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Future Of Aviation - 50 Years On  
User currently offlineRichardPrice From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 3951 times:

At the risk of producing a thread some will hate, what aircraft would you like to see flying in 50 years? What new developments do you think will occur, where will the market fluctuate, what new fuels are on the horizon to power the next generation airliner?

I would like to see a 300 seat hypersonic by 2060 powered by a sustainable resource - maybe fueled by a high capacitance storage solution recharged at the airport from green energy sources?

33 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineDTW757 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 1560 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 3939 times:

Northwest will surely be flying the good old DC9's and the threads will continue what they will replace them with.  rotfl 


721,2,732,3,4,5,G,8,9,741,2,3,4,752,3,762,3,4,772,3,788,D93,5,M80,D10,M11,L10,100,AB6,319,20,21,332,3,388,146,CR2,7,ERJ,
User currently offlineSmokeyrosco From Ireland, joined Dec 2005, 2112 posts, RR: 13
Reply 2, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 3913 times:

I can see sub orbital aircraft doing LHR to SYD in less then an hour in my life time, and i don't think either Airbus or Boeing are going to pioneer this venture.


John Hancock
User currently offlineZE701 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 3909 times:

Knowing the Royal Air Force, I can see the old Canberra still being around!

I'm getting tired of seeing the headline "Last flight of the Canberra" in the RAF news, they've been using that chestnut for 4 or 5 years now.

50 years young my a**e!  smirk 


User currently offlineCHI787ORD From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 517 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 3846 times:

My dream..... Boeing develops the next generation of passenger scram-jets.

User currently offlineBravo45 From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 2165 posts, RR: 11
Reply 5, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 3794 times:

Ever since the new FBW came out with the glass cockpits, I have been a little scared in thinking about what this industry will be like 50 or so years from now. While we may see scram-jets and cheap supersonic and/or hypersonic crafts, I think we need to find alternate sources of energy to make it commercially viable for it to happen. The oil problem will continue to haunt this industry for as long as oil will be around, not only because of a turbulent world but a continuous increase (of demand) on the same sources.
Anyway you were thinking about new propulsion systems and speed, first things that came to my mind were the issues of pilot-less crafts and economic problems anybody trying to make oil driven machines go even super-sonic would face.

Quoting Smokeyrosco (Reply 2):
I can see sub orbital aircraft doing LHR to SYD in less then an hour in my life time, and i don't think either Airbus or Boeing are going to pioneer this venture.

Sounds interesting, Boeing and Airbus may be busy fighting over this market while someone else gets a break through and start a new age of sub-orbital aircrafts, that I can imagine happening.

Bottom line, I think we have resources to make things happen, they have to be made commercially economical to have any chance.


User currently offlineJetdeltamsy From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 2987 posts, RR: 8
Reply 6, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 3762 times:

My prediction.....

Oil will be about $1000 a barrel. Only a couple of airlines will exist, connecting only the largest cities while charging astronomical, incomprehensible fares.

Telecommunications will boom as teleconferencing will replace most of today's face-to-face meetings.

I don't think it will take 50 years to get there. More like 10 to 20.

I think commercial aviation as we know it today is a doomed industry.



Tired of airline bankruptcies....EA/PA/TW and finally DL.
User currently offlineBravo45 From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 2165 posts, RR: 11
Reply 7, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 3756 times:

Quoting Jetdeltamsy (Reply 6):
Jetdeltamsy

While that is one of the infinite number of possibilities, someone somewhere has always been to able to fine a way around things. I am hopeful same will happen here. We are in the reverse right now, the absence of Concorde, but then its because its not all that much needed. While telecom can solve a lot of needs, the majority of pax traffic today needs to be physically present at their destination. Unless teleportation can become a reality, there will be airlines. We have seen, despite the turbulence the industry had to go through, the cost only went down for the consumer. In fact even Concorde is off the scene because of its astronomical cost.
Who knows what the Ansari X-prize be a begining of, Burt Rutan or any of the other teams may already be on to something.

