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Plane Simple Truth

samzenpus posted about 6 years ago | from the read-all-about-it dept.

Transportation 460

brothke writes "In the TV show House, M.D., a premise that protagonist Dr. Greg House holds dear is that people are liars and stupid. Real life is often not far from House's observation. At the general public level, people are often misled by their lack of common sense, their deficiency in understanding statistics and basic science, and therefore fall victim to the lies of the myriad charlatans that claim to have something that fixes everything. A piece I wrote on that issue, New York News Radio — The voice of bad science, details that. While it is too broad to call the authors of Fuel efficiency of commercial aircraft: An overview of historical and future trends liars; their mediocre research created the scenario that far too many took their research as reality. Known as the Peeters report, after lead author P.M. Peeters, the authors of Plane Simple Truth refute the wide-spread belief that the fuel efficiency gains in the commercial aviation sector are erroneous, which is the principle theme of the Peeters report." Keep reading for the rest of Ben's review.The aviation industry is often an environmental pariah, with environmentalists crying foul at the industry. But it is only a pariah due to flawed data that negatively influences the public debate, and this book attempts to set the record straight. Plane Simple Truth is an articulate and extremely well-written and researched rebuttal to the Peeters report, and other flawed studies.

The Peeters report flies in the face of reality, in which gains in jet engine efficiency over the last 40 years have been astounding. Contrast those gains with the popular Cadillac Escalade and similar SUV's whose mileage per gallon is often measured in single digits, and whose efficiencies have gone in the opposite direction.

The authors wrote Plane Simple Truth as they felt that never in recent history has an industry been so maligned and the public so misled by so much falsehood and distortion. With the Peeters report and climate activists pointing the accusing finger at the aviation industry, Plane Simple Truth is their defense.

The reality is that while the Detroit automakers were making huge gas guzzling SUV's well into 2008, companies such as Lockheed had fuel efficiency on their mind back to the 1970's. In fact, fuel efficiency has been a key factor in the aviation industry since the early days. This is based on simple economics and physics in that every pound of fuel, is a pound of payload that the airline cannot carry, which costs the airline money as fuel economy is a major driver in the industry. The bottom line is that fuel economy is absolutely critical in commercial aviation. Witness the number of aviation bankruptcies in 2008 when fuel prices soured.

Like a first-rate defense attorney, the book defends the industry against its charges. In every chapter, the authors show the errors, both intentional and those errors of omission, where incorrect reporting and research have negatively affected public opinion.

While not a book about the history of jet engines; the book details the fascinating and phenomenal improvement into the efficiency of the technology. But the underlying theme of the book is that of the environmental issues.

The book details the fundamental errors in the Peters and other environmental reports that have been often taken as the unquestionable truth. Rather than analyzing the facts like the book authors have done, the media often creates sensationalist headlines with an emphasis on short sound bites, often at the cost of scientific fact. Not only do the authors refute the Peeters report, they show in detail how important aviation is to the global economy. In fact, the aviation industry is critical to every growing economy.

The books 18 chapters cover the entire spectrum of jet emissions and their incredible development in detail. Current topics such as bio fuels and their promise, new engine technology, aerodynamic gains, green airlines and more are discussed. The book makes ample use of charts and photographs to illustrate its points.

Plane Simple Truth is a fascinating book that exposes the myriad errors of the flawed environmental studies. It is also a fascinating look at the development and history of jet engines, and the amazing progress that has come about in the last few decades. Huge strides have been made that increase power by significant amounts, while simultaneously cutting emissions. In fact, there are less environmental issues to worry about in the future due to aviation, given the significant strides that are being made.

The book makes many of its valuable points via the approach of letting charts and diagrams do the talking of often dry statistical facts. Be it fuel efficiency, less emissions, or toxic gases, the book shows that misplaced myths and the smoke and mirror games that are often used by those with an agenda, have negatively affected the public's view of aviation.

We have seen that a single bad piece of research is enough to derail an entire industry and mislead the press and politicians. Plane Simple Truthis an important book that has relevance to everyone, as there is no one that is not positively affected by the aviation industry.

While the industry still has a long way to go in other areas such as passenger satisfactions, lost luggage, air traffic control delays and much more, the engine makers have continually pushed the envelope in terms of fuel efficiency and environmental concerns, and they have done this for well over half a century. This was long before the environment was a cool topic. It was also done when jet fuel was still quite cheap.

While the book's authors are intimately involved in the airline industry and clearly pro-airline, and the book's publisher is Aerospace Technical Publications; the authors let the facts speak for themselves. While greenhouse gases and their potential negative effects are part of the public and scientific debate, the ability of modern jet-engines to minimize those effects is clear. Plane Simple Truth is a valuable book in the important debate over greenhouse gases and aviation's contribution to it.

Ben Rothke is the author of Computer Security: 20 Things Every Employee Should Know.

You can purchase Plane Simple Truth from amazon.com. Slashdot welcomes readers' book reviews -- to see your own review here, read the book review guidelines, then visit the submission page.

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Homeopathy is pseudoscience: (-1, Offtopic)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | about 6 years ago | (#25042841)

The easiest way you figure out a CD-ROM's performance is by looking at the speed multiplier: 2x is twice as fast, 4x is four times as fast, and in this case, the faster the better.

Homeopathic [findarticles.com] medicine uses an ass-backwards rating system for its remedies: when you read the labels of homeopathic medicines you'll see, for example, 3X as an indicator of the active ingredient's strength.

