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New Supersonic Airliner?  
User currently offlinecrownvic From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 1941 posts, RR: 5
Posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 3138 times:

I got to thinking...There was a thread today about Lockheed Martin possibly returning to the airliner business. I got a little excited because I was expecting to see a supersonic design as I was thinking perhaps of an oversize F-16   Anyway, I was quite disappointed to see another fuel efficient monstrosity.

I was one of the few travelers who got to fly Concorde, after the fuel tank grounding. Regardless of all the negativity toward Concorde, there was nothing more refreshing than arriving at LHR in 3 hours from New York. Meanwhile, nearly ten years later, I have just returned from Asia and it was grueling 24 hour trip that I am still recovering from a few days later. Here we are in 2011 and the chances of seeing another supersonic airliner seem to have dwindled to nothing and you really wonder why progress has completely come to a standstill. Even aviation publications don't seem to talk about it anymore. Have the damn environmentalists of the world really put a stop to the dreams of flying supersonic ever again? Aside from the high development costs that we know are associated with such a venture, why isn't any entity even discussing this anymore? I travel long haul quite frequently and as I am getting older, I am getting less and less tolerant to the subsonic flying experience as ambien is now becoming my best travel partner!

8 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAloha717200 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 4521 posts, RR: 15
Reply 1, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 3051 times:

Quoting crownvic (Thread starter):
Have the damn environmentalists of the world really put a stop to the dreams of flying supersonic ever again?

More like the NIMBYs. It is the sonic boom that really killed the idea of supersonic airliners taking hold as the next generation airliner. That and the economics. In an era where airports face losing battles against city residents from noise litigation, a supersonic airliner is the last thing the airlines want to see.

Quoting crownvic (Thread starter):
ambien is now becoming my best travel partner!

Be careful with Ambien, that stuff can come with nasty side effects.


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15809 posts, RR: 27
Reply 2, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 2973 times:

Quoting crownvic (Thread starter):
Have the damn environmentalists of the world really put a stop to the dreams of flying supersonic ever again?

Not quite, but really the business case is probably a tougher nut to crack. When it comes to the future of supersonic flight, it might look more like Virgin Galactic than Concorde. I don't think that it is at all inconceivable that more advanced spacecraft could make suborbital flights between spaceports in different cities.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineredflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 4376 posts, RR: 28
Reply 3, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 2963 times:

Quoting crownvic (Thread starter):
I was quite disappointed to see another fuel efficient monstrosity.

I howled with laughter at that line! I thought I was the only one who felt the same way when I saw that photo!

Quoting crownvic (Thread starter):
I was one of the few travelers who got to fly Concorde,

You realize you are a part of an elite crowd? Wear that distinction with honor, my friend. I am extremely envious of you.

Quoting crownvic (Thread starter):
Meanwhile, nearly ten years later, I have just returned from Asia and it was grueling 24 hour trip that I am still recovering from a few days later.

Meanwhile, 43 years after Concorde first took flight all commercial flights are subsonic. Moreover, the level of service is worse than bus travel was back in the day. We have indeed stepped backwards.

Quoting crownvic (Thread starter):
Even aviation publications don't seem to talk about it anymore.

There is some discussion going around on developing a new supersonic transport now that a lot of progress has been made on mitigating one problem associated with them - the sonic boom. Unfortunately, the technology to propel aircraft faster than sound still involves a huge fuel burn penalty. And in an age of $100/bbl oil (as other posters, above, have pointed out) the economics are simply going to keep such projects grounded.

Quoting crownvic (Thread starter):
Have the damn environmentalists of the world really put a stop to the dreams of flying supersonic ever again?

No, but the environmentalists do have a legitimate concern. I'm no NIMBY, but I would be interested in knowing any new technology is not going to add to the burdens of our world.



My other home is a Piper Cherokee 180C
User currently offlineVirginFlyer From New Zealand, joined Sep 2000, 4575 posts, RR: 41
Reply 4, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 2820 times:

Quoting redflyer (Reply 5):
Meanwhile, 43 years after Concorde first took flight all commercial flights are subsonic. Moreover, the level of service is worse than bus travel was back in the day. We have indeed stepped backwards.

Depends on what you measure progress by. I could say that we have aircraft which can travel longer distances, use significantly less fuel, operate with greater reliability, go for longer periods of time between overhauls, all with a historically low accident rate. By those metrics, we have indeed stepped forward.

