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All across the Great Western territory => Looking forward - after Coronavirus to 2045 => Topic started by: grahame on May 22, 2019, 07:55:14 am



Title: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: grahame on May 22, 2019, 07:55:14 am
From The Guardian (https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2019/may/22/could-you-give-up-flying-meet-the-no-plane-pioneers)

Quote
Growing numbers of travellers are abandoning air travel to help save the planet – even if it means spending 14 days on a train.

It has taken Roger Tyers four days to reach Moscow by train from Kiev. His destination is Beijing: a trip that will take 14 days, with a couple of overnight stops along the way. Tyers, an environmental sociologist at the University of Southampton, is on his way to China to research attitudes to the environment, the climate emergency and personal responsibility. “Given that, I thought it would be somewhat hypocritical of me to fly,” he says over Skype from his hostel room.

It has been months in the planning – he had to convince his bosses to give him a month off to travel to and from China. Has it been a pain? “It definitely has. It’s a matter of getting your train schedule in line with your visa requirements. I didn’t realise I needed a visa to travel through Mongolia, even though I’m not stopping there. There have been moments when I’ve been close to giving up and either cancelling the whole trip or just booking a flight.” But he is glad he has stuck with it, he says. “I have to prove it is possible.”


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: Clan Line on May 22, 2019, 02:28:06 pm
I bet Emma Thompson reads the Gruniad.................... ;D ;D


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: froome on May 22, 2019, 03:56:59 pm
In terms of taking personal responsibility for minimising our impact on the planet, which we should all be doing, reducing or eliminating the numbers of flights taken by those who fly frequently should be high on anyone's list of actions. I do get slightly irked by articles that tell me that a new movement has started, when there have been movements to achieve this for at least the last two decades, and people like me signed up over 20 years ago and haven't flown since. But it is encouraging to see it happening again, and perhaps this time more people will take it seriously and consider their own actions and responsibilities.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: TaplowGreen on May 22, 2019, 06:06:36 pm
I bet Emma Thompson reads the Gruniad.................... ;D ;D

No - she's too busy planting trees  ::)


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: patch38 on May 23, 2019, 10:53:39 am
I only wish not flying was a realistic option: apart from being environmentally unfriendly, it's a thoroughly uncivilized way to travel. But I can only imagine my boss's reaction if I were to tell him that my next trip to Beijing was going to take 14 days each way.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: jamestheredengine on May 23, 2019, 11:27:25 am
I only wish not flying was a realistic option: apart from being environmentally unfriendly, it's a thoroughly uncivilized way to travel. But I can only imagine my boss's reaction if I were to tell him that my next trip to Beijing was going to take 14 days each way.

And then there'd be the hassle of Belarussian and Russian visas. Going via Turkey, Iran, and the Stans would not improve anything, and gets uncomfortably close to areas the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises against travelling to.


Edit: VickiS - Clarifying Acronyms


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: welshman on May 23, 2019, 01:49:21 pm
My last flight was in 1969 - on a Cambrian Airways Vickers Viscount. 


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: patch38 on May 23, 2019, 01:59:09 pm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTQ7aMHsRGs (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTQ7aMHsRGs)

"Instead of spending days on end lying about in a sort of floating Selfridges..." ;D

If God had intended us to fly, he wouldn't have given us the railways.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: broadgage on May 23, 2019, 02:15:57 pm
My last flight was nearly 20 years ago. I do not intend to fly again.
I would like to see aviation fuel taxed to the same extent as road fuel.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: SandTEngineer on May 23, 2019, 02:20:26 pm
I've tried to work out seeing my son in Canada from here in the UK.  One day in the UK to port, fourteen days minimum each way by ship (if you can find one thats not a cruise), one day by rail to his home.  And then there is the journey back again...... ::)


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: grahame on May 23, 2019, 02:52:59 pm
I've tried to work out seeing my son in Canada from here in the UK.  One day in the UK to port, fourteen days minimum each way by ship (if you can find one thats not a cruise), one day by rail to his home.  And then there is the journey back again...... ::)

I don't know what the relative none-green value per passenger of a shortish haul flight (say Bristol to Edinburgh) is compared to a long haul (say Gatwick to Toronto), nor what the breakdown of flights made is by distance.   My (personal) approach is to reduce where I can practically any flying - which does sometimes mean taking a longer or medium distance journey in the air.   I can work at a laptop on a train and - in my personal case of the interest I have in rail future be learning too, and I find that much easier and less stressful.  But sometimes, time can be of the essence.

We're spending 3 days with my (step)son in New York later this year.  NOT flying, but it puts us out of ordinary circulation for a number of weeks;  it doesn't mean I'll be offline, but it does mean that board and lodgings along the way will be at ship rather than home prices, and clearly comes in more expensive than flying.   I can't remember my last internal flight in the UK even though I've done a lot of Scotland trips;  in Europe, a rail journey to Aarlborg was complemented by a flight back because of time constraints, and a trip to Munich some 30 months ago was a time-saver by air because of a family bereavement and I could not be away too long but had commitments. Otherwise, rail to Spain, rail to Germany, rail to Switzerland.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: Celestial on May 23, 2019, 03:06:15 pm
My last flight was nearly 20 years ago. I do not intend to fly again.
I would like to see aviation fuel taxed to the same extent as road fuel.
Air Passenger Duty does the same thing but in a different way. It also means that airlines aren't tempted (where it would be possible) to refuel for both journeys overseas where the fuel tax would be lower.

Looking at a British Airways 777(BA 777), Air Passenger Duty (APD) for a typical flight would be £30,000.  I don't know how that would compare with your wish but I suspect it's not far off.

Of course saving the planet is more than just flying less. For example, food miles are important too, that bottle of port shipped from Spain will be more damaging than a nice bottle of English sparkling water.  And the greenhouse gases belched by the cow that makes up a nice steak are very damaging too.  


  
Edit:VickiS - Clarifying abbreviations and Acronyms


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: broadgage on May 23, 2019, 03:55:58 pm
Port from SPAIN ! oh no sir, that wont do at all. Port comes from Portugal. It is imported by rail or ship, not by air and therefore should have a modest carbon footprint.
I avoid regular consumption of bottled water due to the cost and environmental harm resulting therefrom. Tap water is greener and cheaper.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: TaplowGreen on May 23, 2019, 05:20:16 pm

My last flight was nearly 20 years ago. I do not intend to fly again.


………..did the new planes not have a satisfactory buffet?  ;)


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: Timmer on May 23, 2019, 05:34:28 pm
………..did the new planes not have a satisfactory buffet?  ;)
Only a trolley  ;D


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: TonyK on May 23, 2019, 08:09:07 pm

Air Passenger Duty does the same thing but in a different way. It also means that airlines aren't tempted (where it would be possible) to refuel for both journeys overseas where the fuel tax would be lower.

That doesn't happen, except for the very limited cases where fuel isn't available at the destination.

A pilot calculates the fuel he will need by first working out how much he needs to taxy to the runway and queue for takeoff. At somewhere like Heathrow, this is not negligible. Pilots sometimes taxy on one engine only in the smaller aircraft (which leads to the noise like an angry dog hitting something - side issue) even at Bristol. Next the pilot works out how much is needed to get to the destination airport. This gets more complex with length of flight, as the predicted wind directions and speeds likely to be encountered become more unpredictable. The heaviest fuel consumption happens at takeoff and climb to altitude, mitigated by the pilot making another complex calculation involving weight, weather, wind, temperature, altitude of airfield and more, to use as much of the runway as is safe to use for the takeoff run. Some aircraft start that run weighing more than the maximum they can get off the ground with, the pilot knowing that enough fuel will be burned off before the aircraft reaches rotation speed to bring it under the line. At the other end, the aircraft must have enough fuel to divert to an alternate airfield, plus an additional 30 minutes to hold there if need be. So a flight from (for example) Rome to Bristol, about 2 hours most days, will depart with fuel for about 3 hours, to give enough to get to Cardiff, or more likely Exeter or Birmingham, in case of bad weather or airport closure. Most pilots will use their experience of the route to decide whether or not to add a bit for good luck.

Airlines do not encourage pilots to carry more than they need, because to carry fuel means using fuel, especially in that portion of the journey from tarmac to 39,000 feet (actually flight level 390, which is almost never 39,000 feet, but I digress again). It also means on extremely long flights that an extra bit of cargo, a lucrative sideline on passenger flights, especially mail, cannot be taken.

An alternative to flying there and back on one tank is to refuel en route, but then you have to bring that big bird down to ground and back up again. In my many flights, I have only had one refuelling stop. That was at Brussels on a Turkish airline (Onur) flight from Bristol to Dalaman. We also took on all the catering, so I guess there was an arrangement. My son in law often gets refuelling stops, but then he is heading to and from the Falklands. Doing it to avoid tax may be cutting off your nose to spite your face, but it could tempt airlines to land in UK with more on board than they would otherwise to enable them to buy less at our price, leading to less revenue than the taxman expected, and probably higher emissions over UK.

General aviation is different. Unless you are carrying an exceptionally heavy load (like three Coffee Shop members), you fill up to the recommended level, then take off at full power every time. The maxims are that you only have too much fuel if you are on fire, and you can use any fuel except what you left behind in the bowser. Plus you need 45 minutes' fuel in reserve as well as the diversion.

Tap water is greener and cheaper.

I have been somewhere where the tap water was a lot greener, and where I even cleaned my teeth in bottled water.

………..did the new planes not have a satisfactory buffet?  ;)
Only a trolley  ;D

Etihad have a very satisfactory service on the A380s, with one of the few airline meals that I would have enjoyed on the ground. Plus free drinks throughout, even if the flight is preceded by a travel prayer from the Holy Qur'an, played discreetly on the seat-back screens. It was in Arabic, so I can't tell you the actual form of words, except that it began Bismillah (In the name of God) which I recognised from another context.

Getting back to the very interesting question, my answer is probably not, at least not yet. I do try alternatives - taking a 9-hour train journey from New York to Canada, for example, then using Canadian railways rather than internal flights, but I had to get to New York first, and the other members of my party were too time-constrained to sail. Plus marine diesel is probably the filthiest fuel used anywhere in the world.I'm not sure which does more total harm. I have flown within Britain, though (ignoring my hobby flying for a moment) going from Bristol to Edinburgh and back most recently, for about £15 each way, which compared very favourably with rail.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: Worcester_Passenger on May 24, 2019, 07:02:21 am
I hadn't realised that I was a pioneer.

I gave up flying within Europe back in 2006, after having to fly back from Strasbourg (well, Ryanair's funny operation at Baden-Baden actually) for a funeral up in Durham. The return journey was with EasyJet and wasn't very good. We got waved off from Geneva when we were on our final approach and had to go round again for what was a hard landing. After which I decided that flying wasn't very green and that I didn't like it anyway. Since then I've always done Europe by train. I have some advantages : my other half has an uncle with a convenient flat in London, while I have an uncle with a convenient flat in south-east France. But I've done Barcelona, Santiago, Wien, Milano and Budapest quite happily. I do Ireland and the Netherlands by ferry, using the excellent RailSail offers.

Since 2006 I've done a long-haul flight to India, for which there really wasn't a serious alternative, and an Edinburgh - Schipol when I was tight for time and couldn't have got to the Harwich ferry.

Travelling by train has the advantage that you get a much better sense of geography. In the Alps, climbing up the Maurienne valley to Modane to go through the tunnel from France to Italy, even the TGV slows down. Well, it is 1 in 33 with lots of curves and only 1.5kV, so there's a 115 km/h limit (70 mile/h). Alas, that'll go when these base tunnels get opened. By comparison, all airports are pretty much alike, though some (like Geneva) are hemmed in by mountains and some are bigger than others (like Schipol, where the taxi in from where we landed took forever).

I suspect I'll try to avoid the base tunnels. When going to Germany, I tend to avoid the Koeln-Frankfurt high-speed line and go for the 'old' Rhine Gorge route instead.



Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: grahame on May 24, 2019, 08:19:29 am
Looking to get an idea of the (UK) volume of flying ... https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_busiest_airports_in_the_United_Kingdom gives passenger [journey] numbers at the 40 top UK airports ... starting with 80 million annually at Heathrow. That's compared to 94 million at Waterloo. (from the ORR data).   40th airport in the list was Alderney at 53 thousand passengers; that's one I HAVE flow to and it's small - you would need to get a long way down past the 1000th station to get to figures that low.  So many more rail journeys already that plane journeys - at least in the UK. 

Taking BRISTOL as an example - which flights could easily be replace by trains for many people? Here are the next flights out ...

Quote
Amsterdam   Klm   KL 1050   09:20   
Krakow   Ryanair   FR 7226   09:30   
Palma   easyJet   EZY 6041   10:05   
Sanford   TUI   TOM 452   10:20   
Copenhagen   easyJet   EZY 6135   10:35   
Faro   Ryanair   FR 8248   10:35   
Toulouse   easyJet   EZY 6139   10:55   
Alicante   Ryanair   FR 8286   11:10   
Edinburgh   easyJet   EZY 425   12:00   
Rome   easyJet   EZY 6185   12:10   
Knock   Ryanair   FR 8202   12:15
Guernsey   Aurigny   GR 643   12:20   
Girona   Ryanair   FR 9336   12:40   
Cork   Aer Lingus   EI 3843   12:50   
Glasgow   easyJet   EZY 403   12:50   
Nice   easyJet   EZY 6113   12:50   
Belfast Intl   easyJet   EZY 445   12:55   
Dublin   Aer Lingus   EI 3283   13:00   
Beziers   Ryanair   FR 6022   13:00   
Berlin   easyJet   EZY 6237   13:10   
Newcastle   easyJet   EZY 568   13:15   
Tenerife   Thomascook   MT 1422   13:15   
Athens   easyJet   EZY 6061   13:30   
Basel   easyJet   EZY 6085   13:45   
Amsterdam   Klm   KL 1052   13:45   
Inverness   easyJet   EZY 393   13:55
   

12 - mainland Europe
4 - UK mainland
4 - Island of Ireland
4 - Europe offshore islands
1 - USA
1 - UK offshore islands


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: grahame on May 24, 2019, 01:30:46 pm
From the BBC (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-48394297) ... not doing great things for the climate, right?

Quote
The number of flights using British skies on one day is set to reach an all-time high of 9,000 on Friday.

More than than six per minute are expected, exceeding the previous record of 8,854 set on 25 May 2018.

A bank holiday, school half-term, the Monaco Grand Prix, and Cannes Film Festival have added to the spike, air traffic controller Nats said.

The record may soon be broken again, with flights to the Champions League final in Madrid on 1 June contributing.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: eightf48544 on May 24, 2019, 03:50:39 pm
It can be done.

I know someone who will be doing UK Australia both ways by rail and ship!

Not sure which route is out

 China near Hong Kong by Trans Siberian etc. Ship to Melbourne

Australia Singapore ship then train  to china and Trans Siberian. I understand ther my be coach inviolved between Cambodia and Vietnam.
Probably take 6 weeks.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: SandTEngineer on May 24, 2019, 05:18:52 pm
It can be done.

I know someone who will be doing UK Australia both ways by rail and ship!

Not sure which route is out

 China near Hong Kong by Trans Siberian etc. Ship to Melbourne

Australia Singapore ship then train  to china and Trans Siberian. I understand ther my be coach inviolved between Cambodia and Vietnam.
Probably take 6 weeks.

Is that by cargo ship or other means?


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: patch38 on May 24, 2019, 05:21:34 pm
From the BBC (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-48394297) ... not doing great things for the climate, right?

Quote
The number of flights using British skies on one day is set to reach an all-time high of 9,000 on Friday.

More than than six per minute are expected, exceeding the previous record of 8,854 set on 25 May 2018.

A bank holiday, school half-term, the Monaco Grand Prix, and Cannes Film Festival have added to the spike, air traffic controller Nats said.

The record may soon be broken again, with flights to the Champions League final in Madrid on 1 June contributing.


The airlines put on extra flights for the Monaco GP and Cannes? That's news to me.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: stuving on May 24, 2019, 05:35:30 pm
From the BBC (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-48394297) ... not doing great things for the climate, right?

Quote
The number of flights using British skies on one day is set to reach an all-time high of 9,000 on Friday.

More than than six per minute are expected, exceeding the previous record of 8,854 set on 25 May 2018.

A bank holiday, school half-term, the Monaco Grand Prix, and Cannes Film Festival have added to the spike, air traffic controller Nats said.

The record may soon be broken again, with flights to the Champions League final in Madrid on 1 June contributing.


The airlines put on extra flights for the Monaco GP and Cannes? That's news to me.

I'm not sure that's a valid inference.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: patch38 on May 24, 2019, 06:43:33 pm
The number of people flying may increase but aren't the number of commercial flights relatively constant? Or do the figures include things like private jet charters, which will definitely increase the number of flights to NCE and environs at this time of year?


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: Robin Summerhill on May 24, 2019, 08:08:00 pm
I am old enough to remember the days when the only people who could afford to fly were the filthy rich. And the problem is that if a government should seek to restrict flying options by using taxation, those days could easily return. It’s an example of the Law of Unintended Consequences.

When I was a kid nobody I knew had ever flown anywhere, and I’d hazard a guess that at least the vast majority of those people didn’t know anyone who had flown either. Most of ‘em wouldn’t even have left the country. That’s how it was in those days (and I’m not talking ancient history here, I’m talking the 1950s and 1960s).

I had an aunt by marriage whose sister had married a GI during World War 2 (WW2) and went to live in the USA. Aunt went over two or three times in 15 or so years, and that meant getting herself to a port (Southampton I think), then a liner to New York and presumably a train or Greyhound bus from there to wherever it was in Ohio she was going. When she went she was gone for a couple of months. This of course was in the days when men worked and women stayed home as housekeepers so that was how she managed to do it. Her husband never went with her because at best it would have meant weeks of unpaid leave after he’d used up his annual fortnight’s holiday, and the family couldn’t have afforded that. That was the way things were. Do you want to see those days come back?

But that was then and this is now. The world has moved on, and aviation has done more than any other form of transport to turn the planet into a global village. Ordinary people, whose grandparents may have considered the Isle of Wight to be “abroad,” now have the opportunity to visit and see other parts of the world that their ancestors wouldn’t even have dreamt about. The cat is out of the bag; the can of worms has been opened, and it would be a brave politician indeed who advocated policies to try to put them back in.

But why stop at aviation? This is a railway-related forum, so it is worth bearing in mind that the railways did much the same thing getting on now for 200 years ago. Our ancestors from not many generations ago rarely went more than 10 miles from the place they were born in their lifetimes. The railways made mass transit possible, and brought new horizons to people who previously had to walk or use a horse. Perhaps in our quest to “save the planet” we should restrict the use of railways as well, and indeed the tarmaced roads that came along 100 years later and continued the process. What do you think about that? Perhaps you think I’m being daft?

Now don’t get me wrong – I have as good green credentials as the rest of them, but I do believe in looking at the practicalities. What we have done – globally – is to make all forms of transport more energy efficient, and what we should be doing (and still are) is to continue with that process. What we should not be doing is trying to attack one particular element of the transportation industry with a “hair shirt” policy which would severely restrict the actions of large swathes of the global population, whilst at the same time simply tut-tutting at the parents who take little Johnny the 800 yards to school in a Chelsea Tractor because its “not safe” for the little dear to walk it like we had to when we were kids.

