Justfly: Airlines Exploring Green Technology In Future Aircraft

Much like cars, aircraft manufacturers are speeding towards a future where aircraft engines are far more efficient then they are today. While some prefer to dream about the concept of solar powered flight or drone passenger flight, there are real tangible changes that are being tested today that could leaded to a greener future sooner. To learn more about green technology and aircraft I spoke with JustFly, an online travel company. They gave me their three favourite new green technologies that are pushing aircraft to be more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly.

Biofuels

Biofuels are not new, but adoption has been slow in the air travel industry due to cost. With that being said, momentum is growing for these types of fuels as they become more efficient and more cost-effective for carriers. One such carrier, Alaska Airlines, flew 75 biofuel flights in 2011 and plans to expand biofuel use leading into 2020. In addition to biofuels, they are also exploring the use of alcohol fuelled engines. One thing that could lead to improved pricing for biofuels is government intervention in the form of stimulus and/or issuing mandates to existing fuel companies.

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Lighter And More Efficient Engines

While not as sexy as alternative energy, a quick way to make real change in terms of efficiency is to not reinvent the wheel, but make a better one. That’s why companies like Boeing are indeed prototyping jet engines with carbon fibre parts according to JustFly’s review. Another thing is building engines that incorporate more gears, leading to further efficiencies.

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Non-Stick Planes

 Now this may sound gross, but airlines do have a major problem that won’t be going away any time soon, bug guts. Yes, dead bugs cover and coat almost every surface of every plane, making for a gross mess and, I know you were thinking this all along, severe drag issues. Yes, the number of dead insects on a plane actually effects how much drag an aircraft experiences, resulting in lower fuel efficiency according to JustFly.

An aircraft manoeuvres on the runway at Edinburgh Airport in Scotland

So, carriers are indeed looking for ways to make planes, much like your kitchen pans, non stick as to avoid this issue. While it seems silly, it would go a long way towards increasing fuel efficiency on modern aircraft.

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