[Edited 2006-04-18 06:11:07]

User currently offlineAEroc From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 311 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 3742 times:

Every flight will be on a Regional Jet. To get over the big ponds it will be a E145XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXR Jet

User currently offlineAGANX From Canada, joined Apr 2005, 28 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 3707 times:

I recently came across a presentation (proceedings of a conference), which to me seems very interesting and quote relevant to the topic of this thread. However I cannot post the entire article as it is against the rules of Anet.

Transportation Research
E-Circular
Number E-C027, March 2001
Airports of the 21st Century
Proceeding of a conference
Luncheon Session,
Airport Capacity by Matthew Coogan - Consultant

There is no direct link to it, but following are the steps to get it,
Go to
http://www4.trb.org/trb/onlinepubs.nsf/web/circular

Find “E-C027” Airports in the 21st Century– this will lead you to a PDF document.
Then go to the Luncheon Session to find the article.

The presenter is assuming that he is from 2050 and looking at the past 50 years (that is the period between now and 2050)

In summery it says, the natural evolution of the concept of airlines code sharing will eventually create airlines that doesn’t own aircraft, but only leases a portion of an aircraft (number of seats) owned by a different type of companies (may be aircraft leasing companies).

So, for the same point to point service several airlines need not operate several aircraft at the same time, but they can share a single large aircraft accommodating their passengers at different parts of the aircraft provided by a leasing or some other company.

Interestingly, this concept gives more importance for bigger aircraft without challenging the trend to point to point service.

Following are just few sections (not one after another) from the presentation to give an idea.

I’ve looked at this historical record, and they perceived there was a capacity problem in the national airports system. So, I’m going to talk to you about how that capacity problem went away. As you all know, we don’t have it anymore, and I want to talk to you about three aspects of it. I want to share with you our conclusion that a lot of things happened over that 50-year period, but the main changes were institutional and not technological.

I did some research in an Official Airline Guide of the year 2000. I looked at schedules from Boston to Los Angeles, and I found that a third company—Delta— decided to fly the route that had been dominated by American and United. So, at 3:00 p.m. in Boston, there is a 757 that goes out with the word “American” on it. There is also a 757 that goes out with the word “United” on it at 3:00 p.m. There is a 757 that goes out with the word “Delta” on it. They are all going the same place, essentially providing the same service. Well, what happened between their world where you got stuck on the runway, and the world we have today?

Then the lawyers and the finance guys got at it. They said, internal to the company, let’s separate out the portion of the company that owns the airplanes, maintains the airplanes, and flies the airplanes. Let’s create separate divisions within our corporation, but make sure that any function that deals with the customer remains with us. We will keep this loyalty that we have built up over these decades and decades.

Then the four airline organizations restructured themselves to become the integrated service providers. They called themselves integrated service providers. Their job was to sell you a ticket from your origin to your destination. This was defined by the customer: it could be airport-to-airport or home-to-home.

Over this decade, the belief in the use of dedicated assets was abandoned, just the same as it had been in the rest of the transportation industry. The organizations formerly known as airlines decided to outsource the task of providing modal service. This slide shows the first of the jointly operated planes. The red airline would lease the back 200 seats, and the blue airline got the middle 200 seats, and a white airline got the front 200 seats, and boy did they compete. I’ll tell you, the competition was fierce. They competed with frequent flyer miles and they competed more aggressively than they had before when they were all flying on three separate 757s. The only thing that changed was the efficiency of operation.

High capacity aircraft were designed for the American domestic market. Without going into details, there was a very large company in Seattle, Washington, that was uniquely positioned to make large planes. The now familiar 767 became the workhorse of the industry, a role once played by the 737 and the 727 before that. But before the adoption of the new paradigm, this manufacturer of efficient airplanes was having trouble convincing the U.S. airlines to buy their biggest planes. Under the new system, the restructured airline company would buy 25 percent of the seats on each shared flight. With this system, they all could offer hourly flights to L.A., but with only one-quarter of the aircraft operations.


