Friday, April 3, 2009

14.29 Gallons per Mile

Gadfly
by Mort Malkin

14.29 Gallons per Mile

14.29 gallons per mile is not some satirical description of a HumVee — gallons per mile vs. miles per gallon. It is the actual use of fuel by the C-5A cargo plane, the workhorse of the Air Force. Gallons per mile!

The good news is that the Pentagon is aware of the colossal cost of just running the big plane down the runway to take off for Baghram Air Base in Afghanistan. Well, Boeing realized that the C-5As were getting old, so they designed a smaller, lighter cargo plane, the C-17 . Funny, how Boeing’s realization coincided with a new administration that is talking about reducing the use of fossil fuels. The cost of the new cargo plane is a mere $193 million per plane, way less than the cost of bailing out one small bank. If the US would abandon its imperial policy around the world — two hot wars and 737 military bases in other countries — we wouldn’t need cargo planes at all.

Boeing, naturally, threatens to close the C-17 division if the Pentagon order isn’t big enough. One member of the Gadfly Revelry & Research team asks why doesn’t Boeing convert to producing public transportation vehicles such as buses and light rail trains. It’s a much bigger market.

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