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Boeing And A Future SST?  
User currently offlineRigo From Australia, joined Sep 2005, 91 posts, RR: 0
Posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 3109 times:

G'day,

Here are some thoughts of mine about B's position regarding a "son of Concorde". Please share you opinions !

Disclaimer: I'm no aviation expert, just an enthusiast, so everything that follows is perhaps be completely and irremediably wrong...

Everybody was thrilled at LBG'05 when Airbus and a consortium of Japanese industries announced a preliminary study of feasibility of what might one day become a new SST. Now as I understand, one major problem with SSTs is to break the sound barrier, so to speak - drag is highest at transsonic speeds. But Boeing had the Sonic Cruiser project which was supposed to fly precisely around M=1.0. Assuming that this project was real, not just PR material, it would mean that B has found some new, highly effective solutions to the transsonic flight problem.

In these conditions, it would seem only natural that Boeing would be involved in such a project, since it would allow them to share the potential benefits of the venture at a relatively low risk. Yet we didn't hear anything from the sort. So the question is: what is B's strategy ? Which of the following ideas is the most plausible ?

1) B adopts a "wait and see" approach and will evaluate their strategy later, if decision is made to actually proceed with the project (isn't the deadline 4 years from now?)

2) B expects the project will eventually not be launched, and even if it is, they believe that the SST idea is doomed anyway. The best thing to do is to stand away from it. The infamous 2707 memory is still alive with them and the less-than-enthusiastic reaction to the Sonic Cruiser does little to reverse the situation ?

3) B has its own secret plans, perhaps based on the research conducted in late 90s by the NASA using a Tu-144. As far as I know the program was eventually cancelled... but who knows?

4) B believes that should Airbus and the Japanese eventually proceed with a SST and even in the (improbable) case it is successful, it will drain so much resources that A will be forced to virtually abandon the subsonic jet market at least for years. Therefore the best option is to invest there, either nothing happens and they will have to compete against A, or they could potentially gain a SubST monopoly... ?

What do you think ?

Regards
Rigo

11 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineKDTWFlyer From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 828 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 3109 times:

I think an SST is unlikely within the next 15 years due to prohibitive r and d costs. The whole mitigation of the sonic boom is also a problem but I think progress is being made in that area. As long as the airlines become profitable and desire a SST AND it has the same operating costs per passenger seat mile AND it as long as it doesn't have a massive sonic boom or other environmental problems then it will happen.


NW B744 B742 B753 B752 A333 A332 A320 A319 DC10 DC9 ARJ CRJ S340
User currently offlineRedFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 4312 posts, RR: 28
Reply 2, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 3022 times:

Quoting KDTWFlyer (Reply 1):
AND it has the same operating costs per passenger seat mile

IMHO, this one criteria will never be met. The fuel burn will be so much per seat mile that the costs will be much higher, never the same.

With oil prices where they currently are and unlikely to go down very much in the future, efficiency is the name of the game. Not speed.



I'm not a racist...I hate Biden, too.
User currently offlineRigo From Australia, joined Sep 2005, 91 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 2974 times:

Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 2):
The fuel burn will be so much per seat mile that the costs will be much higher, never the same.

The point is that a SST could - theoretically - be very efficient, if only it was possible for it to reach supersonic speed economically. Hence my question about a possible Sonic Cruiser legacy.

Also if I remember correctly the announcement stated that if the feasibility study conclusions are positive, the new aircraft could roll out in 2025 or so. In the decade after next, it could possibly be powered by an alternative fuel, not oil.


User currently offlineAirlineAV8tr From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 191 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 2963 times:

Boeing's new maketing tool is "efficiency". An SST would make them look hypocritical in my opinion. But if they DID want an SST, all they'd have to do is dig up their own research on their SST program in the '70's, saving a lot of R & D. That design was decades ahead of itself, and with the addition of new avionics, they could keep it a two pilot operation. Their "Sonic Cruiser" itself would probably not need much tweaking to become an SST- Probably some airfoil changes, and afterburning engines. But back to reality, as I said earlier they are really focusing on energy consumption, and an SST is a fuel pig.


If we went into the funeral business, people would stop dying.-Martin S. (PanAm CEO)
User currently offlineFlyDreamliner From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2759 posts, RR: 15
Reply 5, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 2940 times:

New technologies abound in this. New engines desinged for "supercruise" and enhanced aerodynamics, someday it might be extremely practical to be supersonic. Getting runway performance might be hard. But on a flight like, say LAX to SIN, being able to cruise M 1.5 would be huge. I see no reason it may not someday be very economical as well. Someday however, is not soon.

