Air travel has taken a hit as of late from the eco-friendly community. The problem is that the jet engines that we count on to get us from one place to another quickly dump a lot of unfriendly emissions into our atmosphere. The problem is severe enough that NASA researchers "claimed that this extra cloudiness could account for a warming trend of half a degree Fahrenheit per decade in the years between 1975 and 1994," according to the source article.
To combat the rising (tee hee) problem of air travel, easyJet has created a new concept in jet design, which they are referring to as the "easyJet ecoJet". This design could potentially reduce the carbon dioxide emissions by 50 percent and produce 75 percent less nitrous oxide while being 25 percent quieter. Useful improvements on all accounts, but there's a catch. This is only a plan, no product currently exists to verify these claims. Also, the design uses lightweight composites, which are expensive and in very high demand at the moment due to being already included in other major airplane production projects. It seems to me after reading the technical specifications that the jet would fly at a slower speed than other jets as well, meaning it might take longer to get where you are going. All of these issues are not insurmountable, of course. If a jet like this one were available, would other major airlines place orders for them? As with all things of this sort, that would depend on a different kind of green.
Take a look at the rear section of the plane in the picture. Am I the only one who sees a happy smiling face there?
[Source: Live Science]