How's this for science: Instead of the 3x rating meaning three times the strength, it actually means dilution of the active ingredient repeated three times! In short, the higher the number, the weaker the medicine! There are two scales for homeopathic medicine, X(sometimes D) and C.

Coincidentally x is also a symbol for multiplication so many folks are misled into believing that 3x means "multiplied by 3" like the CD-ROM example above! I'm sure that's no accident.

Next time you go to the drug store, look for Head-On("Apply directly to the forehead") and see for yourself.

...And don't even get me started on "intelligent" Design!

Re:Homeopathy is pseudoscience: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25042881)

Never underestimate the power of the placebo effect.

Re:Homeopathy is pseudoscience: (0, Flamebait)

elrous0 (869638) | about 6 years ago | (#25043263)

Placebo supplements helped improve my memory! I can remember how gullible I was with crystal clarity!

Re:Homeopathy is pseudoscience: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25043105)

In the TV show House, M.D., a premise that protagonist Dr. Greg House holds dear is that people are liars and stupid.
Well, Obamunists are liars and stupid, at least.

Real life is often not far from House's observation. At the general public level, people are often misled by their lack of common sense, their deficiency in understanding statistics and basic science, and therefore fall victim to the lies of the myriad charlatans that claim to have something that fixes everything.

And that's why those poor fools vote Democrat.

Intelligent, rational, and logical people support McCain / Palin.

Re:Homeopathy is pseudoscience: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25043309)

They also put lipstick on dogs...whats the point?

charlatans (4, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | about 6 years ago | (#25042883)

At the general public level, people are often misled by their lack of common sense, their deficiency in understanding statistics and basic science, and therefore fall victim to the lies of the myriad charlatans that claim to have something that fixes everything

Are you calling yourself a charlatan? You keep talking about SUVs when they have nothing whatever to do with engine efficiency.

In 1976 I bought a brand new four cylinder Chevy Vega. It was a power-poor dog with a small one barrel carburator. It was small and uncomfortable. The best mileage I measured with that car was 19 mpg.

When its fuel pump went out two years later, I bought a used 1974 Pontiac Le Mans; a big, roomy, comfortable car with a 350 cubic inch V-8 engine. Someone had milled the heads, put a four barrel carburator and a dual exhaust on it. It hauled ass when I stomped the accellerator, and as long as I kept the big back two barrells from opening I could get 19 mpg on the highway with its mandatory 55 MPH speed limit.

My current car is a Crysler Concorde with a fuel injected 28 valve V-6 engine. It's roomier and more comfortable than the Pontiac was, its braking and handling are better than any car I've owned, it's almost as fast as the Le Mans, but with its cruise control set at 55 MPH its fuel computer measures up to a 36 mpg average on a 100 mile trip. It uses little more than half the fuel of either the LeMans or the Vega. It has even better mileage than the tiny 1984 fuel injected four cylinder VW Rabbit I bought when Reagan was President.

I don't know how much more efficient plane engines are today, but automobiles are twice as efficient as they were in the '70s.

I daresay a new full sized Ford pickup truck gets better mileage than a 1975 full sized Ford of the same model.

Comparing apples to oranges is what you're doing, and it's disinginuous.

Re:charlatans (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25043025)

I don't know how much more efficient plane engines are today, but automobiles are twice as efficient as they were in the '70s.

And you're basing that on your own personal experience of three whole cars? I'm sold.

Re:charlatans (4, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | about 6 years ago | (#25043043)

Are you calling yourself a charlatan? You keep talking about SUVs when they have nothing whatever to do with engine efficiency.

You do of course realize that SUVs are regulated as light trucks rather than cars and that small trucks are regulated under the same type of philosophy as commercial vehicles. Meaning that they might conform to higher standards, but they're only required to meet a much lower standard than typical cars. And furthermore that the standard was based upon assumptions which have long since been demonstrated to be false. Had light trucks continued to be pretty much just commercial, the lower standard would have had minimal negative impact. As opposed to now when many people drive a light truck as their main conveyance.

So yes, it was a fair statement to suggest that an industry that's been fighting mandatory increases in engine efficiency for decades is different than one that has been trying to increase it over that period.

American's don't want gas guzzlers but we also don't generally want to give up power or the other things which come from a larger engine. Reductions to weight in areas that don't affect safety are far more likely to go over well than things which make a vehicle actually smaller or appear girly.

Of course as gas prices go up fuel efficiency will be more of an issue, but that doesn't let auto manufacturers off the hook for the fact that they haven't really been trying the way that they could have been during the interim.

Re:charlatans (1)

vijayiyer (728590) | about 6 years ago | (#25043307)

Regulations don't trump physics. Auto manufacturers all want fuel efficiency - if you come out with an SUV that gets 5mpg better than the competition, not only do you get more sales, but it helps you with CAFE.
Unfortunately, it's not easy, even though you seem to think so.
What vehicle components do you suggest be made lighter, and how? Can you tell me how to get a huge cube through the air at 80mph and not use a lot of power to do so?
The bottom line is that the consumers have to make behavioural changes. It's not something auto manufacturers can push down.

Re:charlatans (3, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | about 6 years ago | (#25043459)

Oh, it's easy. Just build better engines.

The problem is that Detroit would rather invest in salesmen and
advertising and figure out ways to sell more high margin doo-dads
to the driving public.

Ironically, one of the few automakers to apply this
idea to "fuel economy" also makes airplane engines.

