The engineers and technologists who designed and built the giant Airbus A380 may well be proud of their accomplishments in attempting to reduce this huge aircraft's environmental impact. As their web site says "[they took] a fresh approach to its environmental impact, too. With a new wing design and composite materials accounting for 25% of its structural weight, the A380 is a much more efficient aircraft all round. And by producing only about 75g of CO2 per passenger kilometre, the A380 is contributing to the aviation industry's commitment to constraining greenhouse gas emissions."
So, a full A380 carrying 525 passengers between London and Los Angeles, a distance of 8750km, will produce 344,531,250gms of CO2. Yes that's 344 million - I'm just saying...hat's off to the marketers for using grams instead of pounds. They're European, so they can.
The site also mentions that "The A380 burns fuel per passenger at a rate comparable to that of an economical family car." All I can picture here is 525 cars driving 8750km. And what is an "economical" family car?
They go on - "There's the extra space per passenger afforded by its twin, full-length, wide-bodied cabins. The cabin air, recycled every three minutes to keep the atmosphere fresh. The natural light provided by 220 cabin windows. And while the A380 feels more natural inside, the environment outside benefits too. From the dramatically reduced external noise levels. From the lower fuel consumption and significantly improved CO2 emissions per passenger kilometre. From the increased capacity at airports and the reduced need for expansion."
I love that phrase natural light provided by 220 cabin windows because every flight that I've been on the attendants can't wait to tell the passengers to please lower your window shades as the "entertainment" i.e bad movie or TV, is about to begin. Whether you like it or not you are forced to sit in a dark stuffy tube while people with headphones on guffaw at lame jokes. Good use of "natural" though.
And this is a good one - "From the increased capacity at airports and the reduced need for expansion." The boast here is that the 'planes are so big they can deliver more folks to be packed into your airport's long lines at immigration reducing the need for the airport authorities to expand their airports. Brilliant! What a relief for those in charge of our comfort while we struggle through their over-crowded airports, they don't need to do anything but allow Airbus A380's to land.
It gets better - "Some operators might, for example, choose to seat their First and Business class passengers on the upper deck -providing a corporate jet-like environment for these clients - while configuring the A380's main deck for an all-Economy layout."
Dear Airlines, when you configure the 'planes for your fleet, why not put the great unwashed underneath with the freight and be done with it?