Many leading figures in aviation figure that they’re unfairly targeted in the big environmental push that’s swept Europe and is boiling over in the States. They’ve fought back, but it is in some ways too late. “If you look east, we’ve lost the war, or key battles, in Europe. We don’t control the dialogue”, Boeing commercial aircraft chief Scott Carson said. He told an industry group in Washington that the industry has “universally failed to tell our story in a compelling way,” Carson said. The industry needs to “begin telling that story or be willing to suffer the consequences,” he warned. Carson said that 75% of Boeing’s research and development budget is aimed at decreasing the environmental impact of aircraft, and that it plans advanced experiments with environmentally friendly fuels.
Carson told the Aero Club of Washington audience about a night last summer, the night before Boeing unveiled the 787 Dreamliner near Seattle and prepared by lining up one of each of the seven–series aircraft it had ever built. First up, he said, was the 707, which he had worked on in his early days at Boeing. “You could see it for along time before it got near. And you could hear it,” Carson said, noting the sooty emissions and noise. But by the time the most recent seven-series product, the 777, came along, “you couldn’t see it and you could barely hear it.”