This is great news. Technology people like to point to clean tech solutions that are literally decades away from mass market because they are the more intellectually interesting problems to tackle. Environmental zealots think the government should just start banning anything that emits exhaust, throwing us back to the Neolithic period somewhere between the Copper Age and the Iron Age.
The compromise between these two camps results in things like biofuels, which when government gets involved results in disaster.
Engineers, on the other hand, tend to be pragmatic and present solutions that build on what they know while striving for efficiencies that end up adding up when taken across the entire system. GM recently launched two new small displacement engines that are cleaner and more fuel efficient but sadly we won’t see these in the U.S. because Euro 5 standards are not CARB compliant, Bluetec diesel technology with urea injection is Bin 8 compliant and available in all 50 states, Bruce Crower’s 6 stroke gas/steam takes what works from old technology and adds it to current generation engines, and now Pratt & Whitney has evolved the basic turbofan jet engine to deliver greater fuel economy, reduced emissions, and a lower maintenance cost.
Pratt & Whitney solved that problem with a gearbox that lets the fan and turbine spin independently. The fan is larger and it spins at one-third the speed of the turbine, creating a quieter, more powerful engine the company says requires less fuel, emits less C02 and costs 30 percent less to maintain. Pratt & Whitney has been torture-testing the engines, and its engineers have simulated more than 40,000 takeoffs and landings.
[From Greener Jet Engine Could Reduce Aviation's Carbon Footprint]