Detroit always take the cheap and easy road and tends to
focus on the next quarter's earnings reports. They can't
even percieve their own self-interest past that point.

That's why any time the market changes you need to put
Detroit on deathwatch and then bail them out.

Consumers just don't quite have the same motivation to be efficient that any large transport company does.

Re:charlatans (4, Insightful)

pz (113803) | about 6 years ago | (#25043157)

Are you calling yourself a charlatan? You keep talking about SUVs when they have nothing whatever to do with engine efficiency.
 
... and, oddly, neither does your post. You complain that the OP should be talking about engine efficiency, rather than vehicle efficiency, and the proceed to make an argument based on vehicle efficiency. Not only that, but your argument is severely flawed: you start with a purely anecdotal chain of three vehicles and use it to draw conclusions about the entire industry, neatly ignoring the fourth vehicle you mention at the end of your argument that doesn't fit into the chain. That's not sound, defensible logic, and were you to attempt to publish it as science, you'd be laughed out of the room.

You, sir, are doing exactly what you are accusing the OP of doing, and doing more of it.

Re:charlatans (3, Informative)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | about 6 years ago | (#25043197)

I daresay a new full sized Ford pickup truck gets better mileage than a 1975 full sized Ford of the same model.

I wouldn't be so sure about that:

2008: Ford F150 Pickup 2WD 6 cyl, 4.2 L, Manual 5-spd, Regular
14 city
20 hwy

1985: Ford F150 Pickup 2WD 6 cyl, 4.9 L, Manual 4-spd, (FFS), Regular
15 - 17 city
20 - 22 hwy

Source: User reports at fuelecomony.gov

Smaller engine, more gears, worse economy.

Re:charlatans (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25043389)

Look up the differences in how they came up with the ratings between 1985 and 2008.

You can't just look at the specific numbers and ignore the specs of the tests that brought about those numbers.

Re:charlatans (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 6 years ago | (#25043501)

Detroit doesn't learn from it's mistakes. Just go to
the Detroit show with a bunch of greasemonkeys and they
will show you in gory detail how Detroit's competitors
improve over time and pre-emptively solve (potential)
problems in their own designs.

It really doesn't surprise me that a 1975 Ford truck
engine isn't any less efficient than the 2008 model.

Re:charlatans (1)

Spoke (6112) | about 6 years ago | (#25043235)

Exactly.

Let me compare some of the various cars I've owned:

Car #1: 1981 Toyota Celica - A 2+2 hatchback, 2.4l I4 engine and about 100hp. Curb weight around 2500lbs. Fuel economy in the 22-25mpg range.
Car #2: 1996 Toyota Camry - 4 door sedan, 2.2l I4 engine and about 130hp. Curb weight around 3000lbs. Fuel economy in the 25-27mpg range.
Car #3: 2003 Subaru Impreza WRX - 4 door wagon, 2.0l I4 turbo charged engine and about 230hp. Curb weight around 3000lbs. Fuel economy in the 25mpg range.
Car #4: 2008 Toyota Prius - 4 door hatchback, 1.5l I4 hybrid, about 130hp. Curb weight around 3000lbs, Fuel economy in the 45-50mpg range.

Car #2 has better fuel economy than car #1 even though it weighed 500lbs more. Was a lot more comfortable, and safer, too.
Car #3 has nearly double the power than the previous two cars and similar fuel economy.
Car #4 is similar power to car #2 but nearly uses nearly half the fuel.

Not to mention that each car also emits far fewer pollutants than the previous vehicle as well.

So what's the bottom line? (3, Interesting)

Biff Stu (654099) | about 6 years ago | (#25043239)

What I want to know is how much fuel does it take to travel from San Francisco to New York City by the following methods:
A modern plane
A Prius
A generic 6 cylinder sedan
An Escalade
Amtrak

Of course, the extra 4 days on the road really make me favor the plane, but I want to know how guilty I should feel.

Re:So what's the bottom line? (1)

fracai (796392) | about 6 years ago | (#25043405)

Are we talking pure gallons or gallons per passenger?
Big difference when you get to the mass transit options.

Re:So what's the bottom line? (1)

mazevedo (117804) | about 6 years ago | (#25043443)

Flawed!!
To get a correct fuel efficiency you should know how much fuel per passenger or how much fuel per mass transported.
A modern airplane can take from 4 to 600 people.
A Prius can take what, 5 people?
Amtrak can take hundreds?
Probably you'll get surprised!!

Re:So what's the bottom line? (5, Interesting)

agallagh42 (301559) | about 6 years ago | (#25043683)

Specifically for a Boeing 777-300ER:

Gallons/Mile: 6.077
Gallons/Passenger Mile: .01665
MPG per passenger: 60.06
(from http://www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/general_aviation/read.main/2628781/ [airliners.net] )

Amtrak reports 2005 energy use of 2,935 BTU per passenger-mile[33], or 39 passenger-miles per gallon (from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_efficiency_in_transportation#Trains [wikipedia.org] )

Passenger airplanes averaged 4.8 L/100 km per passenger (49 passenger-miles per gallon) in 1998. (from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_efficiency_in_transportation#Aircraft [wikipedia.org] )

Re:charlatans (4, Funny)

Just Some Guy (3352) | about 6 years ago | (#25043355)

My current car is a Crysler Concorde with a fuel injected 28 valve V-6 engine.

Which four cylinders get an extra valve?