User currently offlineZkpilot From New Zealand, joined Mar 2006, 4826 posts, RR: 9
Reply 10, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 3691 times:

Inertial Dampeners, impulse drives, VTOL, Mach3+... no wings, low cost cheap travel  Smile


56 types. 38 countries. 24 airlines.
User currently offlinePeterinlisbon From Portugal, joined Jan 2006, 507 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 3594 times:

Unless an alternative to oil is found, there probably won't be any airlines in 50 years time. Over the coming years, as the price of oil rises, more and more airlines will go bankrupt and things will be like they were in the beginning, when flying was something that only the most wealthy people could afford. The supersonic age has already come and gone (1970s to 2000s).

User currently offlineCHI787ORD From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 517 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 3567 times:

Quoting Jetdeltamsy (Reply 6):
My prediction.....

Oil will be about $1000 a barrel. Only a couple of airlines will exist, connecting only the largest cities while charging astronomical, incomprehensible fares.

Telecommunications will boom as teleconferencing will replace most of today's face-to-face meetings.

I don't think it will take 50 years to get there. More like 10 to 20.

I think commercial aviation as we know it today is a doomed industry.

Call me a technocrat, but I honestly believe that man will find a solution to the oil problem that will be a healthy alternative. I do think that we will have aviation in fifty years, and it will still be a booming industry. I place my trust in innovation. If we have gotten this far already, all we need now is a renewable energy resource to get us even farther.


User currently offlineMustang304 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 70 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 3542 times:

My 50 year prediction:

There are several alternatives to oil, just not at a price point where they are cost effective to produce.

Oil production will be an issue, however, there are still many large oil reserves. With China and India becoming developed nations with a large thirst for oil, oil demand will increase, production will top out, and prices will go up. However, coal and shale can be refined in to syn-gas. Aircraft manufacturers are looking into electric/fuel cell hybrid systems or alternative fuel systems. I'd expect that the manufacturers would adapt aircraft to this system-- although it will take a significant amount of time and expense. It will probably show up in the military first, then be adapted for general/commercial aviation. It will most likely be a painful process, but it will happen.

What I'd expect to see is futher computerized modeling of aircraft and aircraft systems. Better dispatch rates, better predictive failures, improvements in flight controls, composites, etc. Aircraft will be even quieter and able to predict atmospheric issues and re-route without human intervention. There is a high potential for the flight crew to be reduced to one "pilot", and flight attendants. I'd predict that the pilot will be a systems manager, basically there to monitor things from takeoff to landing, while the computers do all of the flying. I'd almost say that the cockpit could be fully automated, but I think the flying public would be a little adverse to that-- unless the airfare was cheap enough.

I'd also like to see the first structures where the wings are adaptive- wings that change shape for the flight conditions without the use of flaps/slats-- by using material properties instead.

Finally, I'd like to see a few airships come back into the mix. Some companies are looking into Airship "cruise liners"-- there is a good chance they might come back.


User currently offline787engineer From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 572 posts, RR: 15
Reply 14, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 3511 times:

Along with airships I think tilt-rotors will mature and become a more common form of transportation. I think quad tilt rotors (something Bell helicopter is working on) will replace most regional jets which will help alleviate some of the congestion at most major airports. Airplanes will still be running on jet fuel, while most cars will be hybrids with some hydrogen and electrical ones running around.

User currently offlineJayinKitsap From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 769 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 3501 times:

Substitutes for oil as a fuel are already in the works: coal, oil shales, natural gas, wind & solar, fission, and fusion all will play a part. I personally believe that wind & solar cannot effectively contribute more than 10% of total energy. Nuclear for electrical generation is actually the best option with hybrid cars with sufficient batteries to travel say 80 miles per charge before kicking in the engine would make a huge impact. With serious work and letting the market move itself away from oil due to cost will be the best approach.

Liquid hydrocarbon fuels will make the most sense for air travel for the forseeable future. However, these could be synthetic fuels with a higher specific energy content without an increased flammability. Alcohol does not hold good promise for aviation as it has less energy per pound than jet fuel. If the fuel had 20% more heat content per pound (and same density) the same weight of fuel could propel the plane 20% further with the same weight of fuel.