Oh – and by the way – I’ll take no lectures from a millionaire actress who flies from LA to London to take part in a climate change protest and then flies back again. I presume those flights were in first class… If they were, that rather supports the point I made at the top of this post.

Rant over  ;D



Edit:VickiS - Clarifying acronyms


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: Bmblbzzz on May 24, 2019, 08:47:12 pm
I am old enough to remember the days when the only people who could afford to fly were the filthy rich. And the problem is that if a government should seek to restrict flying options by using taxation, those days could easily return. It’s an example of the Law of Unintended Consequences.
Would it be unintended? If you want to reduce the number of people flying, there are only really three effective ways to do it: make it unaffordable, ration it or ban it. Persuasion is not effective in things like this. None of them palatable. Not doing anything also unpalatable. So we'll probably have a lot of talk about how to find the least unpalatable option and then talks about the talks and other talks about how to define palatability...

I do agree about the social and cultural benefits of travel, mostly.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: grahame on May 24, 2019, 11:17:37 pm
If you want to reduce the number of people flying, there are only really three effective ways to do it: make it unaffordable, ration it or ban it.

Stick, stick, stick.

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/horizcarrot.jpg)

How about making public (train) transport travel cheaper over long distance, easy to find out about, plan, book, use, and with much more space on trains making them a pleasure.  Add a section in each train where you can walk up and buy a decent cup of coffee, perhaps even a bacon bap, and chat with a real staff member who doubles up as a safety and customer host.  Seats / carriages where you can lay down and sleep. High speed [too/two]. Ease personal movement to that you can remove intermediate paperwork and admin. Come into the city centres and include "total journey" in the fare - suburban train and bus to get you to where you really need to be.

You may still want to gently apply the sticks, but do add the carrot alternative!

Realistically, you will not remove all the very long distance (intercontinental) air stuff.  But the British Isles / France / Belgium / Netherlands / Germany short hauls ...


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: MVR S&T on May 25, 2019, 12:02:20 am
Well, as the oil will slowly run out, so our abilty to fly wil be reduced at an afordable price, and as we are due an ice age, global warming may stop that,.
And as for transport in the Uk we have  very much coal for our steam trains of the future!
Mother nature always likes to balance out the climate, over a cold winter to the next being warmer, through to millions of years timescales, the planet wil go on, just perhaps not us humans.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: grahame on May 25, 2019, 11:16:41 am
This British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) link ... https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/48217969 ... suggests how to best travel overland to Baku for the Europa League Cup final on 29th May.   Oh - you needed to set off yesterday (24th) ...


Edit:VickiS - Clarifying abbreviation


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: Bmblbzzz on May 25, 2019, 11:27:50 am
Yes, carrots are good. But they are different from sticks. I was really concentrating on the idea of unintended consequences: that if you intend to raise taxes on aviation in order to reduce numbers flying, that's going to mean a mechanism of higher prices. Therefore, the unaffordability is not unintended. (I suppose you could construct an economic model in which airlines absorb the higher costs and as a result either have to cut routes, concentrate on a smaller number of first class passengers, or go bust.)

Coming back to carrots, yes you could make long distance train travel more attractive, but that would tend to increase train travel rather than reduce air travel. Modal growth usually outpaces modal shift. Flying is a good example: the numbers of people flying to America or Australia now far exceed the numbers who went by ship a hundred years ago.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: Lee on May 25, 2019, 12:04:46 pm
But then doesnt population in general far exceed the numbers of hundred years ago, and arent there more choices and options available for a wider range of that overall population than there were back then?


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: Red Squirrel on May 25, 2019, 12:34:02 pm
Well, as the oil will slowly run out...

That's not considered an issue these days, is it? There are now more than enough known reserves of fossil fuels to ensure that, if they are all burnt, the earth will heat up beyond the point where humans can live here...


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: broadgage on May 25, 2019, 12:40:33 pm
Re post #24, I can not agree with many of the points raised.
Air transport is a major source of carbon emissions and will have to be substantially reduced if we are serious about climate change.
Air transport is inherently and unavoidably highly polluting. Aircraft are almost entirely fossil fuel powered and alternatives seem most improbable. Aircraft are already nearly as efficient as is possible.

Therefore air transport must be discouraged, and this means increasing the price such that most people can no longer afford to fly much.
If someone chooses to emigrate to Australia or similarly distant place, it should mean accepting that their families from Europe wont be able to visit regularly, or even at all.
If a sporting event in which UK teams are competing is arranged in a distant place not readily reached by surface transport, then it must be accepted that most fans wont be able to watch it in person but will be reliant on television coverage.

Comparisons with other forms of transport are not entirely valid.
Railways can be electrified.
Local road transport can be electric.
Ships and boats can be electric or sail powered.
The electricity can be produced renewably.

An electric aircraft seems most unlikely to have intercontinental range.

I would not abolish surfaced roads, but I am opposed to any more road building or road widening, except when unavoidable to serve new developments.

Diesel buses and trains are preferable to private cars, but I would prefer to see these electrified, starting with the busiest routes. Overhead electrification is almost certainly the way forward, with batteries being an alternatives for some situations.

And yes I DO practice what I preach !
I do not fly, and have not flown for nearly 20 years.
I do not drive.
I heat my home largely with locally produced firewood.
I minimise electricity consumption, and much of what I do use is off peak.
I use no natural gas, and almost no coal or oil.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: Robin Summerhill on May 25, 2019, 01:02:43 pm
Quote from: Bmblbzzz
I was really concentrating on the idea of unintended consequences: that if you intend to raise taxes on aviation in order to reduce numbers flying, that's going to mean a mechanism of higher prices. Therefore, the unaffordability is not unintended.

So perhaps I should clarify what I was getting at.

Indirect taxation (which is what a "flying tax" would be) is regressive, inasmuch as it will be a higher proportion of annual income for poorer people than richer people. Therefore it would probably not stop rich people flying at all, but it could well stop poorer people from doing the same. Whilst I agree that that could be foreseen, I am not sure that any political party anywhere in the world would get themselves elected on a "let the rich fly, let the poor go to hell" ticket. Therefore, from a political point of view, the idea wouldn't get off the ground (no pun intended... :) )

However, contained within my rant of yesterday were two important points. The first is that it seems rather odd to have a fixation on air  travel when immeasurably more damage is done by land transport, especially road traffic. Perhaps its because everybody uses the roads but a smaller proportion fly? Perhaps the superficial appearance of the "problem" in the UK is that this is a relatively small island and domestic flights have never really "caught on" in a big way, unlike for example in the USA where the vast distances often involved in travel put a completely different light on the matter?

If we are sincere in wanting to take drastic action against pollution and carbon emissions from transportation, then we need to address the lot. That includes you giving up your car; living within walking distance of your job; and not expecting a clock-face railway or bus timetables because some of them would carry an uneconomic load of passengers. Somehow I can't see any of that happening, because it would be political suicide for any government to do it.

The second point was that, given the above, we need to find more efficient and less polluting ways of moving people around. And we have been doing it for many years - cars have become much more fuel efficient since the 1970s and electric cars are now with us; railways have been electrified allowing them (in theory at least and certainly in time) to run on electricity produced from non-polluting sources (eg wind and solar power, and nuclear once we work out what to do with the waste...), and aircraft are much more fuel efficient than they were in years gone by. There have also been prototype electric planes built, and whilst there is still much work to do to make those into a commercial proposition, it might not take much time - bear in mind that the period of time between the Wright Brothers first bumpy ride in 1903 and the first commercial aircraft entering service in 1914 (just for clarification that was an aeroplane rather than an airship) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airline#The_first_airlines


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: Bmblbzzz on May 25, 2019, 02:26:10 pm
Quote from: Bmblbzzz
I was really concentrating on the idea of unintended consequences: that if you intend to raise taxes on aviation in order to reduce numbers flying, that's going to mean a mechanism of higher prices. Therefore, the unaffordability is not unintended.

So perhaps I should clarify what I was getting at.

Indirect taxation (which is what a "flying tax" would be) is regressive, inasmuch as it will be a higher proportion of annual income for poorer people than richer people. Therefore it would probably not stop rich people flying at all, but it could well stop poorer people from doing the same. Whilst I agree that that could be foreseen, I am not sure that any political party anywhere in the world would get themselves elected on a "let the rich fly, let the poor go to hell" ticket. Therefore, from a political point of view, the idea wouldn't get off the ground (no pun intended... :) )
I think we're both saying this.  :)


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: broadgage on May 25, 2019, 02:34:24 pm

Stick, stick, stick.

How about making public (train) transport travel cheaper over long distance, easy to find out about, plan, book, use, and with much more space on trains making them a pleasure.  Add a section in each train where you can walk up and buy a decent cup of coffee, perhaps even a bacon bap, and chat with a real staff member who doubles up as a safety and customer host.  Seats / carriages where you can lay down and sleep. High speed [too/two]. Ease personal movement to that you can remove intermediate paperwork and admin. Come into the city centres and include "total journey" in the fare - suburban train and bus to get you to where you really need to be.

You may still want to gently apply the sticks, but do add the carrot alternative!

Realistically, you will not remove all the very long distance (intercontinental) air stuff.  But the British Isles / France / Belgium / Netherlands / Germany short hauls ...

The first part of that sounds almost like a broadgage anti-IET post :)



Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: grahame on May 25, 2019, 03:11:07 pm
The first part of that sounds almost like a broadgage anti-IET post :)

You surprise me  ;D - that was entirely intentional.

But it was not written as anti anything - it was written as pro a system of long distance trains (journey times in excess of 150 minutes for most passengers) which stand up well against air travel.  Looking at trains that reach our Somerset / Devon / Bristol passengers, such services are probably the ones that would go to Newcastle and Scotland, and perhaps new direct services to Holyhead, Paris, and Frankfurt and Amsterdam via Brussels


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: TaplowGreen on May 25, 2019, 04:13:28 pm
Re post #24, I can not agree with many of the points raised.
Air transport is a major source of carbon emissions and will have to be substantially reduced if we are serious about climate change.
Air transport is inherently and unavoidably highly polluting. Aircraft are almost entirely fossil fuel powered and alternatives seem most improbable. Aircraft are already nearly as efficient as is possible.

Therefore air transport must be discouraged, and this means increasing the price such that most people can no longer afford to fly much.
If someone chooses to emigrate to Australia or similarly distant place, it should mean accepting that their families from Europe wont be able to visit regularly, or even at all.
If a sporting event in which UK teams are competing is arranged in a distant place not readily reached by surface transport, then it must be accepted that most fans wont be able to watch it in person but will be reliant on television coverage.

Comparisons with other forms of transport are not entirely valid.
Railways can be electrified.
Local road transport can be electric.
Ships and boats can be electric or sail powered.
The electricity can be produced renewably.

An electric aircraft seems most unlikely to have intercontinental range.

I would not abolish surfaced roads, but I am opposed to any more road building or road widening, except when unavoidable to serve new developments.

Diesel buses and trains are preferable to private cars, but I would prefer to see these electrified, starting with the busiest routes. Overhead electrification is almost certainly the way forward, with batteries being an alternatives for some situations.

And yes I DO practice what I preach !
I do not fly, and have not flown for nearly 20 years.
I do not drive.
I heat my home largely with locally produced firewood.
I minimise electricity consumption, and much of what I do use is off peak.
I use no natural gas, and almost no coal or oil.

Given your status as a shining example of environmental friendliness and paragon of virtue in general for us all to aspire to broadgage, presumably you'll be giving up steaks on the Pullman too?  :)

https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/cow-emissions-more-damaging-to-planet-than-co2-from-cars-427843.html


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: broadgage on May 25, 2019, 04:45:57 pm
No I will not be giving up fillet steak, on the train or elsewhere.
I try to purchase free range and locally produced meat, which is less bad than intensively produced meat that has been transported from distant places.
I try to be reasonably green and suspect that a single flight does more harm than hundreds or even thousands of steaks.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: Robin Summerhill on May 25, 2019, 04:55:52 pm
Quote from: broadgage

Therefore air transport must be discouraged, and this means increasing the price such that most people can no longer afford to fly much.
If someone chooses to emigrate to Australia or similarly distant place, it should mean accepting that their families from Europe wont be able to visit regularly, or even at all.
If a sporting event in which UK teams are competing is arranged in a distant place not readily reached by surface transport, then it must be accepted that most fans wont be able to watch it in person but will be reliant on television coverage.

A word of advice - don't stand for any political elections on a ticket like that. You'll lose your deposit... ;)


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: TaplowGreen on May 25, 2019, 05:05:28 pm
No I will not be giving up fillet steak, on the train or elsewhere.

I try to be reasonably green and suspect that a single flight does more harm than hundreds or even thousands of steaks.


As per the article Livestock are responsible for 18 per cent of the greenhouse gases that cause global warming, more than cars, planes and all other forms of transport put together.

- I believe the Pullman offers a vegetarian option?  ;)



Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: broadgage on May 25, 2019, 05:09:38 pm
I know, and have no intention of standing for any p0litical office.

On a more general note, I believe that devastating climate change is probably unavoidable. ALMOST ANY effective action to reduce carbon emissions is a vote loser.

Fossil fuel, whether used for air transport, or road transport, or for domestic heating, needs to be rendered unaffordable. Whom will vote for that !


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: Robin Summerhill on May 26, 2019, 12:08:00 am
Quote from: broadgage

And yes I DO practice what I preach !

...I heat my home largely with locally produced firewood.

Erm...

Burning wood is not exactly "green"... A combination of the particulates from a wood burning stove and smoking all her life saw my mother off at 77 with emphysema.

https://www.google.co.uk/search?source=hp&ei=1cjpXJCWIM3TsAec26ioDw&q=wood+burning+stoves+pollution&oq=wood+burning+stoves+&gs_l=psy-ab.1.1.0l10.1297.10100..14219...0.0..0.118.1289.20j1......0....1..gws-wiz.....0..0i131.VihreR4J5h8


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: eightonedee on May 26, 2019, 10:08:37 am
Quote
Burning wood is not exactly "green"... A combination of the particulates from a wood burning stove and smoking all her life saw my mother off at 77 with emphysema.

And to  be carbon neutral Broadgage would need to grow an equivalent mass of wood to the mass he has just burnt


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: grahame on May 26, 2019, 10:13:43 am
Quote
Burning wood is not exactly "green"... A combination of the particulates from a wood burning stove and smoking all her life saw my mother off at 77 with emphysema.

And to  be carbon neutral Broadgage would need to grow an equivalent mass of wood to the mass he has just burnt

But forest fires are a part of nature ... and if that's dead wood that might naturally have burned, cleared as "brush" ... or of it's clearance (out of nesting season of course) from West Somerset Railway or Network Rail land ... then far better to have it in a fire grate than heating the countryside?


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: eightonedee on May 26, 2019, 10:29:51 am
Quote
But forest fires are a part of nature ... and if that's dead wood that might naturally have burned, cleared as "brush" ... or of it's clearance (out of nesting season of course) from West Somerset Railway or Network Rail land ... then far better to have it in a fire grate than heating the countryside?

It all has to go back into the atmosphere! "Natural" fire is part of a system that starts a cycle of regeneration by vegetative succession back to woodland, assuming no intervening event such as clearance for agriculture or other human use, or grazing by animals preventing regeneration.

Does Broadgage insist that his firewood suppliers have a replanting regime that ensures full replacement of timber by replanting (a commitment that has to be longer than for a working lifetime!)?


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: broadgage on May 26, 2019, 10:55:46 am
Most of my last delivery of fire wood was from large oak trees that were cut for building timber. I purchased all the small or odd shaped pieces that were unsuitable for construction.
A previous delivery was trees cut on the WSR and sold as firewood to raise money.
Other sources include a local wood that is managed to produce building timber, with fire wood as a by product.

The burning of logs in a modern stove that is used sensibly should produce very little smoke or particulates, certainly far less than the burning of the wood on a bonfire or in a forest fire.
If significant particulates result INDOORS then this indicates that the stove, or the flue are grossly defective or improperly used.

Sustainably sourced fire wood is virtually zero carbon since the carbon dioxide released during combustion is only that which was recently absorbed by the trees when growing.
My logs are delivered in a diesel burning pickup truck, but come from only a few miles away so the carbon emissions are modest. I would prefer that the supplier used an electric vehicle or wood burning vehicle but am not in a position to dictate this.
A petrol driven chainsaw is no doubt also used.
If the carbon emissions from cutting and delivering fire wood are to be counted (and arguably they should be) then the indirect emissions from say diesel fuel or natural gas should also be included. Not just the fuel delivered, but also that used in transporting, refining, storing and processing before it reaches the end user.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: eightf48544 on May 27, 2019, 12:02:03 pm
It can be done.

I know someone who will be doing UK Australia both ways by rail and ship!

Not sure which route is out

 China near Hong Kong by Trans Siberian etc. Ship to Melbourne

Australia Singapore ship then train  to china and Trans Siberian. I understand ther my be coach inviolved between Cambodia and Vietnam.
Probably take 6 weeks.

Is that by cargo ship or other means?

Yes Cargo ships I believe through a French shipping agent.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: Celestial on May 27, 2019, 12:21:59 pm
Digressing slightly, one of my pet niggles is the number of posh hotel rooms that have their mini-bars running all the time, when I expect the majority of people don't use them, so it is mostly wasted energy.  Add that up all over the world, and I expect it is quite a lot.



Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: grahame on May 27, 2019, 01:25:56 pm
Digressing slightly, one of my pet niggles is the number of posh hotel rooms that have their mini-bars running all the time, when I expect the majority of people don't use them, so it is mostly wasted energy.  Add that up all over the world, and I expect it is quite a lot.

The whole business of hotel wastage ... from food that's out on the breakfast buffet but not eaten and chucked, through to beds that are routinely changed at a frequency far in excess of what most guests do at home or want, with the resultant washing ... and (yes) keeping minibars ticking over and perhaps rooms heated in preparation for walk-ins who may not walk in.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: patch38 on May 27, 2019, 05:11:33 pm
Digressing slightly, one of my pet niggles is the number of posh hotel rooms that have their mini-bars running all the time, when I expect the majority of people don't use them, so it is mostly wasted energy.  Add that up all over the world, and I expect it is quite a lot.



I agree. And I also reserve special bile for those mini-bars that charge you automatically if you pick something up or, worse, just knock it slightly. Many is the time that I have had heated discussions at check-out over this.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: TonyK on May 27, 2019, 05:54:15 pm
Digressing slightly, one of my pet niggles is the number of posh hotel rooms that have their mini-bars running all the time, when I expect the majority of people don't use them, so it is mostly wasted energy.  Add that up all over the world, and I expect it is quite a lot.

I always use the minibar, to keep my eye drops cool.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: broadgage on May 27, 2019, 06:48:15 pm
Digressing slightly, one of my pet niggles is the number of posh hotel rooms that have their mini-bars running all the time, when I expect the majority of people don't use them, so it is mostly wasted energy.  Add that up all over the world, and I expect it is quite a lot.



