Thursday, December 17, 2009

Low Air Pollution Flight

Flying is great if that is your thing. Up in the sky with wings, defying gravity as freely as a bird, all the troubles of the world far beneath you, nothing but the breeze and little old you. Not quite, as it is the breeze that is question. Some of the troubles are still with you, and it is in the exhaust. With carbon air pollution becoming somewhat of a concern in the health and well being of the planet, and therefore all and sundry, there is a need to break the glass ceiling of greenhouse gases. Here is what is being done, and also another suggestion for a solution.
Currently, when you fly, you can donate money to compensate for the carbon air pollution produced. It is a choice of conscience, and not inbuilt or compulsory. It could be great if, when purchasing a ticket you are always asked if you wished to partake. Most people would if they remembered to with the reminder.
Carbon aeroplanes have been designed that are far lighter and therefore use less fuel. This is great thinking on quite a few levels and gets full marks. It is necessary for long distance travel, such as overseas.
Here is an idea. For shorter flights, such as domestic travel from city to city, or travel between countries that are very close, there could be a hire-a-glider system, almost like a taxi. The long distance planes could pull several gliders up behind it, releasing one at a time. This has several benefits. Firstly it is pollution free after lift off. Secondly it makes no noise at all, reducing noise pollution that is frequently complained about by nearby residents. And thirdly, for the airline, it is good for insurance purposes as if there is an accident, there are less casualties. Also, it is so much closer to the feeling of flying like a bird, and I am sure that they would get repeat business just on that level. I am not sure how easy it is to fly a glider, but the logistics could be worked out by the professionals. Maybe some flights could be manned, and some for people who have their own glider licence, like a motorbike or car licence. Frequent fliers could get those, and fly at a cheaper rate. Also, there may be other solutions to launching them, such as a high place or catapult mechanism. Anyway, it is a flight for the mind.

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