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Published on October 31st, 2009 | by Beth Graddon-Hodgson

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Southwest Airlines Debuts Prototype Green Airplane

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October 31st, 2009 by
 

On October 21st, which is Southwest Airlines annual media day, they announced the launch of a green prototype airplane which will be used to test more eco-conscious materials and products in their travel environment.  Southwest hopes that through the establishment of this prototype plane, they will be able to settle on a way to make their cabin more eco-friendly while still offering their customers the same level of comfort that they’re used to.

While their primary focus is upon using eco-friendly products and materials on board the plane, such as an InterfaceFlor carpet which is designed to withstand wear, is 100% recyclable,  and requires minimal maintenance and cleaning; or the aluminum, rather than plastic passenger rub strips that will reduce waste; their choices will also help to reduce emissions. Southwest will accomplish these goals by selecting materials that will reduce the plane’s weight, and in turn, the amount of gas used and emissions generated during flights.

Simply by making more conscious choices, Southwest has managed to reduce the Green Plane prototype’s weigh substantially compared to their typical designs. In replacing their leather seats with new seat covers, they are able to reduce each seat’s weight by two pounds; though they haven’t quite settled on whether to use e-Leather or IZIT leather, so they’ll be testing each material on opposite sides of the aisle. Changing their life vest pouch material has also saved one pound per seat and the foam fill used in the seats creates an additional weight reduction.

The Green Plane prototype by Southwest Airlines is looking for feedback, and any green materials that are picked as winners just might be rolled out into the rest of their airplane fleet, and they will indefinitely act as a model for their competition looking to earn a more eco-conscious status with their travel services.

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  • http://www.writesourcing.com Beth Graddon-Hodgson

    We’re not quite there yet Charles, but this is the first to try and make some serious changes, so they do need to be applauded.

    Ali, that could work only if the proceeds went to carbon offset programs, but wouldn’t actually reduce the weight of the plane in flight – if people need to get where they’re going, they’ll do so even if there is an added fee!

  • http://www.writesourcing.com Beth Graddon-Hodgson

    We’re not quite there yet Charles, but this is the first to try and make some serious changes, so they do need to be applauded.

    Ali, that could work only if the proceeds went to carbon offset programs, but wouldn’t actually reduce the weight of the plane in flight – if people need to get where they’re going, they’ll do so even if there is an added fee!

  • http://www.writesourcing.com Beth Graddon-Hodgson

    We’re not quite there yet Charles, but this is the first to try and make some serious changes, so they do need to be applauded.

    Ali, that could work only if the proceeds went to carbon offset programs, but wouldn’t actually reduce the weight of the plane in flight – if people need to get where they’re going, they’ll do so even if there is an added fee!

  • ali

    What about an overweight surcharge for bags and people? That might help them reduce the weight by more than a pound per seat.

  • ali

    What about an overweight surcharge for bags and people? That might help them reduce the weight by more than a pound per seat.

  • ali

    What about an overweight surcharge for bags and people? That might help them reduce the weight by more than a pound per seat.

  • Charles Vismeg

    Well, to be honest with you I expected a major breakthru to read about as a retired engineer from the aircraft manufacturing industry, upon glancing at the heading of this article. I thought maybe a no greenhouse gas emitting “green” fuel has been introduced to justify a claim for “greenness”. Although small improvements are not to be belittled, but “green prototype”? Please…

  • Charles Vismeg

    Well, to be honest with you I expected a major breakthru to read about as a retired engineer from the aircraft manufacturing industry, upon glancing at the heading of this article. I thought maybe a no greenhouse gas emitting “green” fuel has been introduced to justify a claim for “greenness”. Although small improvements are not to be belittled, but “green prototype”? Please…

  • http://www.writesourcing.com Beth Graddon-Hodgson

    Exactly, and there’s really no reason why the can’t do it..particularly if customer satisfaction with all of the items onboard remain the same after testing etc. In no time, they’ll recoup the money on their investment with the cost savings!!

  • http://www.writesourcing.com Beth Graddon-Hodgson

    Exactly, and there’s really no reason why the can’t do it..particularly if customer satisfaction with all of the items onboard remain the same after testing etc. In no time, they’ll recoup the money on their investment with the cost savings!!

  • http://www.writesourcing.com Beth Graddon-Hodgson

    Exactly, and there’s really no reason why the can’t do it..particularly if customer satisfaction with all of the items onboard remain the same after testing etc. In no time, they’ll recoup the money on their investment with the cost savings!!

  • Jacob

    This is exactly what airlines should be doing! They’ll also be able to save a lot of money with small changes like this.

  • Jacob

    This is exactly what airlines should be doing! They’ll also be able to save a lot of money with small changes like this.

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