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World To End Because of a Single Airplane

I'm not going to say that Martin Hickman of The Independent is a tad obsessed... I'll let him tell you during his report of the new Airbus A380 superjumbo jet landing at Heathrow:

Europe's giant of the sky lands at Heathrow

Bigger than a jumbo jet, the future of air travel flew into Britain yesterday, showing off its gigantic proportions and prompting concern about its impact on climate change.

Now a single aircraft can change the climate on a whole planet? The environmental whackjob crowd is on full tilt.

The product of a grand European alliance, the Airbus A380, touched down at a specially reinforced runway at Heathrow at 1.20pm with a Union Flag fluttering from the cockpit.

Among waiting dignitaries, Gordon Brown hailed the four-nation aeroplane as an example of "Europe at its best" and a triumph of British engineering.

With a wingspan of 79m, the Airbus A380 is by far and away the world's biggest plane. It can fly further, more cheaply and is sometimes more green than a Boeing 747, seating up to 840 economy passengers compared with a jumbo's 416, though most airlines favour the less environmentally friendly seating of 480.

Its development opens the era of superjumbo planes capable of matching the 21st century's rapacious desire for travel, for business and pleasure. It also poses fresh questions about whether this will lead to more passengers flying round the world in bigger jets, contributing to aviation emissions that threaten catastrophic and irreversible global warming. ...

He congratulated Rolls-Royce, whose engines powered the A380, for producing, some of the "quietest and cleanest engines" ever made. Airbus says the A380 will produce 12 per cent fewer emissions per passenger than a jumbo jet.

Environmentalists warned that the Airbus still had the capacity to worsen climate change by encouraging air travel.

Richard Dyer, of Friends of the Earth, said: "If you said we are not going to increase the amount of people who fly, and they all fly on Airbus A380s, it would reduce emissions. Unfortunately this is part of a trend in air travel; a plane that is a bit cleaner and more efficient comes along every 30 years."

I wonder where the reporter stands on global warming? I thought this was a story about a new aircraft. Apparently Martin Hickman thought otherwise. You can all but see him wringing his hands and trying to dry the tears at the thought of people flying.

If you have any doubt that the people pushing global warming are kooks, re-read that last quote:

"Unfortunately this is part of a trend in air travel; a plane that is a bit cleaner and more efficient comes along every 30 years."

The horrors! Making planes that are cleaner and more efficient is a BAD thing to the nutjobs. This proves they don't want greener technology as they claim. Rush Limbaugh makes the case that the modern environmental movement is the new home for socialists. Quotes like that one make it hard to argue against that point.

It's no wonder so many people believe the global warming hoax. When you have skewed reporting like this, day after day, the average person off the street will believe it.

Comments (15)

Wow. If someone ever finds ... (Below threshold)

Wow. If someone ever finds records of the protests over the Concorde some 30+ years ago, I bet they'll find that rhetoric was, for all practical purposes, identical to the rhetoric to come over the Airbus. I remember reading an article (in Penthouse IIRC) where someone claimed the Concorde was the greatest threat to all life on the planet.

Isn't the Concorde the reas... (Below threshold)

Isn't the Concorde the reason for the Ozone Holes and Global Warming?

Environmental groups are gi... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Environmental groups are given free press far beyond the number of people they represent. We have seen the dismal showing of environmental groups running candidates in political companions, yet the MSM often follows an announcement by the President with a rebuttal by some never-before-heard-of environmentalists. Why does the MSM give environmentalists equal billing with the President or even members of Congress? Shouldn't the MSM give the same billing to tax payer groups ever time a new spending or tax bill is passed?

The msm seem to be filled w... (Below threshold)

The msm seem to be filled with the same environmental kooks as this Martin guy? they all play from the same playbook,their so smart yknow!

There is no Global Warming where I live? there have been snowflakes 3 times this month! c,mon Gore! send us some heat!

Let me think this through. ... (Below threshold)

Let me think this through. The more seats on an airplane, the more environmentally friendly it becomes. So, the more we cram people onto airplanes the better. No more complaints about seat pitch and elbow room, it is just for the good of the planet. This is good news for financially struggling airlines. They just have to change their advertising to emphasis how green the cramped conditions in coach have become.

Hmmmm.Frankly ever... (Below threshold)


Frankly everything I've read about this airplane makes me think it's a dead bird.

It cost Heathrow airport about $300 million to reinforced the runway. Plus this airplane has seriously different dimensions that requires terminal modifications so that they can service the airplane. And that costs even more money.

Now multiply this by every single international airport on the planet.

And what do you get?

In an economy travel configuration you can load up to 880 passengers on an A-380. Just try and imagine standing in line behind 879 other passengers trying to pickup luggage and go through customs.

In it's luxury configuation, the preferred one, it handles 550 passengers, while the 747 handles 480 or so passengers.

It's a dog.

I saw that article too and ... (Below threshold)

I saw that article too and found it one part green-global-warming standard stuff, and one part head-in-the-sand.

The article says nothing of the problems with Airbus v Boeing - like 155 (Boeing) to 15 midrange planes sold last year. The new Boeing flying wing 797 will be made of composites and be 20-25% more fuel efficient than the Airbus jumbo, while providing more space, more passengers and a better, faster flight.