Looking back to 56 is basically the introduction of the jet airliner. We have evolved since then but not radically. I see flights at the current speed but possibly higher altitude for more efficiency, I am not sure about very high or fast operations as it is likely to be very expensive, it would be nice though. We need those sci-fi scientists to invent teleporting but that is unlikely. I think that the market will be predominately medium size widebodies, with narrowbodies replacing the RJ's currently.

-Jay


User currently offlineDTW757 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 1560 posts, RR: 4
Reply 16, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 3482 times:

Quoting JayinKitsap (Reply 15):
Substitutes for oil as a fuel are already in the works: coal, oil shales, natural gas, wind & solar, fission, and fusion all will play a part. I

And what do we substitute for the natural gas which is already in short supply and costs ever rising?



721,2,732,3,4,5,G,8,9,741,2,3,4,752,3,762,3,4,772,3,788,D93,5,M80,D10,M11,L10,100,AB6,319,20,21,332,3,388,146,CR2,7,ERJ,
User currently offlineBoeing777/747 From Belgium, joined Dec 2001, 643 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 3474 times:

Quoting Jetdeltamsy (Reply 6):
I think commercial aviation as we know it today is a doomed industry.

I agree. Aviation but also the world will face majors problem the coming years. A number of airlines shall disappear, lot of joblosses will follow, wars will start. Oil must and shall be replaced by new energies like coleseed, sugar carrots, sugar cane, fusion and nuclear energy...very soon! Energy shall become more and more expensive. Populations who used to pay a little for energy shall never see lower energy prices...


User currently offlineRichardPrice From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 3462 times:

Quoting DTW757 (Reply 16):
And what do we substitute for the natural gas which is already in short supply and costs ever rising?

Artifical gas, biodeisel and so forth. The natural reserves of these fuels may be dwindling, but we can always make them if required - they are just more expensive.


User currently offlineAirwave From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 1117 posts, RR: 3
Reply 19, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 3450 times:

Quoting Jetdeltamsy (Reply 6):
My prediction.....

Oil will be about $1000 a barrel. Only a couple of airlines will exist, connecting only the largest cities while charging astronomical, incomprehensible fares.

Telecommunications will boom as teleconferencing will replace most of today's face-to-face meetings.

I don't think it will take 50 years to get there. More like 10 to 20.

I think commercial aviation as we know it today is a doomed industry.



Quoting CHI787ORD (Reply 12):
Call me a technocrat, but I honestly believe that man will find a solution to the oil problem that will be a healthy alternative. I do think that we will have aviation in fifty years, and it will still be a booming industry. I place my trust in innovation. If we have gotten this far already, all we need now is a renewable energy resource to get us even farther.

I agree with both of these guys, lol. But I think it's quite likely that we'll start seeing a technological "creep" from the automotive industry to aerospace propulsion design, specifically in the area of hybrid/alternative fuel sources. Either we'll see engines that use batteries and jet fuel (I'm ignoring obvious weight issues because I think engineering will be able to overcome that) like the Toyota Prius or we'll see engines running on Ethanol or what have you or perhaps even a combination of both. Bottom line is that when the need is strong enough, the will to create and contribute will push development along further and faster than we may expect.

That's for the "big" jets. However, in my mind, it is more likely that we'll see vast fleets of microjets popping in and out of local airports, -fields, and -strips like fleets of taxies. Actually, now that I think about it, I discussed this point sometime last week in a thread relating to MagLev trains, lol.

Airwave  eyebrow 



When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all.
User currently offlineBoeing7E7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 3407 times:

Quoting Jetdeltamsy (Reply 6):
I think commercial aviation as we know it today is a doomed industry.

We'll stop driving gasoline vehicles long before we stop flying.

Hmmm....

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/03/060327214605.htm

Quoting 787engineer (Reply 14):
Along with airships I think tilt-rotors will mature and become a more common form of transportation. I think quad tilt rotors (something Bell helicopter is working on) will replace most regional jets which will help alleviate some of the congestion at most major airports.

Never going to happen. Nice dream, but a pipe dream. The tiltrotor will never make economic sense in commercial service. There's simply no need for it on the types of routes it would be suitable for when a simple turboprop can outperform it for much less cost. The closest thing to it will be larger 100 seat turboprops doing 300 mile routes burning half the fuel of their jet counterparts.

