Tuesday, July 24, 2007

How Green is my Airship?

I came across a neat website the other day which allows you to calculate how many tonnes of CO2 you emit in aviation. It requires info on your fuel, how many liters you burn per hour and how many hours you fly per year.

I was curious about the Zeppelin NT so I ran some numbers for how much CO2 would be emitted for carrying 120 passengers and then did the same for some of the helicopters that are being used to give people tours in the San Francisco Bay Area. The helos don't carry as many people, so they have more flight hours to get to the same number. I then divided the total CO2 by the number of passengers to give me a per passenger figure (1000kg = 1 tonne for those not familiar with metric).

I realize that fuel consumption is always a moving target, but I figured that it would give me some ideas about the relative emissions of these two sightseeing methods. Interesting, but not unexpected, results.

UPDATE. Ecogeek published a fun article about green flight and airships get a mention! Thanks to Andreas at Airshipworld for spotting this.

1 comment:

Isaac said...

Alex: Very interesting...glad you are doing this research...I doubt any helicopter companies are! Anyhow...perhaps you could have a way that especially environmentally conscious people could off-set their carbon footprint by having some deal or partnership with a group that brokers such efforts. This way people could ride guilt-free! Just a thought...Isaac