Airplane technology

Why did I choose this project?

I have been interested in general aviation for a long time and was already able to gain some experience in the cockpit by flying a small aircraft. Since I am also considering the profession of pilot in my future career choice, this project was a good choice. I like to fly, so I’m also interested in what effect flying has on the environment and what possibilities there are to fly in a more climate-friendly way.

With a survey I wanted to find out what price people would pay more to fly in a more climate-friendly way. I also wanted to find out why people fly and what values they focus on when choosing an airline.

Qantas A380
Qantas A380

Here are the ideas to fly more environmentally conscious:

Electric aircraft

Are powered by electricity, e.g. lithium batteries

Pros: significantly quieter, do not emit CO2 when flying
Cons: to produce and dismantle lithium batteries are not good for the environment

Aircraft with hydrogen propulsion

The planes got powered by hydrogen

Pros: no CO2 is emitted at all
Cons: Much more is needed than kerosine, so you won’t be able to fly as far as today

Airport
Airport

Biofuel

Biofuel is obtained from renewable sources like palmoil and others

Pros: hardly emits any CO2, unlimited available
Cons: very long and difficult production

Biofuel
Biofuel production

There are also some other options how to fly without kerosene, but in my opinion these three are the ones with the best future.
Good to know: In 2023, Swiss will be the first airline to take off fully fueled by solar paraffin.

Flight radar

The coronavirus had a very strong impact on air traffic. The airline industry is currently recovering strongly.
Here is an example of the live radar:

Flight radar before and while corona
Flight radar before and while corona

[1] Die Corona-Pandemie hat die Passagier Luftfahrt praktisch Lahmgelegt – diese Grafiken zeigen, wie leer der Himmel aktuell ist [Business Insider]

Reaction from the airline Swiss

At times, Swiss parked almost his entire fleet of aircraft at the Airport Dübendorf to save costs. [2]

Swiss fleet
Swiss fleet

What is the impact of the air traffic on the environment?

Everyone knows that flying is not good for the environment. But often there is no other way to get to our target destination.  Now I ask myself how environmentally unfriendly flying really is.

Air traffic is responsible for 2.5 % of total Co2 emissions. This does not sound like much, but if it were a country, it would be the 5th largest emitter in the world. [1]

The route from Munich to Frankfurt by plane causes CO2 emissions of 140 kilos, whereas the same route by train only causes emissions of 17 kilos. [3]

British Airways A380
British Airways A380

Survey results

To find out how much the people fly in general and for what reason I created a survey. Conducting a survey I wanted to find out what extra price people would pay to fly in a more climate-friendly way.

Information about my survey

My survey was filled out by about 4o people. Most of the responses came from people between the ages of 15 and 18 who live in Switzerland. Most people in Switzerland prefer domestic airlines such as Swiss or Edelweiss. Almost all people need air travel mainly to go on vacation. Only a small percentage also rely on it for business. Almost everyone knows that flying pollutes the environment, but hardly anyone would give up flying completely.

How often do the people fly per year?

How often do the people fly per year?

Which ticket would they chose?

Which ticket would they chose?

How much would they pay more for a ticket?

How much would they pay more for a ticket?

Sources

[1]  Die Corona-Pandemie hat die Passagier Luftfahrt praktisch Lahmgelegt – diese Grafiken zeigen, wie leer der Himmel aktuell ist [Business Insider]

[2] Swiss: Trotz Bundeshilfe grosser Stellenabbau geplant  [Handelszeitung]

[3] Wie umweltschädlich ist Fliegen wirklich?  [CodeCheck]

Autor: Fabio Alini
Reviewers: Luca Alini

 

Other posts on dontwastemy.energy about airplanes

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One thought on “Airplane technology

  1. Very interesting post. It’s cool how many aspects you were able to highlight. After all aviation is quite an interesting subject.

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