For the last several years orders for this new Airbus are stuck at about 159, with development problems and the new Boeing. It is looking like another disaster after billions of EU money invested. Not only is the 380 in bad shape, but the 340 and 350 are not doing well either.

The new plane's small gains in efficiency should not be described as a thirty-year revolutionary gain, this is spin aimed at Boeing not the greens. The new Boeing will be one of those thirty-year advances, however. But as you say, it is stupid in the extreme to make environmental complaints about higher fuel efficiency.

But the real elephant in the room is Boeing, and this article ignores the fact that Airbus has missed the bus, er, so to speak. Airbus needs badly a redesign of all three of these planes at about 10 billion per.

Airbus won't crash because it is supported by governments, but it will suffer greatly compared to Boeing over at least the next five years.

A good measure of the Airbu... (Below threshold)

A good measure of the Airbus' eco-friendliness would be to measure the emissions "per passenger mile", instead of using abolute emmissions. Yes, its a big aircraft, and you would expect an absolute number that is large, but I would also expect the emissions "per passenger carried" to be small.

All those NeoCon appologist... (Below threshold)

All those NeoCon appologists make me laugh. They hold up the comments of that drug-addled Rush Limbaugh as evidence that global warming is a hoax. Let just one of those right-wing nuts earn a degree in environmental studies or even organic chemistry and they'd be distancing themselves from the rest of those idiots in a nanosecond.

Anyway, nobody gives a rats @$$ if this plane is environmentally friendly. It's only a sliver better per full seat -- and only that if the plane is full. This plane has only the economies of scale. Other planes coming along will be quieter and cleaner on all measure

I remember heartfelt admoni... (Below threshold)

I remember heartfelt admonitions that it would take only 25 flights of the Space Shuttle to completely destroy the ozone layer, because of the solid-rocket fuel.

I've been thinking of compiling claims like that one on a website somewhere.

Hmmm.Airb... (Below threshold)


Airbus won't crash because it is supported by governments

Actually that may not be true.

Right now there's a huge fight going on in the WTO over the government subsidies to AirBus by the various European governments that partially own it.

You can expect that if AirBus is given a single dime in subsidies or forgiven loans there's going to be hell to pay. I doubt that AirBus would spiral into bankruptcy, but they really need to get their house in order.

Evidently the only thing worse than a government in the business of governing, is a government trying it's hand at the business of business.

"12% fewer emissions per pa... (Below threshold)

"12% fewer emissions per passenger"

That presumes, I presume, that they're ever gonna get 840 people onto one flight. Yikes. I'll take the shuttle, thank you.

So that's where that high-p... (Below threshold)

So that's where that high-pitched screaming I've been hearing all day is coming from...

I thought it was that guy whose wife ripped of his privates, as Drudge is reporting.

Wrong again. Drat.

I might be wrong but I beli... (Below threshold)

I might be wrong but I believe the Brits are bailing out EADS which is the parent company of Airbus on account of this aircraft and it's development costs and probable low sales.
Boeing appears to have the winner in it's new Dreamliner which is capable of very long haul routes point to point from smaller airports. This gives airlines a better utilization of their slots, cheaper to operate for that reason ( slot fees)as well as the machine's lower per passenger mile operating costs, is more comfortable for passengers since their are no layovers and connections and the aircraft is design to have a closer to sea level pressurization and humidity than the standard systems.
Flying from JFK to Heathrow is not where the money is, that is the price war route. Cleveland or Detroit to Manchester or Birmingham if priced not too excessively above a reasonable New York to London fare could be very lucrative for the airlines. Boeing could be on to something with this direct mid sized city to mid sized city avoiding the hub and spoke system. Couple that to an upgraded 747 for the mass transit operations and Boeing just might pull off the coup of the beginning of the 21st century aircraft mfg. company wars.

Hmmmm.I m... (Below threshold)


I might be wrong but I believe the Brits are bailing out EADS which is the parent company of Airbus on account of this aircraft and it's development costs and probable low sales.

I'd be curious to see if this happens. Frankly I rather doubt it. With AirBus's mis-steps they'd need a huge amount of cash to develop new aircraft and in the meantime their production facilities will be barely operational. They'd need cash infusions not just for development, but for operations to preserve the investment in facilities and in their workforce.

Which, being in Europe, they cannot readily lay off.

Personally I don't think the Brits have that much ready cash lying around that could be diverted to that purpose. I suppose if they delayed purchasing their two new aircraft carriers they could. But that would be extremely foolish.

And then there's the issue before the WTO brought by America and Boeing about these government subsidies. For the Brits to give yet another handout to AirBus while this issue was before the WTO would be a pretty bad idea.

What's also interesting is that one of the founding partners in AirBus is BAE Systems, and they're bailing out ASAP.

And on top of all this is the persistent rumors about structural instability in the carbon-fiber rudders on AirBus aircraft. Not that long ago an AirBus crashed on Long Island with the rudder snapped off. They attributed it to pilot error, but that error was in quickly flexing the rudder rather than anything obvious.

Frankly if an aircraft's rudder cannot be quickly shifted side to side, then I really don't want to be flying on that aircraft.






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