Home Green Innovations Guide Green! Green! Green! Now flying green: A dream starts coming true

Green! Green! Green! Now flying green: A dream starts coming true

There is a great deal of concern out there on how to save energy, how to make green products, etc. Now these concerns also compel aviation to go “Green” and be sustainable. As a result, International Air Transport Association (IATA) has put a target of creating a zero emission airplane within 50 years. And not only IATA, NASA has also put a target to aviation industry to come up with a next generation plane which are not only fuel efficient, but also have the least air pollution and noise. However, the aviation industry is already trending towards improvement. As we know, aircraft’s fuel consumption largely alters due to aircraft speed, weight load, wind speed, its aerodynamics, material being used and engine. So let us have a spotlit on some energy efficient air crafts and the some initiatives taken by airlines to make their flight greener.

Energy efficient airplane

1. Boeing’s Dreamliners 787 & 747-8: They are more green and advanced than previously comparable aircraft as they are 20% more fuel efficient. The 747-8 will provide 16 percent better fuel economy than previous 747 versions and emit 16 percent less carbon dioxide. The design of 787 features lighter-weight construction and it is 80% composite by volume. Its new electrical architecture is the main reason of its efficiency, as now it has electrically powered compressors and pumps which supersedes bleed air and hydraulic power sources.

The Boeing's 787 DREAMLINER: Aircraft of Legend

2. Airbus A320 & A319: With the introduction of the large wingtip device ‘Sharklet’ which is to provide more than 3.5 percent savings in overall fuel consumption on long route sectors, Airbus A320 stands in fuel efficient airplane category. And A319 is even more fuel efficient and Eco friendly with the A320neo new engine than A320. It will substantially save fuel up to 15 percent along with considerably reduction in carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions, additional range and lower operating costs with the similarly sized Boeing 737-300.

3. Bombardier CSeries: The CSeries aircraft has 15 percent lower seat mile cost and a substantial reduction in maintenance costs due to its structure which comprises 46 percent composite materials and 24 percent aluminum lithium and it promises to “deliver dramatic energy savings,” according to Bombardier.

4. Bombraider Q400 NextGen: This is the most advanced, fastest, efficient, quietest, largest turboprop in the world. It features six bladed, all composite propellers that delivers more thrust and efficiency and less noise than regional jets. It will be 30-40 percent more fuel efficient per seat.

5. Ecojet: It will be a passenger aircraft which is to be built by carbon fiber composite materials and it would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 50 percent, nitrogen oxide emissions by 75 percent, and noise pollution by 25 percent versus current Boeing 737 standards. Its idea was proposed by EasyJet in June 2007 (with the first flight purposed for 2015).

On Dec 30th, 2008, Air New Zealand conducted the first sustainable bio fuel flight using Jatropha as a fuel source (flown with a 50/50 mix with traditional jet fuel). So many airlines are also doing their parts to making their flights greener by including new air crafts that are less noisy, more fuel efficient, more Eco-friendly and by using bio-fuel as a jet fuel source. Here are such some initiatives that are taken by airlines.

1. British Airways: They have planned to produce 16 million gallons of Eco friendly bio fuel from waste products by 2014 by making a latest deal with Solena Group, a bio energy company.

2. United Continental Airlines: The airline has completely revamped their fleet leading to a 35 percent reduction in their emissions of greenhouse gases.

3. Easy Jets: They have reduced their carbon emissions by 18 percent per passenger since 2002. And they have planned to go much much greener in the next five years. They have also set a goal to reduce their carbon dioxide emission by half and nitrogen oxide emissions by 3/4.

4. Virgin Atlantic: They are using as much bio fuel as possible. They have also declared to launch airplane that will be more energy efficient by saving 15 percent fuel per seat. They are also staging the new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners.

5. American Airlines: They ordered 460 new fuel efficient jets to increase its sustainability profit.

According to the release of recent results of a NASA study, a cluster of technologies are in process of development that can built an aircraft by 2025 that will save 40-50 percent more energy and produce 30-40dB less noise. So we can hope that in the near future our flights will be greener and the dream would finally come true.