Re:charlatans (3, Informative)

vastabo (530415) | about 6 years ago | (#25043357)

Can you really have a 28 valve engine? Wouldn't it be 6 cylinders * (2 intake valves + 2 exhaust valves) = 24 valves.

Just askin'...

Re:charlatans (1)

His Shadow (689816) | about 6 years ago | (#25043381)

I daresay a new full sized Ford pickup truck gets better mileage than a 1975 full sized Ford of the same model.
You'd be wrong. And not because of your transparent defence of SUVs but because the gains they have made are in single digits, if they have made any at all. SUVs are the worst thing to ever hit the roadways, environmentally and politically.

Stay alive, Drive FIFTY-FIVE! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25043595)

Are you calling yourself a charlatan? ...

I could get 19 mpg on the highway with its mandatory 55 MPH speed limit. ...

with its cruise control set at 55 MPH its fuel computer measures up to a 36 mpg average on a 100 mile trip. ...

Your car actually eats up more fuel than you think, thanks to all the cars driving up behind you and slamming the brakes, then having to accelerate and veer around your snail-mobile.

Re:charlatans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25043673)

Actually, it is the guy who wrote the review that keeps talking about SUVs. The bit about charlatans is a quotation from the author. So in essence, the author is calling the reviewer a charlatan -- which is probably true.

Re:charlatans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25043697)

My current car is a Crysler Concorde with a fuel injected 28 valve V-6 engine.

28 valve V6? What is the engine code? sure it's not a 24 valve?

the truth is (4, Funny)

aoteoroa (596031) | about 6 years ago | (#25042899)

2 out of 4 people you meet on the street are likely to have below average intelligence.

Re:the truth is (4, Insightful)

gnick (1211984) | about 6 years ago | (#25042993)

I've found that statement to be strongly dependent on the streets you frequent.

Re:the truth is (1)

fifirebel (137361) | about 6 years ago | (#25042999)

2 out of 4 people you meet on the street are likely to have below average intelligence.

Bzzzzzt - WRONG!
2 out of 4 people you meet on the street are likely to have below median intelligence.

Which cohort you belong to is left as an exercise for the reader...

Re:the truth is (1)

nine-times (778537) | about 6 years ago | (#25043119)

We're getting off on a tangent of a tangent here, but I was always taught that mean, median, and mode were all a kind of "average". If that's true, then using "average" isn't wrong, but rather just lacking specificity.

Re:the truth is (1)

Krabbs (1319121) | about 6 years ago | (#25043201)

It is not the same thing. However, the statement might be true for both, depending on how you measure intelligence.

Re:the truth is (1)

gd2shoe (747932) | about 6 years ago | (#25043573)

I don't know about mode, but I have heard college math teachers say that about mean and median.

(An average being a measure of the middle of a data set, or a representative value of them all, I wouldn't expect to use mode unless it was so prominent as to nearly be the median anyways. IANAMG)

Re:the truth is (1)

emmons (94632) | about 6 years ago | (#25043585)

Webster seems to think that 'average' is synonymous with 'mean'.

Re:the truth is (2, Informative)

foobsr (693224) | about 6 years ago | (#25043351)

Consensus (among psychologists) is that IQ scores are following a normal distribution, thus mean and median are the same.

CC.

Re:the truth is (-1, Flamebait)

jgarra23 (1109651) | about 6 years ago | (#25043475)

Consensus (among psychologists) is that IQ scores are following a normal distribution, thus mean and median are the same.

Wow, psychologists must be forbidden to ever take a statistics class then. Remember, these people are usually just as fucked up as the people who pay them $$$ to listen and now we're trusting them to do math.

Re:the truth is (1)

PCM2 (4486) | about 6 years ago | (#25043653)

Wow, psychologists must be forbidden to ever take a statistics class then. Remember, these people are usually just as fucked up as the people who pay them $$$ to listen and now we're trusting them to do math.

Uh? I'm in a statistics class right now, and I can assure you that in a normal distribution the median is the same as the mean. The plot of the probability distribution function of a normal distribution is a bell curve. It's symmetric, so the mean is in the middle (which is the median). I think you might be the one who needs to crack a book.

Re:the truth is (4, Funny)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | about 6 years ago | (#25043013)

2 out of 4 so thats, what, 2 percent? That's not bad at all!

Re:the truth is (1)

CaptainPatent (1087643) | about 6 years ago | (#25043049)

2 out of 4 people you meet on the street are likely to have below average intelligence.

2 out of 4 so thats, what, 2 percent? That's not bad at all!

It was great to meet you!

Re:the truth is (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | about 6 years ago | (#25043159)

I've also heard that 2 out of 4 people suck at math.

Re:the truth is (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25043245)

So then what are the other 6 people, rocket surgeons or something?

Re:the truth is (1)

gd2shoe (747932) | about 6 years ago | (#25043609)

And that 80% of all statistics are made up on the spot. ;-)

Re:the truth is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25043341)

am I the fif?

Re:the truth is (1)

ahoehn (301327) | about 6 years ago | (#25043445)

You idiot! When converting from numbers to percentages, you have to move the decimal point.

So obviously 2 out of 4 becomes 20%.

Re:the truth is (1)

elrous0 (869638) | about 6 years ago | (#25043059)

I hear that it may be as high as 49%!

Re:the truth is (1)

PCM2 (4486) | about 6 years ago | (#25043721)

Even higher. As it turns out, the limit of 4/x as x approaches 2 is 50%.

