We all like to travel – the carbon footprint when we do is usually much more significant than we might think. Have you ever measured your carbon footprint? You can easily do that online and it is a wake-up call to the impact we are all making.
NASA has awarded huge research funds for making flying, (the worst culprit for carbon footprint size), a more environmentally friendly way to travel. Emissions of nitrous oxide and CO2 will be cut down considerably if the aviation industry succeed in reducing fuel use and emissions by 70%.
In 2010 NASA launched its N+3 initiative which awarded four major airlines extensive funds to research, design and develop more environmentally friendly aircraft. Lockheed Martin, MIT, GE Aviation and Boeing have been charged with the challenge to create a commercial plane that would expend 75% less emissions and consume 70% less fuel. Not a small undertaking but significant progress has already been made, especially by Boeing who have a promising hybrid aircraft in development stage.
The concepts for Sugar Volt (Subsonic Ultra Green Aircraft Research) report massive improvements in both operational and environmental performance which are due mainly to the inclusion of a propulsion system run on an electric battery gas turbine. This technology can reduce the total amount of fuel burnt by more than 75% and total energy used by 55%. Hybrid electric propulsion can also lessen the distance required for takeoff and decrease noise pollution. In addition the emissions…
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