Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
Genghis the Engineer wrote:I'm guessing that's Ivar Giaever, 89 years old, Nobel Prize in Physics from 1973, working part time for the American conservative think tank The Heartland Institute, who also have people regularly arguing that smoking bans provide no health benefits.

Interesting. I've not looked into his background yet. I wonder how that tallies with when he was asked to give his first speech?
Genghis the Engineer wrote:My money is on there never being an easy solution which'll solve everything - we will probably end up with an ever more complex mix of energy generation and storage solutions. Who knows hydrogen may end up in there - but I doubt it'll ever be a major player. I quite like ethanol myself - produceable much more easily from biomass, only about a third less efficient as an energy storage medium than petrol - but still has issues, particularly how much it likes absorbing water.

For sure. A whole mix of horses for courses will be the answer. For now just more R&D spent on the technology of how front-line (i.e. users) can utilise renewable/clean/safe power.
From a presentation some years back about light business jet use (VLJs):

No point trying to compare emissions per seat/kilometre


• Take the Michel O’Leary (Ryanair) approach – ‘all a load of horse….’
• Hang on the adage that two guys in a Citation are probably doing more for the UK economy than 100 in one of O'Leary's aircraft
• Emphasise again that general aviation represents just 0.016% of global greenhouse emissions

or…..use the Cow Index….:

The Flight Emissions ‘Cow Index’:

A dairy cow produces approx 142kg of methane a year – as damaging to the environment as 3 tonnes of CO2

3 hours in a Phenom 100 = same impact of one cow year*

* 1hr flight = 396 litres = 1 tonne of CO2


The Flight Emissions ‘Burger Index’:

One cow produces 500 lbs of retail beef = 2,000 quarter pounders

Consuming 670 ¼ lb burgers a year* has the same environmental impact as 1 tonne of CO2 = 1 hour’s flight in Phenom 100

* Ignores production, transportation etc.
Genghis the Engineer wrote:Hydrogen looks lovely as a solution - if you only look at part of the equation. Putting H2 into a suitable motor (or more likely a fuel cell) generates energy and water - brilliant! Except that to store H2 takes around 4 times the volume of conventional fuels, AND in gaseous form it's extremely explosive, AND it needs to be stored either very cold or at very high pressure or both, AND it needs prohibitive amounts of energy (most likely at the moment created burning fossil fuels) to create it.

There's no easy solution out there. Some clever people are proposing ethanol or methanol - but frankly hydrogen doesn't look particularly good when you consider the whole cycle. Most hydrogen gas at the moment, incidentally, is produced from gassified coal!

Isn't current thinking -- or at least some of it -- to use hydrogen production as a means of exploiting off-peak electricity?

(Also, to be strictly accurate, H2 is not "extremely explosive" until it gets mixed with oxygen, though it's true it only takes a little O2 to make a big bang.)
I'd dearly love to be flying planes that run more fuel efficiently, but unfortunately it's offset by the initial cost for such newer aircraft.

There's more choice for 1-2 seaters but not much for 4-6 seaters, apart from probably the P2012 Tecnam Twin.

And UL91 almost died a death...
Genghis the Engineer wrote:the CFCs we have actually largely eliminated from the global economy - arguably the most effective piece of international collaboration in history.

Cut-price Chinese home insulation is being blamed for a massive rise in emissions of a gas, highly damaging to the Earth's protective ozone layer.

The Environmental Investigations Agency (EIA) found widespread use of CFC-11 in China, even though the chemical was fully banned back in 2010.

Scientists have been extremely puzzled by the mysterious rise in emissions.
Sooty25 liked this
There is so much going on in China it would be amazing if the control systems could keep pace, corruption is also embedded deep in the culture I believe.
Not overlooking that GA airfields are (mostly) good for the environment, in balance...a nice big sward of green with a few low-ish trees and shrubs around, must go some way towards offsetting a bit of AVGAS-burning.

I read last night in 'Wired' magazine that an e-mail with a hefty attachment is reckoned to generate 50 grams of CO2e (Carbon dioxide equivalent gas). Now that's worth a study.
If you really want to make a difference to the amount of man made CO2:

Stop using you mobile phone and ban them. Billions of them with a life of two years before they are discarded.

Shut down the internet. The energy to keep it going is truly astronomical. Why do you think the big servers are put in very cold countries?

Stop building windmills. The energy to build and maintain them is greater than they produce. [let alone the devastation caused by getting the rare earth minerals to make them.]

And loads more.

Its called progress.

Can you see any of this happening?

You can do as much virtue signalling as you like, but human nature will always win.

Just keep flying - it will keep you sane until you have to pay for you next annual.
Korenwolf liked this