Agree, and the waste may be even worse than at first appears.
The fridges used in hotel rooms are often of the absorption type rather than the more efficient compressor type. This being due to least first cost and sometimes alleged silent operation.
The small mini-bar fridge in an hotel room may well be using more electricity than a modern full sized fridge in your home.
If the hotel is air conditioned, then EVEN MORE electricity will be used by the air conditioning as it works harder to remove the heat from the fridges.

The trouble is that the cost per room, per day is not that great and most hotel managers cant comprehend the wider or long term picture.

Average loading of an hotel mini-bar-----------------125 watts.
Consumption per 24 hour day------------------------- 3Kwh.
Cost per day at typical UK electricity price----------- About 50 pence.

To me, that is approaching £200 a year, per room. A significant sum.
Many thousands of pounds a year for a medium size hotel.
To the average hotel manager it is "a few pence a day" and not worth worrying about.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: Timmer on May 27, 2019, 09:33:53 pm
Does anyone actually ever buy anything from a minibar? They must do or hotels wouldn’t bother with them.

€3 for a small bar of Dairy Milk*
£4 for a glass bottle of water, sorry I meant mineral water. Must get it right. ‘Rehydrate yourself’ it says on the card around the neck of the bottle whilst dehydrating your wallet.

*other chocolate bars are available.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: Celestial on May 27, 2019, 09:41:23 pm
Does anyone actually ever buy anything from a minibar? They must do or hotels wouldn’t bother with them.


I've often wondered that. I think part of it is that it is seen as part of the service if you are a top notch hotel chain. And it is useful to put your own drinks, choccie bars or even eye drops in, but I'm not sure that as we become more aware of the environment cost that is a good enough reason to keep them on 24/7.   


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: broadgage on May 28, 2019, 11:20:36 am
At a running cost of 50 pence a day for electricity, perhaps twice that in an air conditioned room, even limited sales would be profitable.
A bottle of water or beer or a soft drink might cost in bulk under one pound but sell for four pounds, a profit of at least three pounds.
Therefore an average of one sale per mini-bar, per week would roughly break even.

Nothing would be made from empty rooms of course in which all those fridges are consuming energy to no useful purpose whatsoever.

The hospitality industry in general, not just hotels, tends to be very wasteful of energy.
A great many managers are simply unable to understand the figures.
Take as example a 60 watt light bulb, used in huge numbers despite the availability of more efficient alternatives.
They cost about a penny an hour to run, an amount regarded as insignificant by most managers. With long hour use, that one penny an hour can become £50 a year PER LAMP.
Yet many businesses state that they "cant afford" low energy lamps, yet presumably have no trouble affording the electricity wasted by continued use of obsolete lamps.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: Bmblbzzz on May 28, 2019, 11:51:30 am
I am not an accountant, so it's easy for me to blame this on the artificial division between capex and opex. If I were an accountant, I would see that this is a reflection of a real distinction. And if I were a hotel manager, I don't know what I would see (perhaps Grahame can say something on this?).


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: grahame on May 28, 2019, 12:23:18 pm
(perhaps Grahame can say something on this?).

I have been very tempted.

"Customer comes first" - the hotel business is competitive and you need to look after your guests. Each and every guest no matter what their view on climate change, peak oil, clean air, Brexit and whether they support City or Rovers.

We provided mini-fridges.  Hideous things and probably less efficient even than a steam engine. But at major refurbish time, capital budget was key to getting "done" and getting open.   

We took an early decision to keep our invoicing / charging simple and very unusually had a "no extra charges" policy - that meant no phones in the room (and that saved considerable capital setup) with people who didn't have their own mobiles able to make calls - for which we did not charge and asked them to be reasonably frugal - on the house phone.  That "no extras" also meant that we provided only bottled water in the mini fridges; their main use being to keep guest's drinks, medicines, food cold. We are 2 doors up from a Spar shop (Spa Road Spar!) and they have a much wider selection than we could possibly offer - and saved us the nightmare of checking, rotating stock, changing invoices on the morning of departure, etc.  We also used to ask people not to "sneak" their takeaway past reception - carry it in proudly, and borrow plates / knives / forks / glasses from the breakfast room - eat it there or in your room.  But please - don't sneak it in, eat it with a plastic fork which breaks and spills it on the bedding!

Not sure if that addresses the question ... but you get our drift.  Note, though, that we were not the usual hotel.   The model did work for us, though, especially for business travellers.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: broadgage on June 07, 2019, 04:43:08 pm
Does anyone actually ever buy anything from a minibar? They must do or hotels wouldn’t bother with them.


I've often wondered that. I think part of it is that it is seen as part of the service if you are a top notch hotel chain. And it is useful to put your own drinks, choccie bars or even eye drops in, but I'm not sure that as we become more aware of the environment cost that is a good enough reason to keep them on 24/7.   

"top notch" indeed ! I can remember when the provision of a small self service fridge with a limited choice was criticised and regarded as a backward move by formerly good hotels whom now wished to avoid providing proper 24/7 room service.

"24 hour mini bar service in every room" often means that they no longer provide proper room service.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: Celestial on June 07, 2019, 05:08:35 pm
Does anyone actually ever buy anything from a minibar? They must do or hotels wouldn’t bother with them.


I've often wondered that. I think part of it is that it is seen as part of the service if you are a top notch hotel chain. And it is useful to put your own drinks, choccie bars or even eye drops in, but I'm not sure that as we become more aware of the environment cost that is a good enough reason to keep them on 24/7.   

"top notch" indeed ! I can remember when the provision of a small self service fridge with a limited choice was criticised and regarded as a backward move by formerly good hotels whom now wished to avoid providing proper 24/7 room service.

"24 hour mini bar service in every room" often means that they no longer provide proper room service.

Well that's not my experience, although it depends on what you call top-notch.  I've stayed at many of the leading brands over the last year (eg Hilton, Marriott), and they all offered room service, which, like the minibars, I didn't use at any of them.  I didn't notice the service at the Premier Inn or Travelodges that I've stayed at though, so I think there's a budget and standard to appeal to all types of customer. You pays your money and takes your choice.   


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: broadgage on October 17, 2019, 11:29:29 pm
To revive this talk of hotel minibars, fridges and related matters.
An old friend recently stayed in a privately run small hotel and was impressed with the alternative to in-room minibars and the energy use thereof.
In the residents lounge was a large high efficiency glass fronted fridge containing a selection of soft drinks and alcoholic refreshment. Guests were invited to help themselves and pay for it the next morning. CCTV discouraged misuse.
The prices were the same as those charged in the bar.

This worked well, and was much appreciated by two guests returning very thirsty, just after the pubs shut.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: IndustryInsider on October 18, 2019, 05:59:46 am
I’ve stayed in a couple of small hotels over the years with an identical ‘honesty base’ arrangement to that.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: grahame on October 18, 2019, 06:11:41 am
I’ve stayed in a couple of small hotels over the years with an identical ‘honesty base’ arrangement to that.

You trust your guests ... and in 99% of cases the guests will trust you.  We did this I'm multiple areas (not just soft drinks)n and I can recall just two occasions in 10 years we were 'taken'. Which cost us a darned sight less than (for example) having a phone system into each room rather than an 'open' house phone.  All bar two staff members were equally trustworthy (they were each just with us a short time only) ...


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: johnneyw on October 18, 2019, 07:35:13 am
Well, that's a cheery few examples to start the day with. The honesty box at the "shop" in the garden where my brother works has by and large worked successfully for years. Mind you, that is in rural south Devon. I'm not sure that business model would work as well in all locations.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: TonyK on October 18, 2019, 09:48:46 am
Well, that's a cheery few examples to start the day with. The honesty box at the "shop" in the garden where my brother works has by and large worked successfully for years. Mind you, that is in rural south Devon. I'm not sure that business model would work as well in all locations.

I love honesty boxes. I have amassed quite a collection over the years.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: eightf48544 on October 18, 2019, 10:20:11 am
It can be done.

I know someone who will be doing UK Australia both ways by rail and ship!

Not sure which route is out

 China near Hong Kong by Trans Siberian etc. Ship to Melbourne

Australia Singapore ship then train  to china and Trans Siberian. I understand ther my be coach inviolved between Cambodia and Vietnam.
Probably take 6 weeks.

Is that by cargo ship or other means?

Yes Cargo ships I believe through a French shipping agent.
He's successfully arrived in Australia, travelling by train around country. He will be back in the New Year will post how he gets on.



Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: TonyK on October 18, 2019, 09:36:48 pm
I've tried to work out seeing my son in Canada from here in the UK.  One day in the UK to port, fourteen days minimum each way by ship (if you can find one thats not a cruise), one day by rail to his home.  And then there is the journey back again...... ::)

Reading back through this thread, there is a way of flying to Canada that could illustrate why taxation isn't always successful. The first time I went there, I travelled by Icelandair because it was cheaper, but also because we fancied a few days in Iceland on the way back. An unexpected result was that we didn't pay the long-haul flight tax, because Keflavik is short-haul, and Iceland doesn't have such a tax.the saving was significant. If the UK goes it alone and increases airline taxes further, more people will actively seek such arrangements, whilst the entire population of London and the south east will start their journeys to the far east by Eurostar to a French or Belgian airport.

Biofuels for aviation are a bit of a gimmick, and electric planes are some way off, but aircraft have become steadily more efficient and less polluting over the years. Continuing that trend is likely to achieve more in reality than asking people not to fly anywhere.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: MVR S&T on October 18, 2019, 11:50:36 pm
Yes I could and have given up flying, proably due to watching too many aircrash investigation programs, and being in the aviation industry for 30 years, though,the industry has it's bad days somtimes, i dont think there are any more saftey issues, than UK railways. a good track record for both.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: ellendune on October 19, 2019, 09:07:07 am
whilst the entire population of London and the south east will start their journeys to the far east by Eurostar to a French or Belgian airport.

That would please those who don't want Heathrow expansion - London Brussels Airport anyone?


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: broadgage on October 19, 2019, 09:30:48 am
I agree that flying has a good safety record, I avoid it for environmental reasons not for fear of accidents.

Biofuels for aircraft seem most unlikely, apart from technical issues, the amount of farm land that would be required to produce the volumes of biofuels looks infeasible.

Electric aircraft are a possibility for short hops to otherwise inaccessible islands and the like, it seems unlikely that batteries will ever have sufficient energy density to cross major oceans.

Jet engines are now a mature technology and significant improvements in fuel economy seem unlikely.

Therefore the only way to significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions from flying is to fly less, and preferably not at all.
Similar arguments apply to road transport, though at least electric road vehicles are a lot more viable than electric flight.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: stuving on October 19, 2019, 10:36:07 am
I agree that flying has a good safety record, I avoid it for environmental reasons not for fear of accidents.

Biofuels for aircraft seem most unlikely, apart from technical issues, the amount of farm land that would be required to produce the volumes of biofuels looks infeasible.

Electric aircraft are a possibility for short hops to otherwise inaccessible islands and the like, it seems unlikely that batteries will ever have sufficient energy density to cross major oceans.

Jet engines are now a mature technology and significant improvements in fuel economy seem unlikely.

Therefore the only way to significantly reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from flying is to fly less, and preferably not at all.
Similar arguments apply to road transport, though at least electric road vehicles are a lot more viable than electric flight.

There are some other possibilities, and one getting a lot of work is sunbeams+CO2=fuel. Mostly it involves making hydrogen first, with a further step (or steps) of reducing the carbon in CO2 to suitable hydrocarbons. Currently inefficient, and messy, thus expensive - but let a load of chemists loose on a problem to play hunt-the-catalyst and those usually improve quite fast. (Scientific paper example here (https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms15174).)

Edit:VickiS - Clarifying Acronyms


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: eightonedee on October 19, 2019, 01:49:57 pm
Quote
but let a load of chemists loose on a problem to play hunt-the-catalyst and those usually improve quite fast. (Scientific paper example here.)

...and that, Extinction Rebellion will be how we will square the circle about protecting the environment while not devastating our standard of living/driving the least privileged in the world into starvation, not by gluing ourselves to the roofs of tube trains!


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: TonyK on October 19, 2019, 02:12:05 pm
Yes I could and have given up flying, probably due to watching too many aircrash investigation programs, and being in the aviation industry for 30 years, though,the industry has it's bad days somtimes, i dont think there are any more saftey issues, than UK railways. a good track record for both.

Nervous first time flyer: "Do these crash often?"
Smiling stewardess: "No, sir. Just the once."


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: broadgage on October 19, 2019, 11:56:19 pm
Yes I could and have given up flying, probably due to watching too many aircrash investigation programs, and being in the aviation industry for 30 years, though,the industry has it's bad days somtimes, i dont think there are any more saftey issues, than UK railways. a good track record for both.

Nervous first time flyer: "Do these crash often?"
Smiling stewardess: "No, sir. Just the once."

Reminds me of some old jokes with which the younger generation may not be familiar.

1) Q is a parachute essential equipment for sky diving ?
     A no, it only essential for sky diving more than once.

2) A trainee flyer in the Royal Air Force (RAF) is being issued all his kit. "6 of these, 3 of those, one of these things, sign here, sign there.
    Parachute mark 29, version 12." "We have had a few problems with these, but don't worry, if it does not work, just bring it back and ask for a new one!"

3) A new pilot is saying goodbye to his nervous mother before making his first solo flight. She says "Now promise me dear, don't go too high up, and don't go too fast"
(for those unfamiliar with flying machines, two of the greatest risks are flying too low and hitting hills, trees, or tall buildings, or flying too slowly resulting in the aeroplane stalling and plummeting. Remember the 12th commandment "keep up thy airspeed, lest the ground riseth up and smites thee".


Edit: VickiS - Clarifying abbreviation


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: Rhydgaled on October 19, 2019, 11:58:11 pm
There are some other possibilities, and one getting a lot of work is sunbeams+CO2=fuel. Mostly it involves making hydrogen first, with a further step (or steps) of reducing the carbon in CO2 to suitable hydrocarbons. Currently inefficient, and messy, thus expensive - but let a load of chemists loose on a problem to play hunt-the-catalyst and those usually improve quite fast. (Scientific paper example here (https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms15174).)
Simplifying so I can check if I've understood correctly, the proposal is to take CO2 from the air and turn it into fuel which is then burnt, releasing that CO2 back into the air? Sounds similar to biofuels in that it avoids releasing carbon that is currently 'locked in' as fossil fuels, but using a man-made process instead of photosynthesis. Better than burning fossil fuels of course but energy is still required to make the fuel (biofuel normally also involves energy to dry out the plant matter before it is used as fuel). As far as aviation is concerned though there is altitude to consider, for some reason water vapour from hydrogen-powered ground vehicles is not an issue but released from a plane at altitude it would be a significant greenhouse gas.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: broadgage on October 20, 2019, 12:11:34 am
There are some other possibilities, and one getting a lot of work is sunbeams+CO2=fuel. Mostly it involves making hydrogen first, with a further step (or steps) of reducing the carbon in CO2 to suitable hydrocarbons. Currently inefficient, and messy, thus expensive - but let a load of chemists loose on a problem to play hunt-the-catalyst and those usually improve quite fast. (Scientific paper example here (https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms15174).)
Simplifying so I can check if I've understood correctly, the proposal is to take CO2 from the air and turn it into fuel which is then burnt, releasing that CO2 back into the air? Sounds similar to biofuels in that it avoids releasing carbon that is currently 'locked in' as fossil fuels, but using a man-made process instead of photosynthesis. Better than burning fossil fuels of course but energy is still required to make the fuel (biofuel normally also involves energy to dry out the plant matter before it is used as fuel). As far as aviation is concerned though there is altitude to consider, for some reason water vapour from hydrogen-powered ground vehicles is not an issue but released from a plane at altitude it would be a significant greenhouse gas.

Yes, and if photosynthesising algae are involved, as has been suggested, it could reasonably be argued that the fuel IS a form of biofuel. The main merit of such processes is that they can be carried on in regions unsuited to agriculture, and therefore not reducing food production.
Plenty of sunlight is needed, and a lot of water in which the algae are suspended. Fresh water can be obtained anywhere near the sea, by desalination.
A great area of land is required, but  there is plenty of land unfit for anything else.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: TonyK on October 20, 2019, 04:59:55 pm
Remember the 12th commandment "keep up thy airspeed, lest the ground riseth up and smites thee".

Or as I was taught: "On your final approach to land, the three most important things to watch are airspeed, airspeed, and airspeed."


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: broadgage on November 23, 2020, 11:48:28 pm
Remember the 12th commandment "keep up thy airspeed, lest the ground riseth up and smites thee".

Or as I was taught: "On your final approach to land, the three most important things to watch are airspeed, airspeed, and airspeed."

"A good landing is one that you can walk away from"

"A very good landing is one after which you can use the aeroplane again"

Various quotes from aircraft maintenance logs.

Pilot "main landing gear, port side tyre nearly worn out"
Engineers "nearly changed tyre"

Pilot "funny noise from fuel transfer pump"
Engineer "instructed pump to only make serious noises in future"

Pilot "filling cap on reserve fuel tank wont fasten correctly"
Engineers "dont fly upside down, and it will be fine"

And a recent one that is allegedly true. The Royal Air Force (RAF) were required to loan an aircraft to the army. This was delivered most reluctantly, since obviously the army could not really undertstand a flying machine.
To the underside of the wings were affixed notices "OTHER SIDE UPWARDS IN USE AND IN STORAGE"

Been talking to a neighbour who used to fly in the armed forces.


Edit:VickiS - Clarifying Abbreviation


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: TonyK on November 24, 2020, 09:40:24 am

Pilot "filling cap on reserve fuel tank wont fasten correctly"
Engineers "dont fly upside down, and it will be fine"

This one IS true, and was said to me by our club secretary.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: Thatcham Crossing on November 25, 2020, 08:16:45 am
I expect TonyK will know these, but I was taught that the 3 most useless things in aviation, if in an airborn emergency situation, are:

1. Sky above you
2. Runway behind you
3. Fuel in the bowser


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: Oxonhutch on November 25, 2020, 12:25:07 pm
Also:

It is better to be on the ground, wishing you were up there than - being up there wishing you were on the ground


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: TonyK on November 25, 2020, 01:36:28 pm
And: You only have too much fuel if you are on fire.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: grahame on November 29, 2020, 05:48:59 pm
From Eupinions (https://eupinions.eu/de/text/what-europeans-say-they-will-do-to-combat-climate-change)

Quote
What Europeans say they will do to combat climate change

Despite the pandemic dominating European affairs, responding to the climate crisis has become no less urgent. Our EU-wide poll, conducted by eupinions in September 2020, shows that most Europeans state to be open towards significant changes in some areas of their lives to contribute to combating climate change.

Most remarkably, two in three Europeans would support a ban on short flights to destinations that could be reached within 12 hours by train. A similar proportion say they would eat less meat, after they are told of meat production?s contribution to global warming.

A great deal of interesting data ...