In lieu of concorde, a number of firms are working on supersonic corporate jets. I find that intersting, my favorite, I forget who makes it, looks like a learjet crossed with an F104, and has two afterburning JT8D-200 series. I thought that engine had long ago died .....

JT8D will never go away.



"Let the world change you, and you can change the world"
User currently offlineVirginFlyer From New Zealand, joined Sep 2000, 4537 posts, RR: 41
Reply 6, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 2923 times:

Quoting FlyDreamliner (Reply 5):
I forget who makes it

That would be the Aerion proposal - http://www.aerioncorp.com/ - which seems to be the most promising of the SSBJ concepts out there, mainly because of the simplicity of the concept. The other concept which is currently being actively marketed is SAI's QSST - http://www.saiqsst.com/ - which is more advanced than the Aerion concept, but will require some regulation changes in terms of supersonic flight over land to really work.

Whichever one (and it will likely only be one) makes it to the market, I think it is the Supersonic Business Jet which will hold the future of civil supersonic transports for the next few decades...

V/F



"So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth." - Bahá'u'lláh
User currently offlineAirlineAV8tr From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 191 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 2923 times:

Quoting FlyDreamliner (Reply 5):
In lieu of concorde, a number of firms are working on supersonic corporate jets. I find that intersting, my favorite, I forget who makes it,

I believe you may be refering to Dassault, which I agree with you is a sharp looking SST.



If we went into the funeral business, people would stop dying.-Martin S. (PanAm CEO)
User currently offlineKiwiinOz From New Zealand, joined Oct 2005, 2165 posts, RR: 5
Reply 8, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 2903 times:

What's the point in the sonic cruiser if is only really giving a 15% gain in speed? Over an eight hour trip it saves about an hour. Doesn't seem like enough to develop a whole new concept over?

Regarding SST, I guess it takes the manufacturers to take a big gamble on further consolidation/merger in the airline industry, paticularly in Nth America and Europe. If a few big carriers are knocked out and the remaining ones are able to consolidate their resources, there probably is a market for profitable, premium supersonic travel. I mean, how much first class availability flies the Atlantic now? How many seats occupied at corresponding rates? There's bound to be a market model that will show feasability, just depends on whether those conditions will ever exist.

And if China aviation industry also consolidates, and their economy continues to grow like it is, who knows? It greatly expands another potential premium travel market.

Regarding sonic boom, just cover the thing with pillows.


User currently offlineAirlineAV8tr From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 191 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 2894 times:

Quoting KiwiinOz (Reply 8):
What's the point in the sonic cruiser if is only really giving a 15% gain in speed? Over an eight hour trip it saves about an hour. Doesn't seem like enough to develop a whole new concept over?

I wasn't saying that Boeing would consider stepping back in their statements on an SST, or SubST, I was saying it was not going to happen. I think Boeing went too far with that dream, but was forced to come out with something "shocking" to steal some thunder from the A380. Boeing has no interest right now in either a sonic, or a high sub-sonic cruiser, as their new catch phrase is "efficiency". As many have stated above, technology is advancing on SST's to increase efficiency, but that's years away if not decades. If a company DID build one, I don't see many airlines going for it with the exception of maybe Virgin, and the seemingly endless funds at Emirates.



If we went into the funeral business, people would stop dying.-Martin S. (PanAm CEO)
User currently offlineCloudyapple From Hong Kong, joined Jul 2005, 2454 posts, RR: 10
Reply 10, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 2817 times:

Quoting AirlineAV8tr (Reply 4):
Their "Sonic Cruiser" itself would probably not need much tweaking to become an SST

Most shocking statement award.

The SC was designed for speeds between subsonic and transonic. The wing/aerofoil sections, fuselage shape, tail, even the canard would have been optimised to minimise the onset of localised shockwaves. This would have been completely different from a design optimised for supersonic cruise, which expects shockwaves to be formed. The engines would be different and more importantly the engine inlets would be of completely different designs which for an SST would be required to slow supersonic flow to subsonic within a few meters to stop the engine choking.

This is a very much simplified view of the design differences but subsonic/transonic/supersonic aircraft designs are totally different things.



A310/A319/20/21/A332/3/A343/6/A388/B732/5/7/8/B742/S/4/B752/B763/B772/3/W/E145/J41/MD11/83/90
User currently offlineAreopagus From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1369 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 2688 times:

Quoting Cloudyapple (Reply 10):
Quoting AirlineAV8tr (Reply 4):
Their "Sonic Cruiser" itself would probably not need much tweaking to become an SST

Most shocking statement award.

Boeing tested the Sonic Cruiser up to Mach 1.08 in the wind tunnel. One of their officials (I think it was Walt Gillette) said that the SC actually had two economical cruise speeds, both subsonic and supersonic.


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