What Would an EU Aviation Fuel Tax Mean?

The EU is considering a tax on aviation fuel. Airlines would pay a tax on aviation fuel purchased within the EU, with a rate of about 0.33€ per litre (1.24€ per gallon) being suggested. Although the EU apparently already calculated that the tax would lead to a 10% drop in air-travel around the EU, I thought it would be interesting to explore the effects in more detail. Price of Long-Haul Flights to/from Europe Long haul flights consume enormous quantities of jet fuel, and the taxes could add over 90 000€ to the cost of fuelling an Airbus A380 for very Continue Reading

Why We Will Never See a Solar-Powered Airliner

The recent adventures of Solar Impulse II almost completing a round-the-world flight (1st of August 2016 update: Congratulations to the Solar Impulse team, they have completed their circumnavigation!) have shown that solar-powered aircraft are undeniably possible. In an ever-changing world where aviation is under increasing pressure on both cost and environmental grounds to reduce fuel consumption, is it just a matter of time then until we see a completely solar-powered passenger aircraft? Let’s have a look at the numbers. Can we put Solar Panels on Everything? Aircraft use a huge amount of energy to fly, and the energy is stored very densely Continue Reading