Quote
Method

The sample with a size of n=13.080 was drawn by Dalia Research from September 7-28 2020 across all 27 EU Member States plus the UK, taking into account current population distributions with regard to age (14-69 years), gender and region/country. In order to obtain census representative results, the data were weighted based upon the most recent Eurostat statistics. Calculated for a sample of this size and considering the design-effect, the margin of error would be +/-1.1 % at a confidence level of 95 %.

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/12hourban.jpg)

This has been picked up on some social media ... the follow up from many people is that they would support such a more provided that the cost of getting from "A" to "B" was broadly unchanged.   In other words - if there's a 30 pound flight, there really should be a 30 pound train alternative. 


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: ellendune on November 29, 2020, 06:33:02 pm
This has been picked up on some social media ... the follow up from many people is that they would support such a more provided that the cost of getting from "A" to "B" was broadly unchanged.   In other words - if there's a 30 pound flight, there really should be a 30 pound train alternative. 

A good point. However that would be a ticket on similar terms so it would be an advance ticket.  The question is how different were these before Covid? 


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: Bmblbzzz on November 30, 2020, 12:12:02 am
Also, that 30 pound flight tends to be without tax, baggage, etc. Add all those on to the headline price and it looks a bit more like a similarly advanced and specified train ticket.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: broadgage on November 30, 2020, 01:59:15 pm
I would in general support a ban on flights to places that can be reached in 12 hours by train.
Perhaps with the provision of sleeper trains for popular journeys of over about 9 hours.

Much more use needs to made of the Channel tunnel IMHO for long distance passenger services. Northern parts of the UK to much of Europe SHOULD be doable by train, sleeper trains in some cases. In practice flying is the default choice because there are no through trains from most of the UK to mainland Europe.
Changing in London AND again in Paris is perceived, with some justification, as being expensive and complicated, and increases the chances of delays or other c0ck ups.

Banning most short haul flights would also mean an end to airport expansion, present facilities should suffice.

A 16 hour journey by three different trains from say Newcastle to Southern Europe wont attract many holidsymakers. A 12 hour  journey by through sleeper train could prove popular if afforable and reliable.

Whilst the odd breakdown and delay is inevetible, being on a through train with food, drink, and sleeper cabins is far, far better than being stuck at an airport or station.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: 4064ReadingAbbey on November 30, 2020, 07:11:25 pm
I am not convinced that sleeper trains are an adequate alternative to flying.

I spent over twenty years living and working on the continent: in southern Germany, near Brussels and in Paris and, of course, I still had friends and relations in the UK.

I used the sleeper from Ulm several times which in those days ran to Oostende and connected to the ship. After a four hour crossing to Dover a couple of hours later one arrived at Victoria and then I still had to get to Paddington with my bags and take the train to Reading. I sometimes managed fitful sleep across Germany and none at all in Belgium as the tracks there were about as badly aligned as the Southern Region's. This was acceptable for longer visits such as the Christmas holidays.

For a weekend visit spending 12 hours to get from Ulm or Munich to London and another 12 hours a couple of days later to get back would have been exhausting. The timings are not user friendly; if the train left Munich or Ulm after the end of the working day at, say, 22.00 it might arrive in London around 09.00 or 10.00 the following morning. Allowing another hour to get to Reading would mean I would have been at my parent's house around midday on Saturday. The old Tauern Express used to arrive in Ulm on its way south at around 07.00 (and Munich an hour and a half later) which meant I could go straight to work. If I didn't take any of my annual leave for a short visit and had to be back on Monday morning then using the hypothetical sleeper would mean that it would have to arrive between 07.00 and 08.00 in the morning implying it would have started from London twelve hours earlier. In turn this would mean that I would have had to have left my parents' in the afternoon of the Sunday. Twenty four hours travelling in order to have a bit more than twenty four hours at home is not sensible.

Using the aeroplane I could leave work in Munich at 16.00 (local) on Friday, take the S-Bahn to the airport and be at Heathrow by 22.30 (local) the same evening. For the return journey I could fly back late on Sunday evening and sleep in my own bed or leave early Monday morning and be at work by lunch time. Effectively two full days at home rather than one with a sleeper.

One could argue that making such journeys was very selfish, but if I hadn't made the move to the continent I would have been unemployed in the UK which arguably was a worse state of affairs. And having made the move I really don't see why I shouldn't see my family on a reasonably regular basis.

On the other hand Eurostar travel is a very good alternative to flying - it started to run when I was still working in Paris and I used it frequently until I returned to the UK permanently.

Eurostar yes - sleeper, with one proviso, no. The proviso is that sleeper travel is one of those one-off experiences that everybody should have. Waiting on the station in Munich or Ulm in the winter as the train rolls in from Split or Salzburg still has some of that Orient Express frisson. But to make it an acceptable alternative to flying the ride has to be improved substantially and the disturbance of the night time stops reduced or eliminated.

And the sleeper's pricing also has to be competitive with the airlines - and my case Munich or Stuttgart to Heathrow[1] meant that there was no Ryanair or Easyjet alternative. In spite of that British Airways (BA) and Lufthansa's prices were still very competitive with the train.

[1] For short trips Gatwick, Luton or Stansted were too far away/too time consuming to reach to be sensible alternatives.


Edit:VickiS - Clarifying abbreviation


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: southwest on November 30, 2020, 11:54:51 pm
I'm all for being 'Green' and helping the planet but this constant airline bashing stuff is starting to get on my nerves now. This is a train forum is it not? I didn't sign up for greenpeace or extinction rebellion.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: broadgage on December 01, 2020, 12:27:29 am
I'm all for being 'Green' and helping the planet but this constant airline bashing stuff is starting to get on my nerves now. This is a train forum is it not? I didn't sign up for greenpeace or extinction rebellion.

You can not be "green" and still support air travel.
If we are serious about the climate emergency, we need to fly and drive a lot less. Rail is the obvious alternative.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: grahame on December 01, 2020, 01:09:33 am
I'm all for being 'Green' and helping the planet but this constant airline bashing stuff is starting to get on my nerves now. This is a train forum is it not? I didn't sign up for greenpeace or extinction rebellion.

You can not be "green" and still support air travel.
If we are serious about the climate emergency, we need to fly and drive a lot less. Rail is the obvious alternative.

This is a forum, with the strength that we welcome just about (1) all views. Sometimes that means we have to read (and may choose to answer) ideas that we find difficult.   There is a complex set of choices, balances and tradeoffs - not only in how each choose to travel, but also around the governance of travel and whether we choose to travel at all; such choices, including the strengths and weaknesses of all the options are very much on our radar.

1 - line drawn at legal, decent and  honest.


My personal choice - as will be evident from reading my personal posts - is to rarely fly, but I doubt I'ld go as far as "never again" which is where the headline of this thread starts.  That choice suggests a future fossil fuel flight industry far less in the medium future than it has been in the near past if my position has common acceptance, which the survey in my earlier post suggests may be the case.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: TaplowGreen on December 01, 2020, 06:53:12 am
I'm all for being 'Green' and helping the planet but this constant airline bashing stuff is starting to get on my nerves now. This is a train forum is it not? I didn't sign up for greenpeace or extinction rebellion.

You can not be "green" and still support air travel.
If we are serious about the climate emergency, we need to fly and drive a lot less. Rail is the obvious alternative.

It's equally possible to argue that you cannot be "green" and support eating meat.

As with most things in life, it's wisest to avoid arguing absolutes and accept that reality is somewhere in the middle - most people realise the need to take action on climate change, both personally and collectively, and similarly most people will fly now and again.

One of the few positive things to come out of the current Covid crisis is a re-evaluation and reduction in travel by all methods due to new ways of doing business, and that can only be good for the climate in the long run.



Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: Jamsdad on December 01, 2020, 02:43:39 pm
This is a matter where different people are going to have different acceptable  travel norms.
For my perspective a good deal of travel choices are influenced by available time, and what you personally set as an acceptable norm.
To give some personal examples. ..
1.Liskeard to St Austell. Easy to jump in the car and if that is your default thats what you tend t do. But set yourself a default of train unless impossible and driving is no longer the default.
2. Cornwall to London. Could fly by it can take longer than the train and then there is all the check in hassle. Default- train.Personally I am a fan of the sleeper. I get a good sleep provided you use earplugs.
3. Cornwall to South of France. Knee jerk -look for a cheap flight. But if you have the time train in a much less stressful and enjoyable option - did it back in October and it was great. If your default is train then thats what you will consider first. Seat 61 gives you all the options. Future trips to France will be by train.
4. Cornwall to Fez ( Morocco). Did this by train, including the incomparable Paris-Madrid sleeper and it was one of the family's great holiday adventures. The travel was part of the holiday .
5. Overland to Japan. Not so easy but Seat 61 tells you how to do it!


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: 4064ReadingAbbey on December 02, 2020, 06:20:58 pm
All movement involves a cost - even if one walks the grass gets trampled which will upset or even squash some small creature.

The issue is the degree of injury which one is prepared to accept in moving from A to B. This is all compounded and complicated by value judgements of others as to whether one?s journey from A to B is essential, useful or just frivolous.

It is neither possible, nor desirable, to discourage or prohibit people from moving around. The archetypical ?village idiot? was the result of inbreeding and he/she effectively vanished when it became easier for people to visit the next village or town. Mixing the gene pool tends to be advantageous to humanity. People move around because they are inquisitive. Or at least some are, as DNA studies also show that after their arrival in an area populations often stay in the same place for millenia. But Phoenician DNA shows up in native English populations so somebody travelled a long way 2,000 years ago. Without movement we would still be living in the Rift Valley getting sunburnt.

It is simply not the case that air travel is only ever ?bad?, and that rail is always ?good?. In my earlier post I refered to my journeys by rail between Ulm or Munich in southern Germany to Reading. I present three approximate calculations to show orders of magnitude:

? A 12 coach sleeper train has a mass of some 500 tonnes or more - the electricity needed to heat it and move it at 100mph or so for 12 hours is considerable. Assume that the locomotive has a power output of 6.5MW (Siemens Vectron) this would be a total of 78MWh for the journey. However full power would not be needed all the time so probably about 40% of this total energy would be used allowing for coasting, regenerative braking, slow running and station stops making a total energy consumption of just over 30MWh. In addition some 50kW per coach is used continuously for heating, lighting, ventilation and other stuff for 7.2MWh making a journey total of 37MWh, to make the maths easy lets say 40MWh or 1.44x10^7 joules. In terms of energy this is the equivalent of just over 3 tonnes of kerosine.

? There is also the matter of the track. Reading to Munich by rail is something over 1,000km, in other words for a twin track railway there are some 4,000km of rail. Rail has a life of some 30 years, possibly slightly less for high speed lines, which means that 1/30th has to be replaced every year and at 60kg/m this comes to 8,000 tonnes of steel. Every year.

? Figures for aircraft and airline fuel consumption are publicly available. Ryanair is a low-cost airline serving mainly European destinations; it seats 189 people in its Boeing 737-800s. Using typical values for sector lengths, fuel consumption and seat occupancy it can be seen that the fuel consumption is marginally greater than 3 litres/100 km/seat - based on typical sector consumption of something over 5 tonnes and a typical sector being something over an hour which covers London to Munich. This figure will obviously vary depending on sector lengths, routing, cruising altitude, load, winds and air temperature but will remain close to 3 litres/100 km/seat - it will be neither 1.5 litres/100 km/seat nor 6 litres/100 km/seat. As a comparison my 12 year old 2.0l Golf diesel does nearly 50mpg on a long run which converts to 5.7l/100km, or 1.4 litres/100 km/seat. Not so different to the 737.

More significantly for this discussion the hypothetical sleeper to Munich uses the energy equivalent of 3 tonnes of kerosine which is not million miles from Ryanair?s average consumption of 5 tonnes for an equivalent sector. Obviously I have ignored the different efficiencies but the effects of any changes will be less than an order of magnitude.

One can argue that renewable energy can supply the electricity needed for surface transport. But it can?t - at least not in the foreseeable future. The UK has the bounty of wind energy in the North Sea, but on the continent this rather fades out away from the coast. Belgium is closing its two old nuclear plants and those in Germany are also on their way out with no replacement. Although Germany is dotted with countless thousands of wind turbines they are not sufficient to supply the baseload with the result that the country is burning huge quantities of lignite quarried in the K?ln, Eschweiler, J?chen triangle and over the last few years has increased its CO2 output for this reason. Look at a satellite view of this area and tell me that that is ?green? even though it drives an electric railway - villages have vanished.

Do not misunderstand my argument. I am as fond of trains and train travel as anyone on this forum - I enjoy the sights, sounds, history and drama of them. But they are not, and cannot be, the answer to every type of journey and to proclaim their perceived environmental advantages - and the perceived environmental disadvantages of air travel - without any analysis to support the argument is not helpful.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: broadgage on December 02, 2020, 07:37:10 pm
When comparing rail travel to air, I suspect that rail may perform batter than suggested above.
I would not expect the locomotive to run at full rated power for long, 6.5 Mw when accelerating or ascending inclines, certainly, but much less as an average. Within living memory, a single large stem locomotive with a power output of about 1 Mw was used on sleepers, two such locos at the most.
I am not convinced that the energy used to heat a sleeper train should be counted, If the passenger had flown instead then they would have spent an extra night in their heated home, or in a heated hotel.

As regards the source of the electricity for the electric train, we are indeed some way from 100% renewably generated electricity, but 50% or more is well within sight. Jet fuel is 100% fossil fuel, and likely to remain so.
I have high hopes for an increased percentage of renewably generated electricity.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: 4064ReadingAbbey on December 02, 2020, 08:19:26 pm
When comparing rail travel to air, I suspect that rail may perform batter than suggested above.
I would not expect the locomotive to run at full rated power for long, 6.5 Mw when accelerating or ascending inclines, certainly, but much less as an average. Within living memory, a single large stem locomotive with a power output of about 1 Mw was used on sleepers, two such locos at the most.

Exactly for this reason my calculation was based on the use of only 40% of the installed power.

And we are talking about continental, not Anglo-Scottish, sleepers which have been hauled by powerful electric locomotives since I started using them in 1974. The E10 of the Bundesbahn introduced in 1952 had a continuous rating of 3.7MW and was commonly used from Aachen onwards.

I am not convinced that the energy used to heat a sleeper train should be counted, If the passenger had flown instead then they would have spent an extra night in their heated home, or in a heated hotel.

OK, I'll deduct a bit from Ryanair's fuel consumption and let the passengers sit at -40deg C.

As regards the source of the electricity for the electric train, we are indeed some way from 100% renewably generated electricity, but 50% or more is well within sight. Jet fuel is 100% fossil fuel, and likely to remain so.
I have high hopes for an increased percentage of renewably generated electricity.
You might have high hopes in the UK because of the ocean winds. Less likely in central Europe as the winds aren't so strong or regular and the German government has set its face against nuclear power and there is only so much area one can set aside for photo-voltaic cells. In addition you will need some pretty mahousive batteries so the sleepers can run at night.
Maybe fossil fuels will be reserved for transport because of its high energy density.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: southwest on December 04, 2020, 12:18:33 am
I'm all for being 'Green' and helping the planet but this constant airline bashing stuff is starting to get on my nerves now. This is a train forum is it not? I didn't sign up for greenpeace or extinction rebellion.

You can not be "green" and still support air travel.
If we are serious about the climate emergency, we need to fly and drive a lot less. Rail is the obvious alternative.

Very little flying for almost 12 months, absolutely no change to the climate. Says it all really.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: southwest on December 04, 2020, 12:31:16 am
I'm all for being 'Green' and helping the planet but this constant airline bashing stuff is starting to get on my nerves now. This is a train forum is it not? I didn't sign up for greenpeace or extinction rebellion.

You can not be "green" and still support air travel.
If we are serious about the climate emergency, we need to fly and drive a lot less. Rail is the obvious alternative.

This is a forum, with the strength that we welcome just about (1) all views. Sometimes that means we have to read (and may choose to answer) ideas that we find difficult.   There is a complex set of choices, balances and tradeoffs - not only in how each choose to travel, but also around the governance of travel and whether we choose to travel at all; such choices, including the strengths and weaknesses of all the options are very much on our radar.

1 - line drawn at legal, decent and  honest.


My personal choice - as will be evident from reading my personal posts - is to rarely fly, but I doubt I'ld go as far as "never again" which is where the headline of this thread starts.  That choice suggests a future fossil fuel flight industry far less in the medium future than it has been in the near past if my position has common acceptance, which the survey in my earlier post suggests may be the case.


This is why I have an issue.  To state a general fact most people on here are train spotters, they don't fly much, they don't get how airlines work, they don't know much about the industry as a whole but 'claim' to know a lot.

The way I see it, if you don't know much about something either go a learn about it(Not just read stuff off wikipedia or British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) News) but properly learn and investigate it. Alternatively don't say anything at all. Quite frankly it's as simple as that!

Trying to make out that it's for the good of the planet or because people have the right to say stuff is nonsense. It's like me going into the Savoy and telling Gordon Ramsay how to cook Scallops, he's got 25 years+ experience, I've never cooked them before in my life.  ;D

Edit:VickiS - Clarifying abbreviations


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: grahame on December 04, 2020, 03:48:14 am
This is why I have an issue.  To state a general fact most people on here are train spotters, they don't fly much, they don't get how airlines work, they don't know much about the industry as a whole but 'claim' to know a lot.

I think you do a grave dis-service to many of our members who are a remarkable bunch.  I can't count the number of times I have said "my goodness" to myself when someone or other has let slip, often unintended within a full post, just what experts they are and what they have achieved, in utter modesty.

Quote
The way I see it, if you don't know much about something either go a learn about it (Not just read stuff off wikipedia or BBC News) but properly learn and investigate it. Alternatively don't say anything at all. Quite frankly it's as simple as that!

On average, a Coffee Shop thread provokes 10 follow up posts, of which I would guess an average of three might be from the original poster.  So that's just seven members who have said something. Most members are indeed 'just' reading and learning.  In the last 24 hours, a hundred and one different members have been logged in to the forum; I cannot tell you how many have read each thread, but I can tell you that on average a member visiting reads well over 7 threads or equivalents at each visit, and that there are many who visit multiple times per day. So commenting is rare.

People typically post because they can make a contribution, because they have read something and want to ask / check to see what others make of it, or because they've got a question.  And that's very much encouraged as it builds up their knowledge, and the knowledge of other members, and sometimes debunks fake news / incorrect rumours.

You write "but properly learn and investigate it. Alternatively don't say anything at all.".  No - I cannot agree with you. Asking questions and sharing views with others is part of the process of learning and investigating.  If everyone followed your alternative, we would learn nothing ...

Quote
Trying to make out that it's for the good of the planet or because people have the right to say stuff is nonsense. It's like me going into the Savoy and telling Gordon Ramsay how to cook Scallops, he's got 25 years+ experience, I've never cooked them before in my life.  ;D

We are learning - and the stakes are high - what is good for our planet and the discussion is a valuable one. Gordon Ramsay is a good analogy; for sure, few will tell him how to cook scallops, but we may tell him how much we enjoy them (or not), we may ask him how he gets a particular effect, and we may make suggestions or requests ("could I try that with some cinnamon please").  Watch his TV show visiting restaurant disasters and you'll see Gordon listening to the people dining - learning from those people, and moving the restaurant forward for what his customers want; it may be taste, it may be nutrition value, it may be for a pleasant environment, it will certainly be for their health. 

