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Author Topic: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers  (Read 16338 times)
broadgage
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« Reply #75 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.)
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.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2019, 12:24:26 am by broadgage » Logged

A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
TonyK
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« Reply #76 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."
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broadgage
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« Reply #77 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 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.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
TonyK
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« Reply #78 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.
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Thatcham Crossing
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« Reply #79 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
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Oxonhutch
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« Reply #80 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
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TonyK
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« Reply #81 on: November 25, 2020, 01:36:28 pm »

And: You only have too much fuel if you are on fire.
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grahame
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« Reply #82 on: November 29, 2020, 05:48:59 pm »

From Eupinions

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 %.



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. 
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« Reply #83 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? 
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #84 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.
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broadgage
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« Reply #85 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.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
4064ReadingAbbey
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« Reply #86 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 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.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2020, 08:29:48 pm by 4064ReadingAbbey » Logged
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« Reply #87 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.
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broadgage
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« Reply #88 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.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
grahame
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« Reply #89 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.
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