President's Report - February 2008

Greetings All,

I write this column in Queenstown, Tasmania where, true to from, it's raining - not surprising since, the mean annual rainfall is about 2.5 metres or about 4 times that of Canberra. About half way between Launceston and Queenstown, as the crow flies, is Pillans Lake on the Central Plateau. Sadly I was unable to visit the lake on this trip.

Also true to form, storm clouds gathered over our "Hullo 2008" BBQ in Lennox Gardens at the end of January. However, the threat of rain failed to dampen the spirits of the 20 or so club members present. With Stage 3 water restrictions still in force in Canberra, no-one complains anymore when it rains. Our Social Secretary, Neil Sperring, looked quite at home, behind the BBQ, while garden guru, Cedric Bryant, entertained expectant onlookers. By the time the rain came, we had all eaten and drunk our fill, and as a bonus my car received a good wash on the drive home.

While flicking through the Qantas in-flight magazine en route to Tasmania I read some interesting facts about the new Airbus A380 (you know: the giant passenger aircraft capable of carrying a few hundred more people than a Boeing 747). OK, so it's quieter than a 747 because its huge wing allows quicker take-off at lower speed, and it is claimed to have 31% less environmental emissions. However, it's the fuel consumption figures that are really staggering - according to the magazine article it uses 2.9 litres/100 km.

Not only is that about 10% better than a 747, but both the A380 and the 747 are way ahead of the average small car. If I try really hard I can get just under 5 litres/100 km from our 306HDi. So, should I trade in the 306 on an A380? Parking would clearly be a problem! Furthermore, all is not what it seems in the Qantas magazine article: a quick scan of the net reveals that the fuel economy figures for the A380 are actually 2.9 litres/person/100 km. Based on say, 500 passengers that's about 1500 litres/100 km...I think I will stick with the 306!

Just a reminder that our first club meeting for the year will be held at 8 pm on Tuesday 26th February, at the usual venue, the Canberra Services Club in Manuka.

Keep on Pugging,

Brad Pillans

Picture of Brad