Customer feedback and questions are gold dust! Feedback and questions are real drivers and one of the most frustrating thing for a supplier or expert is to have people be critical but keep it to themselves - simply not return ... and if that means answering the same ole question many times, so be it - perhaps time to write an FAQ or to give the answer wider publicity.  Silent customers who fail to return, or tell their friends how they didn't get what / the answers to questions they asked, are the dread of a business. 

But - sometimes - the FAQ or answer by some other means will not provide the answer you would have liked:

If we are serious about the climate emergency, we need to fly and drive a lot less. Rail is the obvious alternative.
Very little flying for almost 12 months, absolutely no change to the climate. Says it all really.

As I understand it, "no change to the climate" (what authority are you quoting?) in 12 months may not be a surprise.   With the noise of climate variance year to year, I don't see how anyone can reach a conclusion as to whether or not there's a change in such a short period.  Within the inertia of the planet and its resource changes, I would be surprised to see anything that could be identified that quickly.  And with so many other factors and element making up the pressures on our climate, I don't see how the single element of flying (when many other elements have changed this year too) can be directly correlated to climate to the exclusion of other elements.

You, southwest, are our Gordon Ramsay.  Please explain to me, as a customer in your restaurant, how you as the expert who has stated the conclusion that flying hasn't been changing the climate in the past and suggesting (it seems) that we can carry on / resume flying again in due course without climate penalty.



Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: TonyK on December 04, 2020, 10:22:02 am

This is why I have an issue.  To state a general fact most people on here are train spotters, they don't fly much, they don't get how airlines work, they don't know much about the industry as a whole but 'claim' to know a lot.

The way I see it, if you don't know much about something either go a learn about it(Not just read stuff off wikipedia or BBC News) but properly learn and investigate it. Alternatively don't say anything at all. Quite frankly it's as simple as that!

Trying to make out that it's for the good of the planet or because people have the right to say stuff is nonsense. It's like me going into the Savoy and telling Gordon Ramsay how to cook Scallops, he's got 25 years+ experience, I've never cooked them before in my life.  ;D

Ooh-er. I have never stood at the end of a platform with a flask, anorak, and notebook, or read railway magazines under the covers by torchlight. I have had conversations with air traffic controllers along the lines of "Copy, two to the 747, downwind left hand for 27 with traffic in sight, report turning base, Golf Xray Whiskey" and the like.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: TaplowGreen on December 04, 2020, 11:36:02 am

This is why I have an issue.  To state a general fact most people on here are train spotters, they don't fly much, they don't get how airlines work, they don't know much about the industry as a whole but 'claim' to know a lot.

The way I see it, if you don't know much about something either go a learn about it(Not just read stuff off wikipedia or BBC News) but properly learn and investigate it. Alternatively don't say anything at all. Quite frankly it's as simple as that!

Trying to make out that it's for the good of the planet or because people have the right to say stuff is nonsense. It's like me going into the Savoy and telling Gordon Ramsay how to cook Scallops, he's got 25 years+ experience, I've never cooked them before in my life.  ;D

Ooh-er. I have never stood at the end of a platform with a flask, anorak, and notebook, or read railway magazines under the covers by torchlight. I have had conversations with air traffic controllers along the lines of "Copy, two to the 747, downwind left hand for 27 with traffic in sight, report turning base, Golf Xray Whiskey" and the like.

How do you like your scallops?


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: TonyK on December 04, 2020, 01:36:38 pm

How do you like your scallops?

Hot and fast, like my women. I find 90 seconds per side is best (the scallops, that is).


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: Western Pathfinder on December 04, 2020, 05:18:27 pm
Straight up with a twist!..


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: stuving on December 04, 2020, 06:38:25 pm
This is a case of "how green is my all?e (and r?tour)". SNCF and Air France have added Bordeaux to the places you can get a combined ticket from. The effect is that you can fly from France while meeting the official objective of using rail instead within France if it's less than three hours - which Bordeaux-Paris now is. But not until 15th December - confinement oblige.

This only works for Orly, not Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) (where most of the relevant planes are, of course) because that's the way the trains run. And fingers have been pointed at the use of a taxi transfer, despite the commuter rail route in Paris (RER C) and Orlyval running all the way. But that's two awkward changes potentially with luggage, and Orlyval is oddly ticketed too. But le Grand Paris Express line 18 will solve that problem. Maybe?

More words from Aviation24.be (https://www.aviation24.be/airlines/air-france-klm-group/air-france/air-france-and-sncf-strengthen-their-partnership-and-extend-the-train-air-product-to-the-bordeaux-paris-orly-route/), and Air France (https://www.airfrance.fr/FR/en/common/resainfovol/avion_train/reservation_avion_train_tgvair_airfrance.htm) have a cute picture as well.
(https://img.static-af.com/images/media/5EF38244-40CF-4FBD-8828694E7D67E65B/?extent=true)




Edit:VickiS - Clarifying acronyms


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: stuving on December 09, 2020, 02:14:20 pm
From EuroWeekly News (https://www.euroweeklynews.com/2020/12/09/european-rail-companies-to-extend-night-network-of-sleeper-trains/):
Quote
European rail companies to extend night network of sleeper trains
By Matthew Roscoe - 9 December 2020 @ 09:57

FOUR European national rail companies plan to extend the night network of sleeper trains after an announcement on Tuesday, December 8, promising to link 13 major cities.

The announcement of a ?500 million investment promises to be the largest extension of Europe?s night network in many years as state railways of Germany, Austria, France and Switzerland join together in a plan to cut carbon emissions from travel by air.

The decline in night trains in Western Europe has been caused by the popularity of budget-airlines, although they are popular in Eastern Europe, where routes such as St. Petersburg to Moscow are served by fleets of sleepers.

20 new trains operated by Austria?s OeBB will operate the new routes and should bring to 1.4 million the number of night passengers the four operators carry each year.

From next December, sleepers will run from Vienna to Paris via Munich and from Zurich to Amsterdam via Cologne with routes from Berlin to Brussels and Paris and Zurich to Barcelona set to added two years later.

?Board the train in Munich or Berlin in the evening and arrive refreshed in Brussels or Paris the next morning,? said German transport minister Andreas Scheuer. ?We?ll be travelling in a more climate- and environment-friendly way.?



Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: broadgage on December 09, 2020, 04:08:19 pm
Splendid news.
I am opposed to air travel and strongly in favour of greener alternatives, which in practice means rail in most circumstances.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: 4064ReadingAbbey on December 09, 2020, 08:55:38 pm
I wish them luck.

But don't forget that DB got out of the sleeper business because it was being faced with ever increasing losses and the need for some serious capital expenditure on updating or replacing coaching stock. A similar problem faced SNCF. Austrian Railways had some more modern stock than DB so wasn't facing quite such a financial quandary.

The sleeper business remains one where the fare income does not cover the costs of operation. I read this announcement as meaning that the Governments are at least discussing the possibility of covering the costs of an extended operation in order to emphasise their commitment to saving the planet.

My wife and I were hoping to take the sleeper from Brussels to Vienna when it restarted this year. Covid saw the end of that plan but we are still hoping to make the trip and we are grateful to the taxpayers of continental Europe for making the journey affordable.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: TonyK on December 09, 2020, 09:21:35 pm
I wish them luck.

But don't forget that DB got out of the sleeper business because it was being faced with ever increasing losses and the need for some serious capital expenditure on updating or replacing coaching stock. A similar problem faced SNCF. Austrian Railways had some more modern stock than DB so wasn't facing quite such a financial quandary.

The sleeper business remains one where the fare income does not cover the costs of operation. I read this announcement as meaning that the Governments are at least discussing the possibility of covering the costs of an extended operation in order to emphasise their commitment to saving the planet.

My wife and I were hoping to take the sleeper from Brussels to Vienna when it restarted this year. Covid saw the end of that plan but we are still hoping to make the trip and we are grateful to the taxpayers of continental Europe for making the journey affordable.

Me too. Even if it doesn't work, though, the railway has tried. The only reason it could fail is if not enough of the people who protest against flying and demand sleeper services actually use them.

I didn't consider Japan by train, but I did arrive there by sea once. I did fly home, though - four weeks is a long time for a busy man. I also went from New York to Canada by rail, which is very enjoyable. The upgrade to first class wasn't huge, I think only about 10%, and well worth the cost. I've done some long rides on the continent, too, but time and cost can mitigate against doing so fo a week's holiday, or when the entire family, in effect four families, is travelling as a unit.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: Bmblbzzz on December 10, 2020, 09:30:56 am
Austrians as a nation are some of the keenest on 'being green' so that makes it easier and more electorally profitable for the government to subsidise sleepers and rail in general.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: TonyK on December 10, 2020, 12:51:29 pm
Austrians as a nation are some of the keenest on 'being green' so that makes it easier and more electorally profitable for the government to subsidise sleepers and rail in general.

Austria's geographic position helps achieve international travel overland, too. The transition into Hungary was a bit a bit of a shock 20 years ago, though. The road changed abruptly from a smoothed metalled surface to a rough concrete, shiny Mercedes saloons gave way to Trabants and various vehicles formed of corrugated steel, and the railway looked like a museum. No doubt things have improved since. Fascinating place.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: broadgage on December 10, 2020, 03:52:49 pm
Austrians as a nation are some of the keenest on 'being green' so that makes it easier and more electorally profitable for the government to subsidise sleepers and rail in general.

I agree, and would rather see public money spent on railways than on air travel. Much of mainland Europe is becoming more pro rail and less keen on promoting, subsidising or otherwise encouraging air travel.

Meanwhile in the UK, our efforts at going green are largely confined to renewably generated electricity. We have made considerable progress in wind and solar generation of electric power. Such progress is commendable, but we are largely ignoring the fossil fuel used by air and road transport.
IMHO, we need more and better trains, inluding sleepers, both within the UK and to mainland Europe.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: TaplowGreen on December 10, 2020, 04:34:36 pm
Austrians as a nation are some of the keenest on 'being green' so that makes it easier and more electorally profitable for the government to subsidise sleepers and rail in general.

IMHO, we need more and better trains, including sleepers, both within the UK and to mainland Europe.

I do sometimes think the plaintive cry for more sleepers in the UK is based on whimsy rather than reality  - where is the demand for all these sleeper services? Who is actually going to use them?



Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: Bmblbzzz on December 10, 2020, 04:54:14 pm
Austrians as a nation are some of the keenest on 'being green' so that makes it easier and more electorally profitable for the government to subsidise sleepers and rail in general.

Austria's geographic position helps achieve international travel overland, too. The transition into Hungary was a bit a bit of a shock 20 years ago, though. The road changed abruptly from a smoothed metalled surface to a rough concrete, shiny Mercedes saloons gave way to Trabants and various vehicles formed of corrugated steel, and the railway looked like a museum. No doubt things have improved since. Fascinating place.
I wonder how old that concrete was? There's a motorway in southwest Poland from the German border to Wroclaw which used to be concrete slabs, tiny hard shoulder and cobbled slip roads. Wroclaw of course was Breslau till 1945 and I'm sure the only attention the motorway had received since then was to install a central crash barrier and change the road signs into Polish. It's all EU-approved smooth tarmac now but the art deco service station buildings survive.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: 4064ReadingAbbey on December 10, 2020, 09:25:23 pm
At this point some statistics may be in order.

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy publishes a time series called Digest of UK Energy Statistics (DUKES) (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/energy-chapter-1-digest-of-united-kingdom-energy-statistics-dukes) which is a treasure trove of numbers - for those who like numbers, that is.

Table 1.1 gives the Aggregate Energy Balance in thousands of tonnes of oil equivalent for the ?supply? and ?consumption? of energy[1] in the country as a whole.

Total energy consumption in the country in 2019 for all industrial and domestic sectors was 150 million tonnes of oil equivalent.

In the same year for a selection of sectors the quantities, in terms of the mass of oil consumed for the same energy, are:

  • Domestic: nearly 27 million tonnes of the oil equivalent of natural gas and about 2.5 million tonnes each of petroleum products and biogas and waste. Together with some 9 miilion tonnes consumed as electricity and some smaller sources the total was  some 41 million tonnes.
  • Industry: Total consumption from all sources 22 million tonnes
  • Air transport: 14 million tonnes, but see my note below.
  • Road Transport: 41 million tonnes, of which petroleum products make up 39 million tonnes, the rest is from bio sources and electricity.
  • Rail transport: 1.1 million tonnes, of which 688,000 tonnes is oil and 438,000 tonnes as electricity. (And 11,000 oil equivalent tonnes of coal!).

So, a couple of things. In the area of reducing CO2 emissions we are all in this together - if the UK reduces its production of CO2 to zero tomorrow that will make two tenths of not much difference in the great scheme of things as long as India, China and Indonesia continue to burn coal and the Brazilians burn the Amazon.

Secondly, road transport and domestic energy consumption are practically identical at 41 million ?oil equivalent? tonnes per year. If one wants to reduce CO2 emissions these are the places to start. Even if rail converted to all-electric tomorrow the drop in oil consumption wouldn?t even be noticed, rail?s oil usage is less than 0.5% of the country?s total consumption.

Thirdly, air transport. When one lives on an island separated by some hours of sailing time from one?s neighbours, some of whom live several hundred if not thousands of kilometres from the ports, air travel is the most practical way of travel for many purposes. For Great Britain, the island of Ireland, Malta and Cyprus as well as for long thin countries such as Norway and Italy, air transport will remain important. Spending several hours getting to the port, more hours on the boat and then many more hours in a train to one?s destination is probably not a good use of one?s time - unless the journey is the experience - and has a higher ?carbon footprint? than is apparent at first sight as I have tried to point out in earlier posts.

As I have written in other posts, Eurostar is competitive for journey of up to about 3 hours from London, that means to and from Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam and, possibly, Cologne. The unsurmountable issue for other areas in Britain is that the fixed link is in the very southeastern corner of the country which means dogs-leg routing for many other origin/destinations such as Bristol-Bordeaux or Edinburgh-Hamburg or Newcastle-Copenhagen.

I have seen statistics which show that in the case of Great Britain and Northern Ireland domestic air travel makes up some seven or eight per cent of aviation fuel use with a similar quantity used by the military. Three quarters of the fuel consumption is for international traffic; in the case of Cyprus or Malta this is 100%.

In mainland Europe air travel is mainly for longer distances, and to islands such as the Canaries or the Balearics. Because the countries share long land borders international traffic patterns are very, very different to those seen here. It?s easy to drive from France to Germany or from Austria to northern Italy on a multitude of routes. One is not constrained to travel via pinch-points such as Heathrow or Dover. And I would point out that Berlin Brandenburg airport is now open offering a considerable increase in capacity compared to Tegel.

Neither air transport nor the private car can be un-invented. They are here to stay - and technology developments will continue to make them more energy efficient.


[1] Of course, in truth, energy is neither ?supplied? nor ?consumed? but merely converted from one form to another, not forgetting that energy equals mass (multiplied by a (very large) constant?).  :)


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: stuving on December 10, 2020, 10:30:20 pm
You may have seen coverage of the Climate Change Committee's latest blockbuster, and I've put links for it in another thread (http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=24345.0). Its subtitle is "the UK's path to net zero" by 2050, and they don't predict a drastic reduction in flying as part of that. Aviation is in section 7 (page 176), and here are a few short extracts from a very, very, long document:
Quote
Aviation is one of the sectors in which we expect there to be significant remaining positive emissions by 2050, given the limited set of options for decarbonisation. Remaining residual emissions will need to be offset by greenhouse gas removals (see section 11) for the sector to reach Net Zero.

This is their central projection:
Quote
This gradual reduction in emissions is due to demand management, improvements in efficiency and a modest but increasing share of sustainable aviation fuels:
? Demand management. The Balanced Net Zero Pathway does allow for some limited growth in aviation demand over the period to 2050, but considerably less than a ?business as usual? baseline. We allow for a 25% in growth by 2050 compared to 2018 levels, whereas the baseline reflects unconstrained growth of around 65% over the same period. We assume that, unlike in the baseline, this occurs without any net increase in UK airport capacity, so that any expansion is balanced by reductions in capacity elsewhere in the UK.
? Efficiency improvements. The fuel efficiency per passenger of aviation is assumed to improve at 1.4% per annum, compared to 0.7% per annum in the baseline. This includes 9% of total aircraft distance in 2050 being flown by hybrid electric aircraft.
? Sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) contribute 25% of liquid fuel consumed in 2050, with just over two-thirds of this coming from biofuels* and the remainder from carbon-neutral synthetic jet fuel (produced via direct air capture of CO2 combined with low-carbon hydrogen, with 75% of this synthetic jet fuel assumed to be made in the UK and the rest imported).


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: TonyK on December 15, 2020, 11:43:02 am
I wonder how old that concrete was? There's a motorway in southwest Poland from the German border to Wroclaw which used to be concrete slabs, tiny hard shoulder and cobbled slip roads. Wroclaw of course was Breslau till 1945 and I'm sure the only attention the motorway had received since then was to install a central crash barrier and change the road signs into Polish. It's all EU-approved smooth tarmac now but the art deco service station buildings survive.

I couldn't say for sure. We crossed the border at Sopron, probably the closest point to Vienna. I wish it had been in the days of digital photography, but now I work it out, it was probably about 1993. Not far into Hungary, we passed what I assumed was a scrapyard siding until I saw on of the rusting steam locos start to move, and noticed a rake of tankers behind it. I also saw a tram of sorts on the mainline, which looked to have been cobbled together from soviet minibus parts. These were apparently used to ferry people from villages to main stations.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: eightonedee on December 15, 2020, 01:59:18 pm
Quote
Secondly, road transport and domestic energy consumption are practically identical at 41 million ?oil equivalent? tonnes per year. If one wants to reduce CO2 emissions these are the places to start. Even if rail converted to all-electric tomorrow the drop in oil consumption wouldn?t even be noticed, rail?s oil usage is less than 0.5% of the country?s total consumption.

Looking at this statement again, surely the point is that relatively modest increase in rail usage by passengers or freight could make a dent in those substantial figures for carbon production by road and air transport, even if it starts off by being diesel powered? I expect too that a substantial proportion of air passengers take road transport to travel further to their nearest airport than they would to their nearest station.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: stuving on December 15, 2020, 03:36:22 pm
For comparison with the CCC Transportation(CCC), you might like to look at the plan "Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy" that the EU Commission published last week. Obviously they are more government than advisor, though what they propose still has to be legislated for or approved by member states.

There are several levels of introductory stuff (https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_2329), as well as the formal proposals (https://ec.europa.eu/transport/sites/transport/files/legislation/com20200789.pdf) (only 25 pages!).


Edit:VickiS - Clarifying Acronym


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: Bmblbzzz on December 15, 2020, 08:46:03 pm
  • Rail transport: 1.1 million tonnes, of which 688,000 tonnes is oil and 438,000 tonnes as electricity. (And 11,000 oil equivalent tonnes of coal!).
So 1 per cent of rail's total energy use is on preserved lines (and maybe one or two steam shunters in MoD yards or industrial areas). I find that quite surprising!


