Airliners Get Better Mileage than Cars, and Trains do Even Better

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

Airliners beat cars in fuel economy, especially on longer trips.  That would not be news to attendees at recent Electric Aircraft Symposia, where speakers like Ilan Kroo, Stanford University professor and aircraft designer, have brought that message home. One of Kroo’s slides, shown below in a 2009 lecture (It’s nearly an hour, but worth a look and listen), lists a “narrow-body” airliner (in this case a Boeing 737-800) as able to fly one passenger coast-to-coast on 29 gallons of fuel, at about 81 passenger miles per gallon.  A person carpooling his or her four-passenger Prius and driving responsibly could beat that (although not in the five hours required for the jet to make the total flight), but most trips are solo …

NASA, CAFE Aims and Goals Converge

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

Charles F. Bolden, Jr., a retired U. S. Marine Corps Major General, astronaut and now NASA Administrator,  had enough adventures in any one of his careers to have made several who’s who lists.  The twelfth administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, his previous careers included 34-years in the Marine Corps during which he spent 14 years as a member of NASA’s Astronaut Office,  traveled to orbit four times on the space shuttle, deployed the Hubble Space Telescope, and flew on the first U. S.-Russian joint shuttle mission. As a Marine fighter pilot, he flew over 100 combat missions during the Vietnam conflict; and during the first half of 1998, served as Commanding General of the 1st Marine Expeditionary …