According to the New York Times, one round-trip flight from California to New York generates approximately 20 percent of the greenhouse gases that your car emits in a whole year.
It is estimated that there are 20,000 planes in use around the globe, and this number is expected to more than double to 50,000 planes by the year 2040.
Air travel is a big factor in pollution and is considered one of the most harmful ways to travel… and yet, so many people are flying.
Right now, the eco-friendliest way to travel is to ditch the plane altogether and take a train instead.
Luckily, the majority of the world’s aviation companies are striving towards a more sustainable future, but we are a long way away from truly eco-friendly flight travel.
Engineers at the Delft University of Technology are making strides towards a future where air travel doesn’t have to be so taxing on our environment.
The university’s aerospace engineering team is hard at work on a futuristic airplane model that could alter air travel for good.
Thanks to Dutch airliner company KLM’s contributions to the research project, the new airplane prototype is currently in production at the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft).
Most impressively, a TU Berlin student by the name of Justus Benad was the one who came up with the first prototype of the plane.
Justus was envisioning the future of aircraft design when he came up with the concept for the plane.
The plane is named after the famous Gibson flying-v electric guitar, the same guitar played by legends like Keith Richards, Jimi Hendrix and Brian May.
Researchers on board the project believe that the plane could burn as much as 20% fewer fuels during operation.
This is a significant reduction for our environment – especially considering that global aviation produces around 2.5 percent of CO2 emissions right now.
The plane could hold 314 passengers, who will be seated in the wings. Also in the wings, but hopefully in a different compartment, will reside the fuel tanks and cargo.
This September is when researchers hope to complete the first test flight of the futuristic aircraft.
It’ll still be some time before you can hop aboard the FlyingV. It’s not expected to take flight for commercial purposes until around the year 2040.
This timeline presents some issues when it comes to practicality. For one, something that uses even less fuel is likely to be invented within this time frame.
We could really use a plane that uses 20% less fuel now, but twenty years from now, we need even more if we want to sustain this planet.
Watch the video below to see more of this beautiful innovation in air travel
As incredible as it appears, there are some arguments against the possibility of this plane ever becoming a reality.
Some people argue that it would take YEARS for a university in conjunction with a company like KLM, who has never built an actual plane before, to produce brand new airplane technology. Hence, why the release date is so far out in the future.
Others say that while it’s a beautiful artistic vision, the logistics of the design don’t appear to be possible.
Interestingly, if someone from 1968 teleported into a modern airport they wouldn’t see too many changes to the planes landing and taking off.
While there have been a lot of changes to the engines, avionics, and materials used in aviation, the structure of today’s airplanes has remained largely the same.
In fact, the Boeing 737 remains one of the most successful airliners of all time, and it went up in the air for the first in 1967.
So, what do you think, will our airplanes really look this different by the year 2040?