Re:the truth is (3, Insightful)

Normal Dan (1053064) | about 6 years ago | (#25043069)

This is not always so. Imagine a population of only 4 people. The first 3 have an "IQ" of 1, and the 4th has an IQ of 97. This makes the average intelligence around 25, and 3 out of 4 people have below average intelligence.

But anyway, here's some startling statistics for you: 3 out of 4 people make up 75% of our population.

Re:the truth is (1)

JesseMcDonald (536341) | about 6 years ago | (#25043437)

"Average" can be mean, median, or mode. You are correct using the mean; the GP is correct using the median. For a continuous variable in a population, e.g. "average intelligence", the median is the most sensible interpretation. If you're told that you are in the top 1% on an intelligence test it means that no more than 1% of the population scored above you, not that your score was in the upper 1% of the range.

Re:the truth is (1)

kungfugleek (1314949) | about 6 years ago | (#25043485)

3 out of 4 people make up 75% of our population.

And the other spends his time posting on /.

Re:the truth is (1)

sanosuke001 (640243) | about 6 years ago | (#25043495)

except an IQ of 100 is average. So, with only 4 people adding to the pool, 2 would be above and two would be below regardless of how smart any of them were.

Re:the truth is (3, Funny)

superdave80 (1226592) | about 6 years ago | (#25043095)

It's more like 3 out of 6, if you ask me.

Re:the truth is (1)

Krabbs (1319121) | about 6 years ago | (#25043133)

That is not correct. The chance is really binom(4 ; 2) / 2^4 = 37.5%.

Re:the truth is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25043293)

Well, you're obviously one of the 2 below average intelligence. If you must use a probability distribution, the correct one would be the hypergeometric one and most certainly not the binomial one.

Re:the truth is (1)

Krabbs (1319121) | about 6 years ago | (#25043583)

Nice try. Since we are naturally considering an infinitely large population each person can be considered an independent coinflip. If you claim that it is not an independent pick, you also have to include yourself. Saying that it is "most certainly not the binomial one.", when the binomial distribution is an approximation to the hypergeometric is typical slashdot arrogance. This is a perfect example of when to use this approximation. 4 persons out of billions.

2 out of 4? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25043149)

Please don't confuse general intelligence with rational analytic ability. Almost 60% of the US population are "certain" that the Christian god is something more than a work of fiction.

If you really want to confound the two issues, the human race must be approaching 100% moron. I for one instinctively know this to be true...
err...

Re:2 out of 4? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25043361)

If you really want to confound the two issues,

conflate? or are you anthropomorphizing the issues?

Re:the truth is (1)

WonkoS (1263280) | about 6 years ago | (#25043343)

Yes, and 99% of the people who died of cancer wore underwear. I got yer statistic right here, bub!

Re:the truth is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25043627)

That statement is only true if you assume that the reader is of precisely average intelligence, which would be quite rare.

Tracking System ring a bell? (1)

ZeroFactorial (1025676) | about 6 years ago | (#25042915)

Kind of like saying that a National Vehicle Tracking system would be primarily used for amber alerts?

Plane Simple Boring (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25042917)

At the general public level, people are often misled by their lack of common sense, their deficiency in understanding statistics and basic science, and therefore fall victim to the lies of

There's a good book in here, one that's far more interesting to me than the subject matter of "Plane Simple Truth". Even the review appears to agree -- why else mention it?

SLASHDOT SUX0RZ (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25042925)

_0_
\''\
'=o='
.|!|
.| |
plane simple goatse [goatse.cz]

Yep Fuel economy has always been king. (2, Interesting)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 6 years ago | (#25042933)

Fuel is heavy. Every pound of fuel you burn is one less you can carry and charge for.
Of course it kind of goes south when you talk about people that take an airliner designed for 300 people and use it as a private jet.

Re:Yep Fuel economy has always been king. (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 6 years ago | (#25043301)

Stop talking about our president like that.

In An Election Year... (-1, Troll)

flyneye (84093) | about 6 years ago | (#25042989)

In an election year this is a discussion that should be publicly held far and wide. The thought that crosses my mind in relation to this is; Republicrats, the hoopla about the differences in their policies and agendas as campaigns. The reality being a public that just doesn't get there are no important differences between both those parties. Any highlighted differences are just a smoke screen of half-truths and outright lies.
Meanwhile our constitutional rights disappear while we kid ourselves this is a two party system and a third party vote is a vote wasted.

Is this really controversial? (4, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | about 6 years ago | (#25043009)

I've never heard any accusations that the aeronautical industry was building particularly inefficient planes. Why would they? The only reason the automotive industry did it was because consumers love big cars (perceiving them as safer and wanting to show off). But unlike with SUV's, no one uses the size of the airplane they flew in on to compensate for their small dick (with the exception of Richard Branson, of course). So why WOULDN'T airlines want more efficient aircraft?

Money Money Money (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25043139)

You are correct about the airlines and incorrect about the SUV market. But that's okay.

Airlines want higher efficiency because like any GOOD corporation that wants to make A LOT of money they are meticulous in accounting.

I NOW own a BIG TRUCK and a tiny car. Why? I wasn't good at accounting. I studied my finances over a six month period and saw what I was paying in gas and found that I could have a BRAND NEW car - and save about $80 a month.

People who have giant SUVs are welcome to have them but they either know exactly how much they cost and are okay with it.

I can tell you that the whole "Green" movement is creating liars everywhere. There are 'green' checklists that can be completed without being 'green'. Green is the new 'low fat'. It has lost its meaning.

