically in the next two years, increasing the required manufacturing capacity from 500 to 10,000 units and raising the 100-person workforce to 400 people.

Airbus is making a major push for hypersonic aircraft. Its X-plane B-Space plane project will push the limits of balloon-driven rockets to launch a rocket/helicopter hybrid at speeds over 20 times that of sound.

While we won’t be able to see a the jets around 2030, the next generation plane designs might be painted on the wings.

Read the rest of the story here.

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