Flying More Economical, Less Polluting Than Driving?

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

Ilan Kroo, in a 2014 Electric Aircraft Symposium presentation, showed that a “narrow-body” airliner (for example, the Boeing 737-800) is able to fly one passenger coast-to-coast on 29 gallons of fuel, at about 81 passenger miles per gallon.  Driving responsibly, a carpool of four or five in a Prius could show greater operational economy, but take about 40 or more hours to make the trip (and lots of breaks) compared to the five hours in one jump it takes the Boeing.  Worse, the same Prius is often stuck in gridlock traffic for short drives with only the driver on board.  Even a hybrid’s mileage suffers under such circumstances. Several popular publications have taken up that “meme” in the last week.  …

Rising Oil Prices a “Wake-up Call”

Dean Sigler Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

With revolt and possible revolution threatening the shutdown of the Suez Canal and driving crude oil prices up, a recent article in Flight Global merits reflection. Flight Global’s lead sums up a threat and a hope in one tidy paragraph.  “The International Energy Agency raised an alarming note as our power-hungry lives got back into gear after the holidays.  ‘Oil prices are entering a dangerous zone for the global economy. The oil import bills are becoming a threat to the economic recovery. This is a wake-up call to the oil-consuming countries and to the oil producers,’ it said.” With fuel prices at the end of 2010 up one-fifth over those at the end of 2009, ticket prices necessarily follow, with …