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: 4064ReadingAbbey on December 15, 2020, 09:55:41 pm
  • Rail transport: 1.1 million tonnes, of which 688,000 tonnes is oil and 438,000 tonnes as electricity. (And 11,000 oil equivalent tonnes of coal!).
So 1 per cent of rail's total energy use is on preserved lines (and maybe one or two steam shunters in MoD yards or industrial areas). I find that quite surprising!
I don't understand it either! Are there any waiting rooms with coal fires? I can't find the conversion factor that was used in the DUKES statistics so I can't say what the equivalent is in actual tonnes of coal.

But don't forget that steam traction is amazingly inefficient - a study made in the early 1950s showed that only 3% of the energy inherent in the coal supplied to the railways was used for hauling trains. The rest was lost through the chimney as latent heat, as start up and stand-by losses and so on. Heritage railways have a lot of stand-by losses...!


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: TonyK on December 16, 2020, 01:40:58 pm
Meanwhile, the Supreme court has decided that there is nothing unlawful about building a third runway at Heathrow. This was decided despite a Christmas backdrop of twelve drummers drumming, and lots of other stuff happening out side. The BBC reported: (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-55322340)

Quote
Supreme Court lifts ban on Heathrow third runway
By Roger Harrabin
BBC environment analyst

(https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/976/cpsprodpb/16FE9/production/_111058149_heathrow_reuters.jpg)
Heathrow sign and plane
IMAGE COPYRIGHTREUTERS
The Supreme Court has breathed new life into plans for a third runway at Heathrow Airport.

The scheme was previously blocked by the Court of Appeal, who said the government?s airports strategy didn?t meet up-to-date UK climate targets.

But the Supreme Court has ruled the strategy was legitimately based on previous, less stringent, climate targets at the time it was agreed.

The firm behind Heathrow can now seek planning permission for the runway.

But it still faces major obstacles, including having to persuade a public enquiry of the case for expansion.

And if planning inspectors approve the scheme, the government will still have the final say.
(Continues at source (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-55322340)

Not the end of the matter, then, but a step towards it. There could be a few more years of protest, lobbying and litigation until the next government but one cancels it twice, leaving it to the one after that to finally allow building to start. After that, arguments can begin on the need for a fourth runway. Whatever your view on the airport matter, the people living in the villages most affected must be absolutely fed up to the back teeth already. They have had 25 years of uncertainty, with all that means for home owners wanting to move and the like.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: ellendune on December 16, 2020, 02:35:21 pm
Meanwhile, the Supreme court has decided that there is nothing unlawful about building a third runway at Heathrow.

To precise they said that the government's actions in approving it so far were not unlawful.  That difference may be important later. 


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: broadgage on January 17, 2021, 02:46:09 pm
Her Majesty's Government (HMG) have announced the latest grant or subsidy to airports.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-55692486 (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-55692486)

Climate emergency ? Not any more it would seem.

The present downturn in air travel should be considered as a good oportunity to REDUCE capacity, to close some airports, and reduce the numbers of airlines.

Is there not a government policy to make the UK into a "net zero carbon economy" in not many years ? That will require largely eliminating air travel. And yet at present we are encouraging it with grants of public money.

And as for the legal ruling in favour of the third runway at Heathrow, appalling. Apart from the concerns about climate change, this ruling sounds out the message that promises and assurances given by "the authorities" are worthless. The promises made about "no thrid runway" meant nothing, simply change or re-interprete the rules so that "no third runway" actuelly means "a third runway is OK"

No wonder that a growing minority of anti heathrow protesters are now calling for what is politely called direct action.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: TaplowGreen on January 17, 2021, 04:13:15 pm
HMG have announced the latest grant or subsidy to airports.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-55692486 (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-55692486)

Climate emergency ? Not any more it would seem.

The present downturn in air travel should be considered as a good oportunity to REDUCE capacity, to close some airports, and reduce the numbers of airlines.

Is there not a government policy to make the UK into a "net zero carbon economy" in not many years ? That will require largely eliminating air travel. And yet at present we are encouraging it with grants of public money.

And as for the legal ruling in favour of the third runway at Heathrow, appalling. Apart from the concerns about climate change, this ruling sounds out the message that promises and assurances given by "the authorities" are worthless. The promises made about "no thrid runway" meant nothing, simply change or re-interprete the rules so that "no third runway" actuelly means "a third runway is OK"

No wonder that a growing minority of anti heathrow protesters are now calling for what is politely called direct action.


Another eternal Quixotic Broadgage argument.

The Aviation industry directly supports over 200,000 jobs in the UK and contributes billions to the economy.

It makes the world a smaller place and travel possible in a way that no other means of transport can possibly or practically achieve.

It has, and continues to do enormous amounts to reduce its negative environmental impact.

It facilitates trade (import and exports) inward and outward tourism which contributes billions more and supports thousands more jobs and many communities.

How much of this revenue and how many jobs are you suggesting we can afford to lose, and how would you replace it/them?


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: Bmblbzzz on January 17, 2021, 04:49:29 pm
Is there not a government policy to make the UK into a "net zero carbon economy" in not many years ? That will require largely eliminating air travel. And yet at present we are encouraging it with grants of public money.
By 2050, I think. The key word is "net". This means you (we) can carry on emitting CO2 but will use accountancy to create anti-CO2, eg by planting trees, in sufficient quantities to arrive at an arithmetical zero.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: Thatcham Crossing on January 17, 2021, 05:17:22 pm
Quote
The present downturn in air travel should be considered as a good opportunity to REDUCE capacity, to close some airports, and reduce the numbers of airlines.

Seems like you are going to get your wish before to long broadgage. I wish for the opposite, for the reasons that Taplow Green has eloquently described.

Your dislike for anything non-rail (or even some things are rail, that you also sound like a broken record on) are getting tiresome.

Quote
That will require largely eliminating air travel.

I'm gonna say it, that is the most ridiculous statement I have ever read in my time on this forum! Do you know anything about modern aviation at all?


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: broadgage on January 17, 2021, 05:43:44 pm
Quote
The present downturn in air travel should be considered as a good opportunity to REDUCE capacity, to close some airports, and reduce the numbers of airlines.

Seems like you are going to get your wish before to long broadgage. I wish for the opposite, for the reasons that Taplow Green has eloquently described.

Your dislike for anything non-rail (or even some things are rail, that you also sound like a broken record on) are getting tiresome.

Quote
That will require largely eliminating air travel.

I'm gonna say it, that is the most ridiculous statement I have ever read in my time on this forum! Do you know anything about modern aviation at all?


I know a fair bit about modern aviation, including the fact that it is virtually 100% fossil fuel powered, and that due to the distances covered that it burns a great volume of this fossil fuel.
I fail to see how aviation can continue on anything like the present scale as part of a zero net carbon economy.
And yes I know that the plan is to offset the fuel consumption by tree planting and the like.
I do not believe that off setting on the required scale is possible.
If we are serious about a low carbon or net zero carbon economy, we will need to fly a lot less.

And remember that such carbon offsetting as is possible may be fully taken up by offsetting higher priority uses than flying.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: broadgage on January 17, 2021, 05:45:32 pm
Slavery, the fur trade, whale killing, fox hunting and others were once important to the economy, yet we manage without them now.
I would replace aviation jobs with;
Building new rail lines, and upgrading others, including electrification.
Improving bus services, building electric buses, building tramways.
Building the Severn barrage.
Building and installing wind turbines.
Installing Photovoltaic(PV) arrays on public buildings.
Increasing capacity at existing hydroelectric stations*
Improving the energy efficiency of housing and public buildings.
Flood resilience works.

*Or in more detail, the total annual energy production cant be increased in most cases as this is limited by the amount of water available. Peak power CAN be increased by fitting larger turbines and alternators. 100 Mw for 6 hours is worth a lot more than 25 Mw continually.




Edit:VickiS - Clarifying Acronym





Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: ellendune on January 17, 2021, 05:54:08 pm
Is there not a government policy to make the UK into a "net zero carbon economy" in not many years ? That will require largely eliminating air travel. And yet at present we are encouraging it with grants of public money.
By 2050, I think. The key word is "net". This means you (we) can carry on emitting CO2 but will use accountancy to create anti-CO2, eg by planting trees, in sufficient quantities to arrive at an arithmetical zero.

There is only so much space to plant trees so this cannot be the long term answer. 


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: broadgage on January 17, 2021, 06:15:13 pm
Tree planting helps only slightly. An ESTABLISHED forest absorbs very little carbon dioxide, the carbon absorbed by young growing trees, is offset by the carbon emitted as old trees die and either rot or are destroyed in forest fires.
A newly planted forest absorbs considerable carbon dioxide, but only whilst newly planted, once the forest is mature then as described above.

Destroying an existing forest returns to the atmosphere that carbon that would otherwise have remained locked up, not in any one tree, but in the forest a whole.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: TaplowGreen on January 17, 2021, 07:34:10 pm
Slavery, the fur trade, whale killing, fox hunting and others were once important to the economy, yet we manage without them now.
I would replace aviation jobs with;
Building new rail lines, and upgrading others, including electrification.
Improving bus services, building electric buses, building tramways.
Building the Severn barrage.
Building and installing wind turbines.
Installing PV arrays on public buildings.
Increasing capacity at existing hydroelectric stations*
Improving the energy efficiency of housing and public buildings.
Flood resilience works.

*Or in more detail, the total annual energy production cant be increased in most cases as this is limited by the amount of water available. Peak power CAN be increased by fitting larger turbines and alternators. 100 Mw for 6 hours is worth a lot more than 25 Mw continually.










Really hard to know whether to laugh or cry.

I didn't realise we had parody accounts in the Coffee shop!

🤦‍♂️😉


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: Bmblbzzz on January 17, 2021, 07:38:34 pm
Is there not a government policy to make the UK into a "net zero carbon economy" in not many years ? That will require largely eliminating air travel. And yet at present we are encouraging it with grants of public money.
By 2050, I think. The key word is "net". This means you (we) can carry on emitting CO2 but will use accountancy to create anti-CO2, eg by planting trees, in sufficient quantities to arrive at an arithmetical zero.

There is only so much space to plant trees so this cannot be the long term answer. 
It's not even a short term answer. It's the triumph of accountancy over mathematics and physics.

Accountants perform a useful function when they count things that actually exist but not when their profession is misused to count hypotheticals as real.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: Thatcham Crossing on January 18, 2021, 08:29:17 am
Quote
I know a fair bit about modern aviation, including the fact that it is virtually 100% fossil fuel powered, and that due to the distances covered that it burns a great volume of this fossil fuel.

I'm really sorry, but that statement demonstrates no knowledge at all. It's a statement of fact, yes, but takes no account of the progress made, for example, in reducing fuel consumption in recent years.

For example, a Boeing 747-400 (designed in the late 80's, and currently being retired by British Airways (BA) and other global airlines), will burn around 10-11 tonnes per hour whilst carrying 400 people on a 10 hour flight. All approximate figures, as it will vary according to weight, speed, altitude, temperature etc.

An Airbus A350-1000, which is a large twinjet, being used as a 747 replacement by BA, Virgin and others, will carry almost as many people and typically burn around 6t per hour, ie, approx 40% less. I think we can all call that progress.

All modern airliners use a computer model called "cost index" (part of the Flight Management Computer) to compute the most fuel-efficient speed, altitude, power settings etc. to achieve the lowest fuel consumption for a given flight. In some airlines, pilots are "measured" on their conformance against these targets.

But, hey, aviation is the root of all evil  ::)



Edit:VickiS - Clarifying abbreviation


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: broadgage on January 18, 2021, 01:00:38 pm
Modern aircraft do indeed burn less fuel than older types.
Still several tons of fuel per flight though.
Significant furthur improvements seem unlikely, jet engines are now a mature technology and unlikely to improve much.
The fuel used is virtualy 100% fossil fuel, and seems likely to remain so.

Surface transport by contrast does not have to be fossil fuel powered.
Railways can be electrified, and this is being done slowly.
Electric road vehicles are readily available.
Ships can be electric or wind powered.

Electric aircraft for long distance use seem improbable because the energy density of batteries is less than that of jet fuel.

Electricity can be generated from renewable sources and increasingly it is.
Jet fuel is virtualy 100% fossil fuel. I very much doubt that renewably produced jet fuel will ever be available in sufficient volumes.

It is not JUST air travel to which I am opposed. Excessive use of fossil fueled cars and other road vehicles is as bad. At least we are doing something about this with the upcoming ban an new registrations of such vehicles.

Excessive, wasteful and needless fuel use for other purposes is also a concern, but IS being at least partialy addressed by new building regulations and by new standards for energy efficiency of lamps and appliances.
There is for example a proposal to prohibit gas supply to new homes.

But air travel it seems must be protected by subsidies, rather than being allowed to contract.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: TonyK on January 18, 2021, 04:19:06 pm
Is there not a government policy to make the UK into a "net zero carbon economy" in not many years ? That will require largely eliminating air travel. And yet at present we are encouraging it with grants of public money.
By 2050, I think. The key word is "net". This means you (we) can carry on emitting CO2 but will use accountancy to create anti-CO2, eg by planting trees, in sufficient quantities to arrive at an arithmetical zero.

There is only so much space to plant trees so this cannot be the long term answer. 

I wouldn't worry about space to plant trees. One of the subsidy-heavy "green" schemes involves Drax power station burning 8 million tonnes of wood pellets annually instead of coal. They will burn the trees faster than you can grow them. As it happens, they already do, importing most of that timber from north America and the Baltic states, so nobody notices. There's also the space left by the estimated 14 million trees cut down in Scotland to satisfy the foreign wind turbine manufacturers' insatiable demand for places to put wind farms.

Jet fuel has been produced in laboratories, and work continues to upscale this to commercial production. It is done by combining hydrogen and carbon at high temperature over a catalyst, so using some of that pesky carbon dioxide. It is rather hungry for energy, but the industry tells us, somewhat tongue in cheek, that this could use all the spare renewable energy that doesn't exist. It could be done using the predictable sunshine in deserts, like in the UAE, but you can see why they might not rush to start production. Having said that, the UAE is diversifying, and has just switched on its first nuclear power station. If they find themselves stuck for something to do with all that power, this could be it.

Biofuel for jets is another option. Again, this sounds wonderful until you think about where it would be grown, and realise that what is left of the Amazon and Indonesian rain forests would work well.

Aviation produces 2% of the world's carbon dioxide emissions. If it is, as Broadgage says, a mature technology and unlikely to improve much, it would make sense to concentrate first on the other 98% with the same evangelical fervour. As he helpfully points out, we could push electricity as the motive power of choice for cars and trains, and build a new fleet of fast clippers to bring our tea from the east, instead of relying on diesel.

Slavery isn't important to the economy in this country, now that we can rely on sweat shops abroad to exploit their own workers to give us cheap goods and clothing. As with a lot of other things, such as carbon dioxide and waste plastic, it is one of our more successful exports. I don't think fox hunting was ever crucial to the national economy. The meets still meet in large part. Even without hounds, they are, well, hounded by people who refuse to accept than anyone smartly dressed on a horse isn't up to no good. Farmers have found other ways to kill foxes without anybody  seeing it.

If the contents of my junk mail folder are anything to go by, then hydrogen is the new target for massive subsidies, so make sure we don't get sidetracked into spending the green energy budget on that.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: broadgage on January 18, 2021, 07:40:19 pm
Whilst it may be true that aviation accounts for only about 2% of global emissions, that could probably be said of many other sources of carbon dioxide, if considered in isolation.

Do not worry about aviation it is only 2%
Do not worry about private cars, they are only a few percent of the total.
Do not worry about Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV)s they are a small proportion of the total.
Do not worry about domestic heating, it is only a small percentage of the total.
Do not worry about UK emissions, they are a very small percentage of the world total.

Or perhaps simply let us do nothing much.


Edit:VickiS - Clarifying abbreviation


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: TonyK on January 18, 2021, 10:42:01 pm
Whilst it may be true that aviation accounts for only about 2% of global emissions, that could probably be said of many other sources of carbon dioxide, if considered in isolation.

Do not worry about aviation it is only 2%
Do not worry about private cars, they are only a few percent of the total.
Do not worry about HGVs they are a small proportion of the total.
Do not worry about domestic heating, it is only a small percentage of the total.
Do not worry about UK emissions, they are a very small percentage of the world total.


Let's look at the detail:
Road transport accounts for 11.9% of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide - electrify that using clean methods, and you've made a big big difference. Put it on rails, 0.4%, and you make a small additional difference.
Heating and lighting for residential buildings causes 10.9% of CO2 emissions. Change that to clean electric and/or increase efficiency, and you're onto a winner. Commercial buildings add another 6.6%.
Industry produces 24.2%. You are probably stuck with iron and steel's 7.2% until someone perfects less toxic ways of producing them, but things like concrete and cement, around 7.5%, could be done using clean energy.
I didn't say do not worry about any of this. We should be very worried, and building a mixture of nuclear and renewable plants to produce real clean energy rather than hitting individual sectors. Otherwise, we end up with boats glued to roads and arguments about the energy used to build bicycles and wind turbines rather than persuading the powers that be to do things that really would help.

My source for the figures is Our World in Data (https://ourworldindata.org/emissions-by-sector).


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: Trowres on January 19, 2021, 12:23:41 am
This forum normally has very high standards of conduct; I'm going to commend Broadgage for the courage in posting his thoughts in spite of a rather hostile reception.

As TonyK says of the problem: we should be very worried. Some of the perceived techno-solutions don't scale up without giving problems of their own (e.g. biofuels). Another issue is that the rest-of-the-world still has a long way to catch up with western lifestyles (and energy consumption).

For all the benefits of air travel, it might be a good idea if it was treated as a precious commodity and used thoughtfully and sparingly.



Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: Thatcham Crossing on January 19, 2021, 09:00:25 am
Quote
This forum normally has very high standards of conduct; I'm going to commend Broadgage for the courage in posting his thoughts in spite of a rather hostile reception.

Yes, myself and a few others have been a bit "direct" with broadgage.

I think we all know there is a climate emergency and that greenhouse gas emissions are a big concern.

A bit like with the current health emergency, science, technological evolution and, in this case, ecological countermeasures will overcome this in time.

I think it's the utopian (or as TG said, quixotic) mantra that broadgage exudes, without variation, that is driving the response.

Happy to step away if others feel a mark has been over-stepped?


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: grahame on January 19, 2021, 09:58:03 am
The "how much difference can we make in this area / how important is this factor" question reminds me - so much - of much work I have done during my career in areas like speeding up software, and of reducing server and system load so that systems can cope.

I recall commenting, many many years ago, "goodness - this is slow" as I ran a piece of our own software that tidied up databases. Comment too loud ... I was out of the office the following day, and our YTS (Youth Training Scheme) student took it upon himself to invest his time that whole day to speed it up. And, goodness, he was proud the next morning to tell me that a 20 second job was down to 10 seconds. "But, [name], we only run that once a week ... how long is it going to take us in 10 second gains to get back all the time you invested yesterday?". "Is this something which is a key issue with customers that will make a difference to our ongoing business?"