D~y

Um. Illiteracy is rampant. Er. (2, Informative)

gavron (1300111) | about 6 years ago | (#25043055)

What a nice article that says "university president's" instead of "university presidents".

I guess while putting down the rest of America for being easily led by the nose, the author forgot to read about how to use simple punctuation.

While we're on it, perhaps Barnum was right, but perhaps he was more right in the second less-well-known part of his statement.

"There's a sucker born every minute -- and two to take him." -- P.T. Barnum.

Google 101 is over. The rest is left as an exercise for the reader.

Ehud

Re:Um. Illiteracy is rampant. Er. (1)

elrous0 (869638) | about 6 years ago | (#25043135)

Feel better now that you've had your daily smugasm, grammar nazi?

Re:Um. Illiteracy is rampant. Er. (1)

gavron (1300111) | about 6 years ago | (#25043243)

It's an article about people not paying attention, falling for anything, and knowing nothing. It's appropriate that published articles be literate.

I'm sorry you took it personally.

Ehud

great (5, Interesting)

nomadic (141991) | about 6 years ago | (#25043061)

I'm always fascinated by how IT people frequently consider themselves experts on everything under the sun. Whoever this Rothke is, he's no aeronautical engineer, and as far as I can tell his snide remarks at the beginning of the review are based on his reading of an admittedly pro-aviation industry book.

Re:great (2, Interesting)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | about 6 years ago | (#25043311)

I'm always fascinated by how IT people frequently consider themselves experts on everything under the sun.

Well, the thing is that geeks/hackers tend to be more well-read than most of the rest of the world. There are many 'IT people' who are more well-read than most liberal arts majors.

No one can be an expert about everything, but it is possible to know at least a little about a lot. Aerospace engineering is not unlike hacking -- engineers often have the right mindset to do software development (though the reverse isn't always true).

Who's calling who a liar? (4, Insightful)

MarkusQ (450076) | about 6 years ago | (#25043065)

While it is too broad to call the authors of Fuel efficiency of commercial aircraft: An overview of historical and future trends liars; their mediocre research created the scenario that far too many took their research as reality. Known as the Peeters report, after lead author P.M. Peeters, the authors of Plane Simple Truth refute the wide-spread belief that the fuel efficiency gains in the commercial aviation sector are erroneous, which is the principle theme of the Peeters report."

Pop quiz: who is calling who a liar in this paragraph? For that matter, how many parties are being discussed here, and what are their positions on fuel efficiency?

--MarkusQ

Re:Who's calling who a liar? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25043131)

Word. I read that paragraph twice before I gave up. What an unreadable twisted pile of trash.

Re:Who's calling who a liar? (4, Insightful)

jfruhlinger (470035) | about 6 years ago | (#25043461)

Seriously. This is one of the most convoluted setences I've ever seen. I know that Slashdot "editors" aren't really editors in the generally accepted sense of the term, but -- really? Did you look at that sentence and think, "Hey, that's something that should go on the front page and that people will read and easily understand!"

(Full disclosure: I am an editor, without quotation marks.)

Re:Who's calling who a liar? (1)

philspear (1142299) | about 6 years ago | (#25043587)

Plane Simple Truth is a fascinating book that exposes the myriad errors of the flawed environmental studies.

It's not enough to point out the flaws in a study, there are flaws in every single study ever.

So there were a lot of flaws in the environmental studies. I have no background in environmental studies. Show me a graph in an environmental study, tell me it's wrong, show me the real graph. I'll be able to tell you they may have gotten that graph wrong, but even if the report was well written and was quoted in full in the book, I'd have no idea as to the impact that would have on anything. If the book is written as poorly as the summary is, I wouldn't even get to that point.

The summary is so poorly written, all I know is that I'm dumb and a liar, there has been research done on airline fuel and it's environmental impact, and there are problems with them. Presumably because they're liars and are dumb.

I'm going to solve this problem by pushing the red button on this giant nuclear bomb now...

Re:Who's calling who a liar? (1)

spiffyman (949476) | about 6 years ago | (#25043651)

Here's another one: Can anyone find any reference to the "Peeters report" besides in the submitter's review?

As far as the review's writing itself, I was worried I wasn't the only one. Jesus Christ. Surprising, given that Rothke's written pretty extensively.

I'd complain that we need better editors around here, but ... ah, fuck it.

That explains it (1)

hawkd_sf (947623) | about 6 years ago | (#25043123)

Here all along I've been reducing people down to: Evil (liars) OR stupid. I never really thought of evil AND stupid....

wow (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 6 years ago | (#25043161)

you mean like the iq test is a bell curve? and half are below 100 and half are above?

this is a travesty, how are we ever going to make sure that everyone is above 100?

pfffffffffft

stupid people exist. deal with it. nothing you will ever do will change that

if you can't make peace with that fact, you cast some doubt on your supposed intelligence

The tickets prices tell you the efficiencies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25043177)

No other mode of transportation has become cheaper than air flight. Nothing in the market can even come close. Even with the recent nickel-and-diming with the baggage and food charges to pass on fuel charges, air flight is now the mode of transport for the wretched masses that used to be confined to the bus.

Reviews: how not to write them (5, Informative)

hcdejong (561314) | about 6 years ago | (#25043209)

Starting your review with a convoluted first paragraph chock-full of double negatives and irrelevant references is a Bad Idea. I had to read it three times before I figured out which book was being reviewed and what the reviewer thought of it.

