Three-Liter Airlines – Throwing Aviation for a Lupo

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

How do airliners stack up against cars for fuel economy? A German air carrier is trying to achieve efficiencies that will make their airplanes at least as economical per passenger mile as the best economy cars. Europeans have been pursuing an elusive goal for the last 15 years, the 3-liter car. That’s not 3 liters of engine displacement, but the use of only three liters of fuel for every 100 kilometers (62 miles) traveled – about 78 miles per U. S. gallon or 99 miles per imperial gallon. Several cars have done that and better, but sometimes at the cost of driver comfort. The Volkswagen Lupo turbo-diesel (1.2 liters displacement, 61 horsepower), for instance, came out in 1999, and was …