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Airlines Looking to Lessen Environmental Impact of Flying


The airline industry has long sought to develop new technology to offset the rising cost of fuel, but the industry also has looked to make flying more energy efficient. This year at the Paris Air Show many companies are promoting the environmental benefits of their products. VOA's Brian Padden reports on how small innovations are making a big difference.

The Aircraft industry has invested years and billions of dollars to make their engines more fuel efficient. Here at the Paris Air Show new energy saving aircraft engine designs, materials and innovative components are all on display. This year the companies are also stressing the environmental benefits of their products.

Engine Alliance makes the engine for the new Airbus A380. The engine uses 10 percent less fuel than the last generation of wide-body jets.

Engine Alliance's Mary Ellen Jones says better fuel performance is also good for the environment.

"It also means better environmental performance because lower fuel burn means lower greenhouse gas emissions," says Jones.

Saqib Mahmood works for a company called Flowmaster which produces electronic circuitry to optimize fuel intake. He says environmental concerns have increased industry interest in his product.

"We've been working in collaboration with companies like Airbus that use us for their fuel systems,” says Mahmood. “We are now working with Boeing."

Parker Aerospace produces fuel nozzles that create more energy with less fuel burn. Vice President Mark Czaja says the company is also currently developing alternative fuel technology for aircrafts, such as hydrogen fuel cells and ethanol fuel pumps.

"Today alternative fuels don't provide the same power density or energy density that the kerosene fuels in use today have,” explains Czaja. “But we expect there to be progress in this area, and I expect that one day we will see airplanes flying with the use of alternate fuels."

The airline industry hopes these and other innovations will make flying more environmentally friendly.

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