Volcanic dust has shut down european airspace for the past couple of days and will continue to cause havoc this weekend. The cause? Dust from a volcano eruption in Iceland. Natures own terrorist attack on our transport links….
The airline industry will probably lose millions / billions because of this. The knock on effects will be even greater. But here’s the thing… the last time this volcano erupted (long before planes were invented) it rumbled on for at least a year.
Can Europe survive without planes indefinitely? No. The only solution is dust proof engines. That would probably involve revolutionizing the way engines work. Sucking in air, compressing & igniting it, then forcing it out the other end is the only way we know…
Is there a better way of doing things? Definitely. We just haven’t figured it out yet. Jet engines have only really been around 50/60 years which is nothing really. Go back a few hundred years and steam engines were only on their way… a few thousand years and we’d only just figured out how to build wagon type transport devices. The idea of creating something revolutionary is usually laughed at in a ‘that can’t be done’ kind of way.
Then when things are created and mass produced, we just take them for granted and laugh at how the idiots before us didn’t think of them. We’re the idiots of tomorrow.
You could leave a comment here saying we can’t improve upon jet engines…. we’ll probably all be dead by the time you’re proven wrong, but you will be proven wrong 😉 History and evolution says so.
Volcanic eruptions don’t happen often, but they do happen and will continue to happen. They’re unpredictable so who’s to say this won’t last for months or years… we don’t know. Unprecedented. Just like swine flu, just like a large scale terrorist attack… The unknown. As always, the best way to tackle the unknown is to try and make it known or else destroy it.
Understanding how this stuff works and why it poses a risk to engines is now common knowledge thanks to google and the media. Now we just have to get thinking… dust proof engines? Some sort of ash shields? Laser beams to detect and destroy solid particles? Containing or directing volcanic ash to a particular area (preferably in to space)?
If the Chinese can control their weather, surely we have the technology and brains to take back our airspace from this volcano and any future volcano which poses a threat…