It is so easy - seen it done many times (and made the mistake myself) - to invest massive resources into improving one element of a system which in practice is only 10% of the whole, while overlooking the other 90% "elephant in the room". Even by halving the time / resource taken by the bit that has been sped up, the overall speed up of just one twentieth is usually unnoticeable, and the cost can be high in terms of investment, and perhaps also in terms of the new, quicker system having a downside of being harder to maintain.

All very theoretic ... and a handful of follow up thoughts / conclusions

1. If that 90% isn't a single elephant in the room, but rather a whole lot of much smaller elements, the "let's concentrate on this bit instead" idea falls apart as there is no better bit to look at - they ALL need to be looked at!

2. Once that 90% gets slashed, the 10% DOES become more significant ... dramatic changes can be made (in software and other systems) - orders of magnitude - and if that 90% is reduced by a factor of 10, 10% we have overlooked becomes 55% we should not overlook.

3. Resource use overall can be slashed, but rarely becomes zero - there is almost always going to be some sort of residual.

4. Reduction of resource use opens opportunities to do new things that are better that could even have been imagined before.  And things that once were issues fade away and become none-issues.

Where am I headed?  I will leave it for the reader to draw on what I've written.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: TonyK on January 19, 2021, 01:52:44 pm
This forum normally has very high standards of conduct; I'm going to commend Broadgage for the courage in posting his thoughts in spite of a rather hostile reception.

I also commend Broadgage, and hope I haven't overstepped the mark. Some things will always polarise opinion with no scientific reason for doing so, as any football supporter or fan of a particular genre of music will grudgingly admit. For other things, there is there is a need for an open debate. I am sure that Broadgage and I are talking about the same problem from the same point of view, and just arguing about the priorities in resolving it.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: TaplowGreen on January 19, 2021, 05:47:08 pm
This forum normally has very high standards of conduct; I'm going to commend Broadgage for the courage in posting his thoughts in spite of a rather hostile reception.

I also commend Broadgage, and hope I haven't overstepped the mark. Some things will always polarise opinion with no scientific reason for doing so, as any football supporter or fan of a particular genre of music will grudgingly admit. For other things, there is there is a need for an open debate. I am sure that Broadgage and I are talking about the same problem from the same point of view, and just arguing about the priorities in resolving it.

Hear hear - ourselves, and the Forum would be poorer without Broadgage's ruminations and his crystal ball!

May his bottle of Port never run dry  :)


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: GBM on March 19, 2021, 07:46:04 am
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Radio Cornwall this morning talking about experimental electric planes to be developed at Newquay with test flights between Newquay and Exeter.
Unable to find a link on their website, and 'listen again' isn't available until after the programme ends.
It's not yet April 1st.

A topic to lift member broadgage mood perhaps  ;D ;D

Edit:VickiS -Clarifying Abbreviation


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: TaplowGreen on March 19, 2021, 07:57:53 am
BBC Radio Cornwall this morning talking about experimental electric planes to be developed at Newquay with test flights between Newquay and Exeter.
Unable to find a link on their website, and 'listen again' isn't available until after the programme ends.
It's not yet April 1st.

A topic to lift member broadgage mood perhaps  ;D ;D

You may need to shout a bit louder - last I heard he was digging for coal in his back garden!  :)


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: GBM on March 19, 2021, 08:08:52 am

You may need to shout a bit louder - last I heard he was digging for coal in his back garden!  :)

I now have an image of said member; large rimmed hat, string vest, smoking a cheroot, casually striking a lode within a few inches of the topsoil.  A small table beside holds a decanter of port  :-[ 


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: TaplowGreen on March 19, 2021, 08:18:01 am

You may need to shout a bit louder - last I heard he was digging for coal in his back garden!  :)

I now have an image of said member; large rimmed hat, string vest, smoking a cheroot, casually striking a lode within a few inches of the topsoil.  A small table beside holds a decanter of port  :-[ 

...........whilst his faithful punkah wallah does his best to keep him cool from his position atop the statue of Queen Victoria, wafting a copy of the Times which gives an account of glorious victory in the Battle of Omdurman.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: GBM on March 19, 2021, 08:19:50 am
Apologies member broadgage, no offence is meant or intended; should this have caused you any discomfort


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: grahame on March 19, 2021, 08:28:07 am
Apologies member broadgage, no offence is meant or intended; should this have caused you any discomfort

I am ... relieved ... that members realise just how close to the wind they are sailing in some of the posting just above. There is a very fine line between sharing a joke with someone (and I know broadgage can share a joke - there's one in his forum  handle) and going beyond what is acceptable, either in content or in persistance.

Thank you for that note, GBM.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: broadgage on March 19, 2021, 08:33:26 am
Electric planes are entirely possible for relatively "short hop" flights, several have already flown, and I expect more use of this technology.
MOST short flights could be better replaced by railways, buses, or cars, preferably electric.

There are exceptions such as flights to islands, or when the travel demand does not warrant building a road let alone a railway.

I do not believe that we will EVER see electric airliners on long haul flights. The energy density of even the best batteries is far below that of jet fuel.

So whilst electric aircraft are arguably a good thing, a few short electrically powered flights do NOT mean that people can continue to fly thousands of miles and kid themselves that this is "OK because one day it might be electric"

BTW, I do not smoke, nor posses any string vests. I find electric fans preferable to a punka walla.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: TonyK on March 19, 2021, 09:58:02 am

BTW, I do not smoke, nor posses any string vests. I find electric fans preferable to a punka walla.

Some other things we have in common. There is more that unites us than divides us, broadgage!

Moving on, word reaches me from the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (https://www.imeche.org/news/news-article/cooking-oil-fuels-three-hour-airbus-a350-flight-without-kerosene) that an Airbus A350 made a three-hour flight using only waste cooking oil and fat.

Quote
An Airbus A350 airliner has flown using 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

The three-hour test flight, conducted on Tuesday (16 March) in Toulouse, France, was the first flight in a test programme aimed at assessing the emissions performance of SAFs.

All Airbus aircraft are certified to fly with up to 50% SAF mixed with kerosene. “The emissions performance of SAF when unblended with any type of fossil fuel has remained a question mark across the industry,” an Airbus announcement said.

The project is using a mixture made from Hydroprocessed Esters and Fatty Acids (HEFA), which generally consists of globally sourced animal fat and used cooking oil. The feedstock for the Airbus flights is of European origin, and a spokesman told Professional Engineering the SAF was made with cooking oil. 
(Continues at source)

So there we are. If you could all eat more sausage and chips, we can go on holiday with a clear conscience. More seriously, science can solve two problems in one.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: stuving on March 19, 2021, 12:43:21 pm
Moving on, word reaches me from the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (https://www.imeche.org/news/news-article/cooking-oil-fuels-three-hour-airbus-a350-flight-without-kerosene) that an Airbus A350 made a three-hour flight using only waste cooking oil and fat.

Quote
An Airbus A350 airliner has flown using 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

The three-hour test flight, conducted on Tuesday (16 March) in Toulouse, France, was the first flight in a test programme aimed at assessing the emissions performance of SAFs.

All Airbus aircraft are certified to fly with up to 50% SAF mixed with kerosene. “The emissions performance of SAF when unblended with any type of fossil fuel has remained a question mark across the industry,” an Airbus announcement said.

The project is using a mixture made from Hydroprocessed Esters and Fatty Acids (HEFA), which generally consists of globally sourced animal fat and used cooking oil. The feedstock for the Airbus flights is of European origin, and a spokesman told Professional Engineering the SAF was made with cooking oil. 
(Continues at source)

So there we are. If you could all eat more sausage and chips, we can go on holiday with a clear conscience. More seriously, science can solve two problems in one.

I'm not sure it's a surprise that's possible. The problem with this processing is the low yield of molecules with the right properties - aviation fuel has to be a manageable liquid over a wide temperature range. But while most of the earth-shattering technical advances we've all seen announced almost every week have left us with an somewhat undershatterd earth, the accumulation of small steps forward is more important that it is noticeable. And the more options are being explored the better.

So, for aircraft fuel, this BBC report (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-56408603) is about a way of fermenting really sloppy yucky waste into volatile fatty acids, and claims it's easy to make jet fuel out of those. This waste is stuff that isn't usually put into digesters as they don't like it, and the VFAs are not liked in biomethane as they smell really rotten.

And Carbon Engineering (https://carbonengineering.com/news-updates/) - the Canadians who are going for the direct extraction of CO2 from the air - have started selling their "product" to real customers. Or almost: it's Shopify who are buying negative emissions as offset, and at this stage they will bury the gas produced (they are working on the "air to fuels" process for later on).
Quote
SQUAMISH, British Columbia (Tuesday, March 9, 2021) – A new carbon dioxide removal service has been launched today by Carbon Engineering (CE) that allows customers to purchase the removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere using CE’s large-scale DAC technology. Shopify, a leading global commerce company, has signed on as the first customer for the service, reserving 10,000 tonnes of permanent carbon removal capacity from a large-scale DAC project. The carbon dioxide removal will be achieved through CE’s plant development partner, 1PointFive – the US development company currently engineering CE’s first industrial-scale facility that is expected to be operational in 2024.

But every little helps!


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: broadgage on March 19, 2021, 01:16:42 pm
I am very doubtful indeed as to the merits of "synthetic jet fuel" from the process as described, for at least two reasons.

Firstly such ideas are regularly disscussed whenever air travel gets a bad press for enviromental reasons. None are used on a significant scale.

Secondly, and more importantly, we need to drastically reduce fossil fuel use. If synthetic jet fuel DOES become available I would prefer that it be used for higher priority applications than flying for pleasure or business.
Air ambulance flights.
Fire engines*
Ambulances*
Standby generators in hospitals or similar places*
Diesel trains on routes not yet electrified*
Essential road freight that can not go by rail or in electric road vehicles.
Powering farm tractors for food production*

Are all arguably much higher prioities for synthetic fuels to replace fossil fuels than holidays. Applications marked * are diesel fuel, not jet fuel, but the two are very similar.
If enough greenish synthetic fuel can be produced to meet ALL HIGH PRIORITY uses, then holiday and busineses air travel could be considered. Most unlikely.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: grahame on March 19, 2021, 01:25:12 pm
Powering farm tractors for food production

There may be elements there where electric vehicles can help though perhaps they're behind the curve compared to transport electrification.  See Future Farming (https://www.futurefarming.com/Machinery/Articles/2020/3/John-Deere-We-believe-in-electric-tractors-100-552869E/)


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: broadgage on March 19, 2021, 01:36:44 pm
I also have little faith in the various schemes that claim "fuel from air" They are undoubetedly possible and break no lays of science.
They do however require a vast amount of electricity and should more accuratly be called "liquid fuels from electricity"  The complex process requires an energy input of about 3 times that contained in the fuel produced.

Common liquid fuels contain about 10 KWH per liter.
If made from electricity, about 30 KWH input would be required.
At current prices, that comes to about £4.50 a liter just for the energy input.
It would probably be prudent to at least double that in order to allow for
Return on capital invested.
Staff costs.
Rent, rates, and taxes.
Insurance.
Maintenance and spare parts for the complex process.
And all the other costs of doing business.
The owners of this facility might also hope to make a profit.

And from where is all this extra electricity to be obtained ? Thousands of extra wind turbines ? A few dozen new nukes ?


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: TonyK on March 19, 2021, 01:58:40 pm
I'm not sure it's a surprise that's possible. The problem with this processing is the low yield of molecules with the right properties - aviation fuel has to be a manageable liquid over a wide temperature range. But while most of the earth-shattering technical advances we've all seen announced almost every week have left us with an somewhat undershatterd earth, the accumulation of small steps forward is more important that it is noticeable. And the more options are being explored the better.

So, for aircraft fuel, this BBC report (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-56408603) is about a way of fermenting really sloppy yucky waste into volatile fatty acids, and claims it's easy to make jet fuel out of those. This waste is stuff that isn't usually put into digesters as they don't like it, and the VFAs are not liked in biomethane as they smell really rotten.

And Carbon Engineering (https://carbonengineering.com/news-updates/) - the Canadians who are going for the direct extraction of CO2 from the air - have started selling their "product" to real customers. Or almost: it's Shopify who are buying negative emissions as offset, and at this stage they will bury the gas produced (they are working on the "air to fuels" process for later on).
Quote
SQUAMISH, British Columbia (Tuesday, March 9, 2021) – A new carbon dioxide removal service has been launched today by Carbon Engineering (CE) that allows customers to purchase the removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere using CE’s large-scale DAC technology. Shopify, a leading global commerce company, has signed on as the first customer for the service, reserving 10,000 tonnes of permanent carbon removal capacity from a large-scale DAC project. The carbon dioxide removal will be achieved through CE’s plant development partner, 1PointFive – the US development company currently engineering CE’s first industrial-scale facility that is expected to be operational in 2024.

But every little helps!

There's a danger here, though. If the idea of carbon capture and storage is going to get from laboratory to full scale, somebody will need to subsidise it. Business being business, it won't be long before companies start to chase subsidies rather than carbon dioxide. Oil, gas and coal will enjoy a resurgence, with critics being told "Don't worry, we've paid money to a guy in Canada to grab the CO2. We have a stiffcut." Then one day, someone notices that the Atlantic is looking a bit fizzy...

Science has managed to make jet fuel in a laboratory from carbon dioxide and hydrogen. It might cost a bit more than Saudi Arabia's finest costs at the refinery gate, but surely it's worth a punt until the railway bridge to Tenerife is finished. Then we can stop banging on about flying so much, and start vilifying concrete. Producing more than thrice the CO2 that aviation does, it's about time.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: stuving on March 20, 2021, 11:42:30 am
There has been a flood of decarbonisation plans from bits of the government recently, with the one on transport (https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwiV-d7z1b7vAhVcShUIHUgkArQQFjADegQIBxAD&url=https%3A%2F%2Fassets.publishing.service.gov.uk%2Fgovernment%2Fuploads%2Fsystem%2Fuploads%2Fattachment_data%2Ffile%2F932122%2Fdecarbonising-transport-setting-the-challenge.pdf&usg=AOvVaw1fE58555eww3rCWHOJvW0j) and then a big one last week about industry (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/industrial-decarbonisation-strategy). One side effect of that was to make it very hard to search for a less noisy announcement of research funding for "green technologies" (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/over-90-million-government-funding-to-power-green-technologies).
Quote
£92 million investment will enable green innovators to drive forward the next generation of technologies that will help the UK transition to clean, green energy and tackle climate change, the government announced today (Tuesday 9 March).

The government has launched 3 new innovation challenges across key areas of the green energy sector including energy storage technology, floating offshore wind and biomass production.

It was the energy storage one that caught my eye, and gets most of the money, split £(68/20/4)M. There's a separate announcement for that (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/longer-duration-energy-storage-demonstration/proposal-for-the-longer-duration-energy-storage-demonstration-innovation-competition), saying:
Quote
Budget
Up to £68 million capital funding across 2 competition streams. Stream 1 will provide grant funding for projects with technology readiness levels that are over 6. Stream 2 will provide Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) funding for projects with technology readiness levels that are either 4 or 5.

Technology scope
Electric, Thermal, Power-to-X. All demonstrations would have to demonstrate flexibility service provision both to and from the grid. Solutions with widely deployed UK commercial demonstrations will be out of scope (e.g. lithium ion, pumped hydro, large water tanks).

Proposal
Longer duration storage (across days, weeks, and months) could help reduce the cost of meeting net zero by storing excess low carbon generation for longer periods of time - helping to manage variation in generation, such as extended periods of low wind. This could reduce the amount of fossil fuel and low carbon generation that would otherwise be needed and optimise the output from renewables (rather than paying to turn off generators when there is excess supply).

As trailed in the Energy White Paper, the competition is intended to accelerate commercialisation of innovative longer duration energy storage projects (i.e. excluding commercial solutions such as pumped hydro/lithium ion) at different technology readiness levels, through first-of-a-kind (FOAK) full-system prototypes or actual demonstrations.

I know what FOAK is - first of a kind - but there's also FEED in that text, which isn't defined. That, apparently, is "front-end engineering design" - new to me, and it used to be my job!

And what does "large water tanks" mean in that list of out-of-scope approaches? My guess is thermal storage, n
such as in your basement, but it's not exactly going out of its way to tell us. "Power-to-X" will no doubt be explained once someone has picked an X and put in a proposal.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: broadgage on March 20, 2021, 05:28:00 pm
"Large water tanks" could have several possible meanings.

1) Large elevated water tanks, to store energy in the same manner as existing pumped storage schemes. Unlikely to be viable, do the maths on the size and cost of the tank relative to the amount of energy stored.

2) Large tanks of heated water, for space heating, or domestic hot water. Can work very well if cheap and plentiful off peak electricity is used to heat the water.

3) Large tanks of chilled water for air conditioning. Chill when power is cheap or plentiful and use to cool offices, shops, data centers and the like. Works well, but requires HUGE water tanks, much larger than for a similar heating demand with hot water.
Tank size can be reduced by storage as ice rather than as chilled water, but is rather complex.

4) A rather less likely possibility is large elevated water tanks NOT TO directly store energy, but for urban water supply. The water company pump water up to the tanks in the off peak, and consumers are supplied from the tanks as needed. Reduces peak demand by reducing or eliminating peak hour pumping demand.
Also the merit of providing a large reserve supply of water in case of fire.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: stuving on March 20, 2021, 05:33:24 pm
"Large water tanks" could have several possible meanings.

Ah, but which are "solutions with widely deployed UK commercial demonstrations", as stated in the text? 2 and (probably the same ones as 2) 3, I think.

Come to think of it, what exactly is a "commercial demonstration"?


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: ellendune on March 20, 2021, 05:57:50 pm
2) Large tanks of heated water, for space heating, or domestic hot water. Can work very well if cheap and plentiful off peak electricity is used to heat the water.

The name I have seen used for these in the technical literature is "thermal heat store"


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: Clan Line on March 20, 2021, 09:41:06 pm
2) Large tanks of heated water, for space heating, or domestic hot water. Can work very well if cheap and plentiful off peak electricity is used to heat the water.

The name I have seen used for these in the technical literature is "thermal heat store"

Plenty of these around for domestic hot water use already. Their reputation has been rather spoilt by the biggest supplier producing poor quality items - has now got the message and gives a 25 years warranty on current products. I have one of these, works very well - 200L of water at 90° C keeps me going all day from cheap night rate electricity. Can only ever remember once having to "boost" it during the day. Another advantage is that my hot water is at the same pressure as my cold - if I turn the shower on "full" I am pinned to the back wall of the cubicle  :D :D


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: TonyK on March 21, 2021, 12:33:31 am
"Large water tanks" could have several possible meanings.

Ah, but which are "solutions with widely deployed UK commercial demonstrations", as stated in the text? 2 and (probably the same ones as 2) 3, I think.

Come to think of it, what exactly is a "commercial demonstration"?

