EasyJet wants an eco jet by 2015

Over the years we have got use to images of aircraft manufacturing CEOs posing proudly beside models of their latest creations. Remember Boeing head Alan Mulally and his Sonic Cruiser a few years ago?

So it is with some surprise that the latest such image features not a Mulally type, but an airline CEO type: the CEO in question is easyJet boss Andrew Harrison.

Here he is posing in front of the “easyJet ecoJet”, an aircraft concept he unveiled today (14 June) in London that he wants to deliver huge environmental benefits.
EasyJet wants the next generation of “short-haul super-clean aircraft” by 2015. This is in fact exactly the consensus of most operators when polled by Airline Business recently about when they want to put a next generation narrowbody to replace the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737.

Harrison sets out a demanding target for the new jet compared to present types:
• 25% quieter
• 50% less carbon dioxide emissions
• 75% less nitrogen dioxide emissions.

Further details are available from a Q&A on its website.

What at first glance might sound a publicity grab is in fact a smart move by easyJet. Based as it is in one of Europe’s most environmentally sensitive markets – the UK – it knows it has to press the green button, and hard.

It will be interesting to see how Airbus and Boeing, and the engine manufacturers, react to the promptings of one of the world’s most prominent low-cost carriers.

I think I will ask them at next week’s Paris Air Show.

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7 Responses to EasyJet wants an eco jet by 2015

  1. Fred Borloo 14 June, 2007 at 7:54 pm #

    Stop laughing…

    It takes people with guts to start thinking out of the box. I know 50 percent might be a bit of a high aim, but this is exactly the sort of initiatives that get people going.

    With or without global warming, to guzzle fosile fuels the way we do now is a road to nowhere. They will run out, sooner rather than later. They pollute by emitting more than just CO2, but, and this is often overlooked, there are so many better things we can use fosile fuels for than to burn them.

    We didn’t move from the stone age to the iron age because we ran out of stones either. Using iron just turned out to be a better idea. Much in the same way we will one day find out we can run on something smarter than JET A-1…

    We are currently not using half the capabilities that the technology we have could give us.
    Easyjet is making a good point.

    Enough talk, time for action!

    Good job easyjet!

  2. Mark Pilling 15 June, 2007 at 8:57 am #

    We had a sniff that easyJet was planning something to nudge Airbus and Boeing on the narrowbody replacement issue in April when we did our poll (see blog), but they were not ready with their message.

    I have to confess I didn’t think it would be so focused on the environment.

    It is a blunt message from easyJet and will surprise those in Toulouse and Seattle (Chicago). With such huge order backlogs they would much rather sit on their hands and count the money as they churn out A320s and 737s for years to come.

    That’s commercial reality of course.

    But easyJet’s announcement could start a greater campaign from some carriers – Air France and SAS said as much to us in April – to pressure the manufacturers to accelerate their narrowbody development based on a need for cleaner aircraft.

    So which airline is next into the fray?

  3. artur bove 15 June, 2007 at 9:33 am #

    Next time they should first ask an aeronautical engineer before showing their “starship”.

    This concept (pusher turboprop) was already used by Embraer in the 80´s in the so called CBA-123. The aircaft was even certified, but never reached production.

    Easyjet maintenance people were certainly not consulted, as line maintenance (just checking oil!) is easier if engines can be reached without, or minimum, GSI. Imagine then checking oil level on their “starship”. Guess why Embraer changed from rear-fuselage mounted engines (ERJ-145) to wing mounted ones (ERJ 170/190)?

    Have these guys ever heard about wing loading? Wing mounted engines (as all structural engineers know) result in less wing loading, what means lighter wings, lighter planes, less fuel burn.

    I will not mention flutter of the tail for this configuration, because that is too much complicate. Someone that proposes something like that, certainly doesn´t even know what is flutter.

    Easyjet is just trying to show up as a “green” airliner to call attention. If they want really to call attention, I suggest using topless flight attendants, at least they would not be showing to the aicraft enginners community how ignorant they are of the vehicles they operate (scary!)

    I never used Easy jet. Now I will certainly NEVER use.

  4. Fred Borloo 15 June, 2007 at 10:17 am #

    Yes mister Bove,

    But if everyone thought the way you do, we would still be flying DC3′s now…
    Of course there are issues. Of course this is not a full design. It is a concept, and idea.
    The statements you make about aircraft design seem to be slightly simplistic if I dare say so. Every design has pro’s and con’s. If they wouldn’t all aircraft would look exactly the same. Designing aircraft, like most other vehicles is a matter of finding the best possible compromise.

    If we want to make real progress, we will need to start thinking out of the box.

    BWT: Putting wings on the engines doesn’t result in less wing loading, it results in a different mass distribution, possibly resulting in a lower wing bending moment…

  5. Russ 18 July, 2007 at 10:40 am #

    Turn the engines around, mount them on the wings (solves flutter, wing loading, maintenance issues huge design problems for an umproven concept)- its a Bombardier Q400 turboprop. Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best. Need convincing? – take a look at Flybe’s eco-labeling – the solution is already out there – EASY!

  6. Patience Morant 18 January, 2010 at 5:38 pm #

    Just wanted to tell you that your web portal ain’t loading perfectly in IE for me. I am getting some 404 problem information.

  7. Bridge 10 February, 2010 at 4:27 pm #

    I wouldn’t be caught dead with a necrophiliac.

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