The review also takes whatever this book says as gospel. How do we know that this book is any more correct than the studies it tries to debunk?

Re:Reviews: how not to write them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25043709)

Next on the agenda: when to use "principle" and when to use "principal".

I'd take the author more seriously... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25043225)

...if he'd get an editor, and write his article in grammatically correct Engilsh with appropriate punctuation.

It seems rather hypocritical to expound on the ignorance of others when one can't demonstrate the appropriate use of the apostrophe.

House says (3, Insightful)

eebra82 (907996) | about 6 years ago | (#25043237)

In the TV show House, M.D., a premise that protagonist Dr. Greg House holds dear is that people are liars and stupid. Real life is often not far from House's observation.

I would say that only a person smarter than average could make such observation. The rest would simply not care or be capable of thinking to such depth. In House's case, this is exactly it, because he seems to have an outstandingly high IQ. Amusingly, House says that we all lie, but he is the only exception. And he certainly doesn't think he's stupid.

Having said that, I've been working in the "med biz" for five years and I share House's philosophy. People always distort facts for one reason or another, and ultimately, that makes them look dumb.

Re:House says (3, Interesting)

jfengel (409917) | about 6 years ago | (#25043447)

> Amusingly, House says that we all lie, but he is the only exception.

He says everybody lies, and he doesn't exempt himself. He lies like crazy, to get his way. He'd say he'd be stupid not to, since it does help him get what he thinks is right.

He just thinks that lying to your DOCTOR is stupid, since that gets you dead, which is usually not what you want.

Dr. House's words or truth?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25043255)

So you are also a liar in that companies will lie to make money and produce false/misleadings documents like the airlines engine which you are supporting.

So does life mimic TV or TV mimic life?

The Peeters Principle (1)

mbeckman (645148) | about 6 years ago | (#25043279)

This needs a wikipedia entry: "The Peeters Principle is the philosophical rule of thumb that "Incompetent research reports tend to rise to the top of public perception." An allusion to Dr. Laurence J. Peter's et. al. Peter Principle, the Peeters Principle derives from the P.M. Peeters et. al. report "Fuel efficiency of commercial aircraft: An overview of historical and future trends", which falsely claims declining fuel efficiency in airline turbine aircraft engines. The Peeters Principle in summary is that, at the general public level, people are often misled by their lack of common sense, their deficiency in understanding statistics and basic science, and therefore fall victim to the lies of the myriad charlatans that claim to have something that fixes everything."

Emissions (1)

conureman (748753) | about 6 years ago | (#25043283)

Disregarding the carbon footprint/relative mileage issue, I've often thought that spraying unburnt kerosene into the upper atmosphere was a dodgy experiment.

I believe it. (3, Insightful)

LibertineR (591918) | about 6 years ago | (#25043285)

When my neighbor complained last weekend, that my smoking baby-back ribs in my smoker for 6 hours was responsible for ice melting in the Arctic, I realized that there are no limits on stupid.

The same will be true for any Slashdotter who wants to explain to me in scientific terms why my neighbor was 'technically' correct.

Let me help: The wood? Hickory and Cherry. The temperature? 240deg. Time: 6hours.

So tell me; how many polar bears did I kill?

Re:I believe it. (2, Insightful)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 6 years ago | (#25043427)

The answer would likely be close to zero. Of course, that's mostly because you have all the effect of a drop of water in a hurricane. The hurricane still does damage, though.

But I digress...if you used charcoal you make yourself without the use of fossil fuels, you're likely to be net zero for carbon emissions. All the carbon you use was probably pulled out of the air in the last 20-40 years by the tree you are burning, and the stuff you'll burn tomorrow comes out the trees growing today.

As for baby back ribs, I like mine wet. With a side of cornbread and beans. If I'm going to hell, I may as well do it on a full stomach.

Re:I believe it. (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 6 years ago | (#25043659)

Except your neighbor wasn't "technically correct".

He's being remarkably simpleminded about the whole thing.

You need to cook something somewhere. If you don't do
it outside then you will need to do it indoors and that
will impact your whole house. Ultimately, you may need
to spend a lot more energy cooling your house back down
just so this guy can have a warm fuzzy about smoke
emissions.

An outdoor cooking arrangement means that you don't
have to fire up a very energy hungry home cooling
system.

You probably saved a polar bear, rather than killing one.

rah! rah! (0, Offtopic)

mevets (322601) | about 6 years ago | (#25043287)

What a cheerleader! Is this really what the poor aviation industry has sunk to? If they spent a little more effort on avionics they wouldn't have to pimp such embarrassing crap....

Turbopropellers (2, Informative)

Cochonou (576531) | about 6 years ago | (#25043295)

From the review, there seems to be a lot of talk in the book about jet engines (turbofans). But is the subject of propellers and turbopropellers brought upon ? They are usually considered to be the most efficient for speeds around mach 0.6.

Re:Turbopropellers (1)

conureman (748753) | about 6 years ago | (#25043429)

I always wanted one of those Lear Turbofans. Better passenger/mileage than any car I've owned.

Escalade (1)

Kohath (38547) | about 6 years ago | (#25043319)

You mention the Cadillac Escalade as if fuel efficiency were the primary design criteria for that vehicle. Why should anyone read any further after that?

Good heavens (4, Insightful)

bperkins (12056) | about 6 years ago | (#25043325)

The signal to noise ratio in this story is astoundingly low.