Think laser. In early experiments, razor blades were used as targets, so much so that someone suggested that energy measurement should be not in Joules but in Gillettes. A commercial demonstration would involve the hull of a cruise liner or similar, and be accompanied by a full-scale demonstration of lifeboats.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: GBM on June 26, 2022, 07:05:36 am
https://www.flightradar24.com/blog/bra-completes-first-true-100-sustainable-aviation-fuel-commercial-aircraft-flight/?utm_source=sendgrid.com&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=website

BRA, in collaboration with manufacturer ATR and fuel supplier NESTE, performed the world’s first true 100% sustainable aviation fuel commercial flight from Malmö to Stockholm on 21 June. The 1 hour 11 minute flight was operated by ATR 72-600 SE-MKK, one of BRA’s 14 ATR 72 aircraft.

This was the first flight operated by a commercial aircraft on 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in both engines. Current regulations permit a maximum 50% mix of SAF and traditional jet fuel for regular operations. The European Union Aviation Safety Agency provided an exemption for this demonstration flight.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: TaplowGreen on June 26, 2022, 09:42:57 am
https://www.flightradar24.com/blog/bra-completes-first-true-100-sustainable-aviation-fuel-commercial-aircraft-flight/?utm_source=sendgrid.com&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=website

BRA, in collaboration with manufacturer ATR and fuel supplier NESTE, performed the world’s first true 100% sustainable aviation fuel commercial flight from Malmö to Stockholm on 21 June. The 1 hour 11 minute flight was operated by ATR 72-600 SE-MKK, one of BRA’s 14 ATR 72 aircraft.

This was the first flight operated by a commercial aircraft on 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in both engines. Current regulations permit a maximum 50% mix of SAF and traditional jet fuel for regular operations. The European Union Aviation Safety Agency provided an exemption for this demonstration flight.

Amazing how far aviation has come in this respect and very encouraging for the future. It'll make it much easier for Greta to get to Glastonbury in future!


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: GBM on June 26, 2022, 10:46:26 am
Couldn't find an appropriate thread to put the report in unfortunately.

It certainly doesn't meet the 'no fly' criteria, just supports flying as possibly more sustainable!
There was mention of a solar/battery flight last year(?) to Newquay but I've read nothing since.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: broadgage on June 26, 2022, 11:41:20 am
I see nothing "amazing" in one flight.
I very much doubt that sufficient of this new fuel could be produced to fuel even one percent of todays civil aviation.

And such supplies of this fuel as ARE available should be used for higher priority purposes than aviation.

Fire engines, ambulances, farm tractors, ships, diesel railways, essential road freight, buses/coaches, construction machinery and other high priority uses are far more important than holidays and business meetings.

Use of diesel fuel should be minimised and replaced where possible with electricity, but a considerable number of essential uses will remain included those listed above. Only after ALL such essential uses have been "greened" should civil aviation be considered.

I also remain most concerned at the use of potential food sources as fuel. The invasion of Ukraine has increased concerns about food supplies in general and about edible oils in particular.

If we are serious about the climate emergency we need to fly a lot less.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: ellendune on June 26, 2022, 12:33:49 pm
Amazing how far aviation has come in this respect and very encouraging for the future. It'll make it much easier for Greta to get to Glastonbury in future!

Why when it is easy to do that journey by rail!


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: TaplowGreen on June 26, 2022, 01:52:38 pm
Amazing how far aviation has come in this respect and very encouraging for the future. It'll make it much easier for Greta to get to Glastonbury in future!

Why when it is easy to do that journey by rail!

Apologies - I forgot about GWR's service from Stockholm to Castle Cary.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: eightonedee on June 26, 2022, 05:21:25 pm
While on the subject of Greta...

Some 200,000 converge on Somerset for Glastonbury,  very few using the train due to the strikes.  Performers fly in from all around the world to entertain them. WOW! Just think of the enormous carbon footprint of the event.

But as Greta is attending it's all OK isn't it? ???


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: broadgage on June 26, 2022, 06:56:32 pm
While on the subject of Greta...

Some 200,000 converge on Somerset for Glastonbury,  very few using the train due to the strikes.  Performers fly in from all around the world to entertain them. WOW! Just think of the enormous carbon footprint of the event.

But as Greta is attending it's all OK isn't it? ???

Cant blame those attending for the train strike. Many had already purchased expensive tickets with the intention of travelling by train.

Otherwise I agree, vast fuel use both in flying performers to the venue, and diesel fuel for electricity generation on site. Some renewabl;e energy is used, but I suspect that it is a very small part of the total.

Also an appalling waste of tents and other camping equipment much of which is discarded after a single use.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: didcotdean on June 26, 2022, 07:02:44 pm
The trains that did run to Castle Cary were fairly empty going by a few pictures taken by people on them being pleasantly surprised.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: TaplowGreen on June 26, 2022, 09:23:12 pm
While on the subject of Greta...

Some 200,000 converge on Somerset for Glastonbury,  very few using the train due to the strikes.  Performers fly in from all around the world to entertain them. WOW! Just think of the enormous carbon footprint of the event.

But as Greta is attending it's all OK isn't it? ???

Cant blame those attending for the train strike. Many had already purchased expensive tickets with the intention of travelling by train.

Otherwise I agree, vast fuel use both in flying performers to the venue, and diesel fuel for electricity generation on site. Some renewabl;e energy is used, but I suspect that it is a very small part of the total.

Also an appalling waste of tents and other camping equipment much of which is discarded after a single use.

Much of the tents, sleeping bags, camping equipment etc are recycled and given to charity to be fair and the cost of the cleanup is factored into the £285 ticket price (clearly there are 200,000 people not experiencing a  cost of living crisis anyway!)



Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: TonyK on June 26, 2022, 10:25:17 pm
While on the subject of Greta...

Some 200,000 converge on Somerset for Glastonbury,  very few using the train due to the strikes.  Performers fly in from all around the world to entertain them. WOW! Just think of the enormous carbon footprint of the event.

But as Greta is attending it's all OK isn't it? ???

I thought the angry young lady was Billie Eilish.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: GBM on July 23, 2022, 02:05:50 pm
I missed this initially, only just seen it.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-62086128

An electrically powered aircraft had to carry out a forced landing after its battery was switched off as part of a flight test, a report said.

The modified Piper PA-46-350P was undertaking "experimental" tests when it "suffered a loss of power to the electrical motors", the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said......(Continues).........


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: broadgage on July 23, 2022, 02:24:24 pm
An unfortunate accident but we must remember that electric flight is still a new technology and that accidents are inevitable whilst the technology is developed, tested, and improved.

A lot of petrol powered aircraft crashed in the early days, often with far worse results than this accident.

I suspect that battery powered aircraft will soon be in general use for short hops to remote islands and similar routes. I doubt that we will EVER see battery aircraft that can carry dozens of passengers across major oceans at speeds of 500 MPH or more. The energy density of even the best batteries is not sufficient.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: TonyK on July 24, 2022, 12:13:09 am
I have some experience of flying light aircraft, as do others here, although not electric obviously. Before I started to read the full report (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/62a20c39d3bf7f037097be7b/Piper_PA-46-350P__Modified__G-HYZA_08-22.pdf), I wondered why an experiment with the energy system would be carried out at a point in the flight where complete failure of the power system would present the greatest risk. Why not do it on the downwind leg of the circuit?

I also wondered why the pilot even considered trying to turn back at such a low altitude. It is drilled into the student that you don't do that with an engine failure at a low altitude, such as just after taking off, unless you want a sharp and painful lesson on the preservation of kinetic energy.

Then I wondered if the idea of electric aviation is flawed completely, with inherent risks that don't exist in conventional aircraft.

The report addressed all these points, and more. In the first, the effect of an earlier power change was being discussed, and the pilot had been watching instruments including the power management screen below the power lever - not in front of him like most instruments are. He flew further downwind than intended. He could have flown along the length of the runway and gone round the circuit again, but didn't because it would use more battery power, and carried on with the experiment because it hadn't gone wrong before. This shows that there is obviously a first time for everything.

In the second, the pilot said he was going to turn back because he had lost sight of his altitude while concentrating on trying to get the motors running again, although he quickly realised the situation and changed his mind. That ended reasonably well, probably because of the experience of the pilot, but my text books say several times at various points on various topics: "First, fly the aircraft". In an emergency, while you have your head down in the controls, the Earth will be rushing upwards to meet you, so look out of the window.

Nothing in that report shows that hydrogen cell and high voltage battery systems are never going to be safe, but it does seem that the race to get there before the competition blinkered the team somewhat. Corners were not cut deliberately, but it does seem that some things were not considered that should have been looked at in greater detail on the ground first - particularly this issue of a windmilling propeller generating enough electrical power to overload the system. The development team will probably have had that "Oh yeah - didn't spot that" moment, and it is very likey that other companies around the globe will be thankful they got away with it.

I would imagine that the hybrid battery and fuel cell pattern will be the winner in the electric aircraft story, because of the need for high power at take-off and a few other points in the flight. I was surprised that the fuel cell generated so much heat, which looks like energy wasted. I think I'll wait a bit longer before buying one.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: broadgage on July 25, 2022, 03:00:51 am
I do not feel that electric flight is fundamentally flawed, the risks are arguably less than being reliant on a single petrol engine.
Electric motors are very reliable, and batteries are modular which makes complete failure very unlikely.

Only suitable for short ranges at low speeds due to the low energy density of batteries.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: TonyK on July 25, 2022, 09:43:00 am
I do not feel that electric flight is fundamentally flawed, the risks are arguably less than being reliant on a single petrol engine.
Electric motors are very reliable, and batteries are modular which makes complete failure very unlikely.

Only suitable for short ranges at low speeds due to the low energy density of batteries.

I'm sure it isn't inherently dangerous, but it introduces a level of complexity that is avoided in light aircraft as much as possible. That needs to be sorted out and made idiot proof before electric planes rule the sky. And you overstate the risk of that single engine.

If you look under the engine cowling of a light aircraft, you will probably think "Where's the rest?" There's a lot less involved than in a family car. I flew Piper Cherokees, which have a four-cylinder short bore horizontally opposed air-cooled engine  - the Malibu has a six-cylinder engine, but very similar otherwise. There are injection engines, mine had a carburettor. Each cylinder has two spark plugs, fed from two magnetos (remember them?), a rudimentary heater for the carb, which basically diverts hot air on the few occasions it is in use, and an alternator to charge the battery. That was about it. Before every flight, I would check the oil and look for any evidence of leaks in the engine compartment. Before taking off, I would run up the engine to 2,000 rpm, check that the carb heater is working by watching for a slight drop in rpm, and switch off each magneto in turn to make sure both were working. In the take-off run, there are brief checks to make sure all is well before leaving the ground behind. The engine had a check every 50 hours by the licenced engineer, and had a lifetime of 1,500 hours before being returned to the factory for reconditioning. If every car was of the same simplicity, serviced as regularly, and checked before leaving home, the AA and RAC would be in trouble.

In general aviation, it is said that the main advantage of having two engines is that it doubles your chances of an engine failure. Losing one of a pair on take-off is as big if not bigger a challenge than losing the only one. On practically every flight with an instructor after about the fifth, I would be merrily pootling along when it would suddenly go very quiet as my instructor cut the power to have me prepare for a forced landing. Before I took off on my first solo flight, I had to show that I could handle an engine failure at take-off by finding somewhere to land with a good chance of me flying later that day, if not the aircraft. My apologies to anyone who was at the rugby ground at Cribbs Causeway that day. All this preparation was for an event with a vanishingly small percentage chance of actually happening with the level of competence checked annually (more often in the commercial world), something that doesn't happen in private motoring.

You are right on energy density, something that is also the case with hydrogen. In one perverse sense, the ecological campaign industry has much to thank aviation for, even if they don't acknowledge it. Since the mid-1970s, research has been centred on getting more out of every drop of aviation fuel. The new generation of engines used on carrying holidaymakers to Benidorm are hugely more efficient than those on the early machines, and that progress will continue, with spin-offs throughout other industries like in the space race. There is a demonstration version of a solar powered reactor that uses hydrogen and carbon dioxide (https://www.cell.com/joule/fulltext/S2542-4351(22)00286-0) to make aviation fuel. Woefully inefficient and expensive at present, but still a step towards turning the Sahara into a zero-carbon aviation fuel centre. Aviation attracts a lot of research money in comparison to that addressed at removing the carbon from the other 98% of worldwide energy use because it's the bad boy used by the rich and famous on the way to the next climate change protest. And if airlines use less fuel per kg of passenger or freight carried, they make more money. Win-win.

I can't see synthetic hydrocarbons ever being practical for surface transport that could use electricity, but this could work for shipping and transport in remote areas.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: stuving on November 28, 2022, 07:07:15 pm
Here's an update on what turns out to be called LODES - the Longer Duration Energy Storage Demonstration Programme Stream - which started in March last year (http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=21635.msg303513#msg303513). The initial batch of money (phase 1) was doled out in February, and stream 2 phase 2 today. The stream are: stream 1, for demonstrating things ready for that; stream 2, for things needing work to get them demonstrable.

Most of stream 1 is usual suspects, but none are thermal stores. I'd have thought that new ways of using what is an old principle could be demonstrated now, but there's no need for new research - but apparently it's the other way round.

"Power-to-X" is X for hydrogen, with only one winner, and four are electrical storage: GraviSTORE with its weights-down-mineshafts, a flow battery, and two using compressed air. One of those is the Cheshire Energy Storage Centre (or Hub) wanting to repurpose "mothballed EDF gas cavities". Funny, I'd have though just now they would be unmothballing them to store gas.

Stream 2, being more speculative, has more winners in phase 1 (and smaller sums of money) and they are more speculative. Phase 1 has 5 for thermal stores, 4 for Power-to-X, and 10 for electrical stores. Phase 2 give much bigger sums to five of the above, two for domestic thermal stores, two for electrical stores, and one hydrogen store.

The most eye-catching one is the last one, though you'd not know that from the BEIS announcement - which leaves out a lot of interesting details. This is from E&T (https://eandt.theiet.org/content/articles/2022/11/32m-awarded-to-energy-storage-projects-including-thermal-and-liquid-flow-batteries/?utm_source=Adestra&utm_campaign=New%20EandT%20News%20-%20Automation%20FINAL%20-%20MEMBER&utm_medium=Newsletters%20-%20E%26T%20News&utm_content=E%26T%20News%20-%20Members&utm_term=842960):
Quote
    StorTera will receive just over £5m to build a prototype demonstrator of its energy-dense single liquid flow battery (SLIQ) technology that is designed to boost grid flexibility.

    Sunamp will receive £9.25m for a project that will trial its advanced thermal storage system in 100 homes across the UK. The project will extend Sunamp’s existing heat battery to provide increased storage duration and capacity and pair it with household energy systems to tackle periods of low renewables generation on the grid.

    The University of Sheffield will receive £2.60m to develop a prototype modular thermal energy storage system which allows for flexible storage of heat within homes.

    RheEnergise will receive £8.24m to build a demonstrator near Plymouth of its ‘High-Density Hydro’ pumped energy storage system. The system uses a mineral-rich fluid which is more than two and half times denser than water to create electricity from gentle slopes, without requiring steep dam walls or high mountains like traditional hydropower. The project will use surplus electricity to pump the fluid uphill, then later when electricity is needed by the grid, the fluid will be released back down the hill through turbines to generate electricity.

    EDF UK R&D will receive £7.73m to develop a hydrogen storage demonstrator utilising depleted uranium.

The last one is called HyDUS, includes the University of Bristol with EDF and Urenco, and they say (https://www.bristol.ac.uk/news/2022/november/hydus-funding.html):
Quote
This will be a world first technology demonstrator which is a beautiful and exciting translation of a well proven fusion-fuel hydrogen isotope storage technology that the UK Atomic Energy Authority has used for several decades at a small scale. The hydride compounds that we’re using can chemically store hydrogen at ambient pressure and temperature but remarkably they do this at twice the density of liquid hydrogen. The material can also quickly give-up the stored hydrogen simply by heating it, which makes it a wonderfully reversible hydrogen storage technology.

And the fourth one - that's heavy water, isn't it?




Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: TonyK on November 28, 2022, 10:11:07 pm

And the fourth one - that's heavy water, isn't it?


Not quite - heavy water is deuterium oxide, in other words water formed of an isotope of hydrogen with a neutron in the middle, as well as the usual proton. In other respects, it is water, but about 10% heavier by volume than the normal stuff that drops out of holes in the sky. The stuff in this new gizmo is said to be two and a half times as dense as water. The idea seems to be similar to pumped storage such as Dinorwig in what used to be called Snowdonia, but with a denser fluid, either less will be needed or a shorter drop in height to achieve the same effect. The image that springs to mind is a half-size replica of a hollow Welsh mountain, with a tarn filled with Golden Syrup on top.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: stuving on November 28, 2022, 10:14:52 pm
The image that springs to mind is a half-size replica of a hollow Welsh mountain, with a tarn filled with Golden Syrup on top.

Watch out for one of those near Plymouth, then.


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: Trowres on November 29, 2022, 12:29:34 am
...

The most eye-catching one is the last one, though you'd not know that from the BEIS announcement - which leaves out a lot of interesting details.
...
The last one is called HyDUS, includes the University of Bristol with EDF and Urenco, and they say (https://www.bristol.ac.uk/news/2022/november/hydus-funding.html):
Quote
This will be a world first technology demonstrator which is a beautiful and exciting translation of a well proven fusion-fuel hydrogen isotope storage technology that the UK Atomic Energy Authority has used for several decades at a small scale. The hydride compounds that we’re using can chemically store hydrogen at ambient pressure and temperature but remarkably they do this at twice the density of liquid hydrogen. The material can also quickly give-up the stored hydrogen simply by heating it, which makes it a wonderfully reversible hydrogen storage technology.

I suppose it would be beautiful and exciting to someone who is wondering what to do with a stockpile of depleted uranium. As the method seems to involve storing the hydrogen as uranium hydride, UH3, I its storage density would be good volumetrically, but not by mass (storing a tonne of hydrogen would take 79 tonnes of uranium). That suggests static storage uses only.



Format corrected by TonyK, all words remain the same


Title: Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
Post by: TonyK on November 29, 2022, 04:54:40 pm

I suppose it would be beautiful and exciting to someone who is wondering what to do with a stockpile of depleted uranium. As the method seems to involve storing the hydrogen as uranium hydride, UH3, I its storage density would be good volumetrically, but not by mass (storing a tonne of hydrogen would take 79 tonnes of uranium). That suggests static storage uses only.


I don't think there is a shortage of things to do with depleted uranium. It is used as balancing ballast in aircraft, screening in medical imaging machinery, keels on sailing boats, and anything else where something more than 50% heavier than lead would come in handy. Its use in munitions proved controversial. While being shot dead by a DU bullet doesn't make things any worse for you, some of the bigger munitions can pretty much vaporise, then leave a poisonous dust on the battlefield. It isn't particularly radioactive, but ingesting uranium isn't a good idea - it is rather poisonous. I think you would be right about it being useful only for static storage, it would be a lot to carry around in a mobile phone. Expect protests from anyone near wherever it may be used, for no scientifically valid reason.



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