As globe-trotters are becoming more aware of the carbon footprint
that flying produces, airlines are now vying to create "greener” flight
systems to offset the tons of CO2 released into the atmosphere during
The BBC reported that Air New Zealand has just announced plans to test a 747 that will use biofuel in one of its four engines. Virgin Atlantic countered that it too has designs in the works for an eco-friendly plane, and is hoping to beat Air New Zealand to the tarmac, (though they have released fewer details about what exactly their plans entail). Both hope to have their engines revved up for 2008.
While the Kiwis and Brits duke it out, the folks over at Singapore Airlines are counting down the days until the first commercial flight of the new Airbus A380, the largest passenger aircraft ever built (with room for 555 people), which will fly between Singapore and Sydney at the end of October.
According to Airbus, the behemoth plane is also eco-minded:
The A380 will be an environmentally friendly aircraft, which will produce half as much noise on take-off as its competitor and consume less than 3 litres of fuel per passenger over 100 km, a rate comparable to that of an economical family car. With its greater capacity and unprecedented environmental friendliness, the A380 provides the most economical and socially responsible solution to growing air traffic on key trunk routes.
IT did some quick calculations
and figured out that that means that on a London to New York flight,
each A380 passenger uses 43.8 gallons of fuel. That’s a better rate
than Boeing’s 747 (57.7) and the Airbus 300-600 (46.6). And it's a lot better than the Concorde (157.6).
But of course, with every new plane that comes out, there is always a mogul who wants one for his own personal use, annulling much of the fuel-to-passenger savings. Hopefully they’ll be smart enough to at least offset their huge carbon count.