To Richard Branson: Credit where credit is due, for trying to make it right. May the winds of the jetstream and the winds of change fill your sails. The rest of us will be plugging in.
Virgin seeks to reduce its carbon emissions; Airline orders lighter jets from Boeing, plans to test a form of biofuel next year
David Armstrong, April 25, 2007 (San Francisco Chronicle)
Virgin Atlantic Airways/ owner Richard Branson/ Virgin Atlantic CEO Steve Ridgeway
Branson and Al Gore
Virgin will take steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. One jetliner will test biofuels and the company will add “at least” 15 fuel efficient Boeing 787 Dreamliners.
- Towing tests in March, 2007.
- Taking possession of 15 Dreamliners in 2011.
Towing tests at San Francisco International Airport, London Heathrow, London Gatwick
- Jet flight is one of the most concentrated sources of emissions.
- The Boeing Dreamline is said to use 27% less fuel than comparable jets.
- Virgin is also experimenting with having planes towed while on the runway to reduce engine use.
- The Dreamliners are more fuel efficient because they are lighter, being made from light composite plastics and metals.
- The biofuel, not yet been determined, will be developed with GE Aviation. Standard jet fuel, very like kerosene, burns with serious emissions,
- Ridgeway: "If you have this tug or tractor, rather than a plane using two, three or even four engines, you can reduce noise dramatically on the ground, and reduce emissions at and near the airport… If it can be made to work, the whole industry can adopt it.''
- Branson: "Virgin Atlantic is totally focused on delivering a cleaner airline in the air and on the ground…The 787 Dreamliner symbolizes the environmentally kinder aircraft of the future -- cleaner, quieter, lighter."