How about:

Here's a review of "The Plane and Simple Truth."

It's a book about efficiency gains in airliners over the last 70 years.
I liked it.
It had lots of good information.
It also debunked many fallacies put forth by those who think the airline industry is bad for the environment.

Compare to what? (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | about 6 years ago | (#25043373)

"The Peeters report flies in the face of reality, in which gains in jet engine efficiency over the last 40 years have been astounding. Contrast those gains with the popular Cadillac Escalade and similar SUV's whose mileage per gallon is often measured in single digits, and whose efficiencies have gone in the opposite direction. "

Where can I get myself fuel efficiency information on a 1968 Cadillac Escalade?

Aircraft have one advantage only: speed. The simple physics of the matter is that an engine used to power an aircraft will never have the same fuel efficiency as putting the same damned engine in a car or a train or any other vehicle where much of the engine's power is put into supporting the weight of the vehicle.

So your turbines have shown increased efficiency over 40 years ago. That doesn't explain why it's better to put that turbine into an airplane rather than a locomotive.

Report is wrong... (4, Informative)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 6 years ago | (#25043375)

For a start, they seem to hinge their conclusions on per-seat-kilometer values, and then seem surprised at the outcome - per-seat-kilometer values miss significant aspects of the subject at hand:

1. Cargo - planes carry significant amounts of cargo today, on the piston engined aircraft of yesteryear it was pretty much 'passengers OR cargo, but not at the same time'. Thus the plane today is doing work that your plane of yesterday would be excluded from because you aren't getting a per-seat-kilometer value for it (no seats).

2. Range - planes today carry out some serious routes, with the top end of the scale actually topping out at between 8,000miles on a regular basis (there are longer routes, but they are less common). You won't be getting that in piston engined aircraft.

3. Reliability - jet engines are much more reliable than the piston engines of yesteryear, which is why we now have ETOPS (extended-range twin-engine operational performance standard) hitting 207 minutes. Thats three hours and twenty seven minutes distance from an airfield on one single engine. Try that in a piston engine aircraft of yesteryear.

4. Reliability - yes, its worth mentioning again. Jet engine aircraft can run sectors with minimal turn around, with minimal maintenance between sectors and with minimal top-ups of required fluids. Piston engined aircraft required a lot more in the way of coaxing and looking after on the ground between sectors. More time in maintenance means less time making money.

5. Longevity - there haven't been many piston engine aircraft that were built for two or three decades in passenger service (the DC-3 comes to mind, but not many others). Most piston engine passenger aircraft of the pre-war and immediate post-war period were designed to last only a few thousand hours, or a couple of years in passenger service.

Oh, and yes, I'm related to the aviation industry :)

My lack of common sense is telling me... (1)

geoffrobinson (109879) | about 6 years ago | (#25043401)

My lack of common sense and overall knowledge is telling me that this review is absolutely 100% correct.

The reviewer confuses fuel efficiency with economy (3, Insightful)

sirwired (27582) | about 6 years ago | (#25043525)

Fuel economy (MPG) on a modern land-yacht SUV is indeed atrocious.

However, fuel efficiency on a modern vehicle is simply astounding. A modern engine can extract far more motive power out of a given amount of fuel than an engine even ten years old.

The problem, as far as total consumption goes, is what the automakers have chosen to do with those efficiency gains. Instead of increasing fuel economy, they have chosen to increase the power of the engine, and put those engines in ever-heavier vehicles. This means that fuel economy has remained relatively static, even as efficiency has made huge strides.

SirWired

This whole thing is crap. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25043549)

What this book and review does is look at the aircraft manufacturers. In reality, it is the airlines that specify aircraft and order equipment. The manufacturers simple design and build to meet customer specifications.

Yes, ducted fan jet engines are generally poor at efficiency versus, say, a turboprop jet engine. But airlines simply will not go for a turboprop, as a prop airplane makes customers less comfortable.

Of course, the military is not subject to such commercial nonsense, and that's why many of their aircraft are of a turboprop design.

So, is aircraft efficiency down over the past 50 years? Yes. Is it due to engine design? Yes. Is it due to the industry? Yes. Is it due to the manufacturers? No. It is due to the airlines' demands of a ducted fan.

What, this isn't idle? (1)

argent (18001) | about 6 years ago | (#25043613)

Damn, book reviews in Slashdot are getting completely incomprehensible.

Hint: a review isn't a summary.

So what? (1)

tthomas48 (180798) | about 6 years ago | (#25043655)

I don't believe the airline industry is as bad as the tobacco industry (the existence of this book notwithstanding). But that still doesn't mean that airline travel is something that we are going to have to analyze as the price of fossil fuels go up and the environment becomes less stable. NASA might build the most environmentally conscious rockets possible, but as long as they use fossil fuels they'll probably be harmful to the environment.

Whether you view the world through the prism of "we are running out of fossil fuel" or "the environment is destabilizing" (discounting those who think everything is fine), you have to admit that our transportation options are going to have to change and widen. We're especially going to need electric high speed train links between cities if we're going to have enough fossil fuels for trans-oceanic airline flights.

This review is still bogus though. They should be comparing diesel city buses to regional carrier aircraft, or high speed trains and aircraft. Comparing every person on a flight driving an SUV alone 1000 miles vs. taking a jumbo jet might get close to similar gas mileage, but it doesn't take into account that an airplane is mass transit.

And what is this doing on slashdot anyway? Does slashdot have some sort of fairness doctrine for global warming deniers?

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