I'd love to see another supersonic transport, but the problem is that any engine technology which is applied to an SST to make it more fuel efficient could equally be applied to a subsonic transport to make it more fuel efficient too. In other words, the cost difference is inevitable with the current and foreseeable state of technology. While there will no doubt always be people willing to pay extra for a supersonic flight, the question remains whether there are enough of those people to justify the development costs (which I imagine would easily be north of US$10B, indeed I'd be surprised if it wasn't at least twice that) of a new supersonic airliner.

V/F



"So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth." - Bahá'u'lláh
User currently offlineMadameConcorde From San Marino, joined Feb 2007, 10917 posts, RR: 37
Reply 5, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 2817 times:

Quoting crownvic (Thread starter):
the chances of seeing another supersonic airliner seem to have dwindled to nothing

They can't seem to get the 787 in the air, yet still a traditional aircraft. How could they ever think of designing and building a successor to Concorde and who is going to finance it?

Where is the money? Who will pay for the research and development and building this successor?
I don't see it happening for what is left of my lifetime.

The tendency is rather toward more traditional aircrafts such as the A350 and maybe an even bigger A380-900 than envisioning a possible successor to Concorde.

The Branson Space plane is only a point to point flying gadget for the mega-rich. We have only seen very little of it yet. We are yet to see the real testing.



There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
User currently offlinetravelavnut From Netherlands, joined May 2010, 1653 posts, RR: 7
Reply 6, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 2792 times:

Quoting Aloha717200 (Reply 3):
More like the NIMBYs.

Well, this is probably the only time I would agree with the NIMBYs. Having daily sonic booms over my house would drive me crazy!

Quoting redflyer (Reply 5):
Quoting crownvic (Thread starter):
I was one of the few travelers who got to fly Concorde,

You realize you are a part of an elite crowd? Wear that distinction with honor, my friend. I am extremely envious of you.

   Any change of a trip report?  Even though it was a few years ago



Live From Amsterdam!
User currently offlinecpd From Australia, joined Jun 2008, 4880 posts, RR: 37
Reply 7, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 2739 times:

Quoting VirginFlyer (Reply 6):
I'd love to see another supersonic transport, but the problem is that any engine technology which is applied to an SST to make it more fuel efficient could equally be applied to a subsonic transport to make it more fuel efficient too

Then we'll all be flying around on hybrid-power Zeppelins, because those will be highly efficient.

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 7):
They can't seem to get the 787 in the air, yet still a traditional aircraft. How could they ever think of designing and building a successor to Concorde and who is going to finance it?

True, Boeing won't manage it. Lockheed might - after all, they did SR-71 which was the king of speed, and did propose a very good design for the original US SST (L2000). The only other likely suspects are Airbus/BAE joint-effort. (doing something like AST3).

I don't expect that any of the supersonic biz-jet proposals will ever take to the skies.

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 7):
I don't see it happening for what is left of my lifetime.

Nor do I for that matter. I see even slower planes taking over.

Quoting travelavnut (Reply 8):
Having daily sonic booms over my house would drive me crazy!

Maybe it will be minimised to the point that it is quite soft. That appears to be possible. Same as designing engines that are efficient enough versus the speed they allow. Naturally, that technology could also be applied to fat turbofan engines, but there are always people who will be happy to pay more to spend less time on the plane. A 300 seat M2.0 SST would be quite ideal, especially with around 10,000-12,000km range.

[Edited 2011-02-03 17:53:31]

User currently offlinecrownvic From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 1941 posts, RR: 5
Reply 8, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 2719 times:

redflyer - Yes, and it is something I did not take for granted and will never forget. Especially the landing. It was actually more thrilling than the take-off!

travelavnut - Trip Report:

AWESOME!  

Well the conclusion is, most of the responses are that of what killed the first SST. Excessive fuel burn and the sonic boom. It just seems to me, that there are more advances in alternative fuels, that could be applied to the next generation SST. As for the sonic boom, there have been several articles on a nose that is planned for the SSBJ that seems to have addressed this problem. I think more than anything, what is stopping this, is developing costs. It seems, nobody wants to take the risk, which is really a shame. Without this risk taking, it is going to kill any chance of our current generation ever flying supersonic. It is very disappointing to think that 50 years ago, the chances of flying supersonic in an airliner were far better than they are today.


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