Wouldn't it be ironic to see a 150 turboprop in 10 years?

[Edited 2006-04-18 21:20:44]

User currently offlineHBJZA From Switzerland, joined Jan 2006, 377 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 3399 times:

Maybe teleportation will be the mean of transport in 50 years !  rotfl 

sorry couldn't resist. I'm sure that the new "fuel" is already found and all technology that goes with it. Patents are held by the big petroleum companies. So for sure we'll still be flying in 50 years, exactly the way we do it now but with non-pollutant aircrafts.


User currently offlineDTW757 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 1560 posts, RR: 4
Reply 22, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 3365 times:

I think when push comes to shove in the United States, we'll become serious about some ultra high speed rail. Hundreds of passengers can travel on a train at rapid rates from city to city at a fraction of the cost over flying.


721,2,732,3,4,5,G,8,9,741,2,3,4,752,3,762,3,4,772,3,788,D93,5,M80,D10,M11,L10,100,AB6,319,20,21,332,3,388,146,CR2,7,ERJ,
User currently offlineAirwave From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 1117 posts, RR: 3
Reply 23, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 3311 times:

Quoting DTW757 (Reply 22):
I think when push comes to shove in the United States, we'll become serious about some ultra high speed rail. Hundreds of passengers can travel on a train at rapid rates from city to city at a fraction of the cost over flying.

Rather than restate the points and arguments here, I'd like to suggest that you take a look at this thread: Maglev Train, Competitor To Aviation (by Dallasnewark Apr 12 2006 in Civil Aviation)

We covered a lot of the same points here (high speed rail/Maglev, &c), so it makes it a worthwhile read.

Airwave  eyebrow 



When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all.
User currently offlineRedFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 4318 posts, RR: 28
Reply 24, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 3257 times:

Quoting Peterinlisbon (Reply 11):
Over the coming years, as the price of oil rises, more and more airlines will go bankrupt and things will be like they were in the beginning, when flying was something that only the most wealthy people could afford.

Sounds like as more and more airlines go bankrupt then the demand for oil will diminish, resulting in a drop in price. Of course, that will only happen in a free-market system.

Quoting Mustang304 (Reply 13):
There are several alternatives to oil, just not at a price point where they are cost effective to produce.

 checkmark 

Quoting JayinKitsap (Reply 15):
Substitutes for oil as a fuel are already in the works: coal, oil shales, natural gas, wind & solar, fission, and fusion all will play a part.

 checkmark 

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 18):
Artifical gas, biodeisel and so forth. The natural reserves of these fuels may be dwindling, but we can always make them if required - they are just more expensive.

 checkmark 

Quoting DTW757 (Reply 22):
Hundreds of passengers can travel on a train at rapid rates from city to city at a fraction of the cost over flying.

Sure. Once the development and construction costs are paid off.



I'm not a racist...I hate Biden, too.
25 Texfly101 : my predictions are that we will see the end of the metal tube and wing, powered by JP. The future holds the introduction of a blended body with an aut
26 RB211-524H : Ha! All you people that bemoan the fact that high oil prices and the eventual depletion of oil will bring the aviation industry to a complete stop - T
27 QXatFAT : Doubt it. Oil will be low again because our gov. will finaly relize that environmentalists are the cause of high oil prices and we will drill in Alas
28 Jetdeltamsy : While none of us has a crystal ball, I think you're way off track. Oil will never again be cheap. Those days are gone. Alaska has only a few years su
29 Jaysit : January 1, 2056. Emirates signs deal for largest aircraft order in history. Dubai, UAE. Emirates, the airline of Dubai, signed a historic deal today f
30 AC773 : The only upside I could see to that would be the rapid influx of cheap parts creating a boom in simbuilding. However, I think GA woud still be large.
31 EHHO : Brilliant, man!
32 QXatFAT : I do not think so. It will all be because of politics and environmentalists will be kicked to the side to let us drill in Alaska, Gulf Coast, and Mid
33 Orbis : According to the Mayans in 2012 the world will face a lifechanging cosmic event, so in 50 years from now we will either fly at hypersonic speed on cle
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