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john65pennington's avatar

Would reverting back to all prop airplanes save money and fuel?

Asked by john65pennington (29080 points ) August 10th, 2011

President Obama has signed into law, changes to conserve money and fuel, on big trucks, like semi tractor trailers and large dump trucks. What if the airline industry reverted back to using only propeller-driven aircraft, instead of jets? Jet fuel is very expensive. Question: in your opinion, what are the pros and cons of grounding all jet powered aircraft(except military) and replacing them with propeller-driven aircraft? Would the savings be worth the effort?

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5 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

I am not sure that propeller driven aircraft are more efficient than jet aircraft.

CWOTUS's avatar

This question represents, to me, one of the worst failings of our so-called democracy. Not that I mean to pick on you, @john65pennington, but it’s a question representative of a certain mindset in this country – apparently in all of humanity, it seems – that “the big man” knows best and can plan everything better than each of us minding our own business. And with this in mind we turn over ever more and more of the decisions that we should be making individually and collectively ourselves to “someone in Washington”.

I agree that some airlines are poorly run. Some flight crews on some of the trips I’ve been on have been horrible. I hate dealing with our in-house travel agency at work. Even as little as I fly on business – and I fly as little as possible – it’s too much, in my opinion, based on the results achieved. I have a lot of problems with business travel in general and flying in particular.

Nevertheless, with all that said, I trust random executives at Southwest Airlines, Delta, USAir, United and Continental I mean ‘United’ more than I trust a single “elected official” (or more likely, an elected official’s random staffer in charge of “transportation policy”) to put together a route map, train a flight crew and assign the right plane to the right route, and then to fly it safely and more or less on time from Point A to Point B.

God help us when we keep turning more and more of our economy and our very lives to various elected officials because they wear nice-looking suits, seem oh-so-confident and speak big words… and have no idea of the unintended consequences of their actions.

No! Dammit, no!

Whether (and how) to “save money and fuel” is a decision best left to those who are running the routes for profit, isn’t it? What on earth makes you think that politicians are up to the task of running an airline? They can’t even balance a checkbook, and you want them doing airline policy planning? What makes people think this way?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

This looks like a great opportunity to shamelessly promote my new Citizens against Chemtrails movement. No no, don’t get me wrong. I don’t have a problem with black ops dumbing down society by spraying us into stupidity and enslaving our minds. They certainly need those high altitudes to atomize and disperse the dumb drugs. That’s not my problem.

It just makes it tough to make pretty pictures of duh sky. I likes pretty pictures. They’re pretty.

wundayatta's avatar

I have no idea, but it wouldn’t be hard to get the numbers you need to figure it out. Just a guess, based on the notion that the market actually does a good job of figuring out how people value things, I’d say the answer is no. Any savings gained in conserving fuel would be hugely outweighed by the losses in efficiency.

marinelife's avatar

Today, time is money. The extra time consumed by using prop planes would negate the savings in jet fuel.

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