British low cost carrier easyJet
has unveiled a new aircraft design dubbed the "ecoJet" as part of a
comprehensive plan to cut air-travel related carbon emissions in half
by 2015. CEO of easyJet Andy Harrison reports that Boeing and Airbus
are both interested in producing it.
"This is not Star Trek. This is the future," Harrison said. "If it were to be made available today, we would order hundreds of them for fleett replacement. We are currently spending 4 billion pounds (USD $7.88 billion) on aircraft — they are listening to us."
Similar in design to the ultra-efficient Piaggio Avanti and the Boeing "Fozzie",
the rear-mount "push style" placement of the engines improves the
efficiency of the wings by removing them from the engine’s wake. A
combination of lightweight materials, smaller and more aerodynamic
designs, and fuel sipping external rotor engines – capable of today’s
outputs but consuming 25% less fuel – all add up to savings of about
40%. Additional efficiencies are expected to come from "air traffic
control improvements". This comes on the same day Airbus announced green targets for a 50% reduction in CO2 emissions for their aircraft and a 30% decrease in company-wide energy consumption by 2020.