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(super)Sonic Cruiser  
User currently offlineCharlieduke From United States of America, joined May 2001, 36 posts, RR: 0
Posted (12 years 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 1065 times:

Here is an excerpt from a recent story on the (Super)Sonic Cruiser. About two-thirds of the way through the story, you will see Boeing Spokesmann Russ Young say that they will keep an "open mind" on making the sonic cruiser a supersonic cruiser. Also they say that the final design may differ significantly from the publicly released rendering. It sounds to me like Boeing is trying to keep it under wraps as long as possible before they announce their true intentions of building a commercial supersonic passenger transport.
_____________________________________________
Sunday, September 9, 2001

Is bigger better? Airbus and Boeing have a lot invested in the answer.
By Ken Kaye
The Florida Sun-Sentinel

Speed sells

Boeing had been planning to counter by enlarging its 747, which already can fit 500 seats in its cabin. But the company shocked the aerospace industry in March by shelving that plan and unveiling the highly futuristic Sonic Cruiser.

As Boeing describes it, the Cruiser would be able to fly almost 750 mph, just under the speed of sound or about 200 mph faster than most of today's jetliners.

That would shave nearly four hours off what is normally a 15-hour-plus trip between New York and Hong Kong. It would cut the trip between New York and London to about five hours, cutting one to two hours off the trip in a conventional airliner.

What would make this plane so fast?

For starters, its aerodynamic design is similar to that of the fastest military reconnaissance jets. It would have one giant wing, and two massive engines would be integrated into the back of it. Instead of a large tail section, it would have "canard" stabilizers just behind the cockpit. This design would allow the plane to maximize power and minimize drag.

Further, it would cruise in very thin air between 41,000 and 50,000 feet, or about 10,000 feet higher than today's airliners.

In addition to its speed, the Cruiser's other big benefit, courtesy of that giant wing -- housing an equally giant fuel tank -- would be its ability to fly more than 10,000 miles non-stop, nearly 2,000 miles farther than today's longest-range aircraft.

Boeing officials say the Cruiser's final design may be quite a bit different than the one that is now being paraded around the airline industry.

That has led, Mellberg, for one, to question whether the Cruiser might be a supersonic plane in disguise, attempting to fill the gap left by the grounded Concorde SSTs.

Mellberg said if the Cruiser is in fact operated just under the speed of sound, it would unnecessarily waste energy because "you have a tremendous build-up of drag there.

"Why would you have a plane go that fast but it wouldn't break the speed of sound over the ocean, where you don't care about the boom?"

Boeing officials say by keeping the plane sub-sonic, it would be more economical to operate and would keep it clear of environmental issues.

"We think the sweet spot is just below supersonic, but we'll be keeping an open mind on going faster," said Russ Young, Boeing spokesman in Seattle.

Even if it does become a slightly faster-version of the modern airliner, the Cruiser should be a success because speed sells, industry analysts say.

"When you think about it, we like fast food and high-speed Internet connections. People don't like to wait in lines," Mellberg says. "If I could shave two hours off a trip to London, boy that's the trip I'd take."

Mellberg says aviation progress has been marked with speed advances.

For example, when turboprops were introduced in the 1950s, they were about 100 mph faster than the old piston-powered propeller planes. Then, in the 1960s, jetliners were 150- to 200-mph faster yet.

"That's what you're doing again with the Sonic Cruiser, and it hasn't been done in over 40 years," Mellberg says.


7 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineLehpron From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 7028 posts, RR: 21
Reply 1, posted (12 years 10 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 975 times:

Awe c'mon Charlie, look at it! I just can't go supersonic cuz that speed range is M1.2 at altitude. I'm sure you are well aware that most journalists are aviation-dumb and do not know how to distingish between facts. The tentative Vmax has been set between M0.95 and M0.98. This guy decided to multiply by the sealevel speed of sound of 760mph. It won't go 750 during normal operations, maybe in a speed test or tail wind.

Keeping an open mind doesn't mean it is automatically a supersonic.

Sorry if I bursted you spirit (though I doubt it), but if you really want to see the aviation industry live on, go for hypersonic travel. The higher and faster you go, the less of an environmental impact you have. Time is money, this way the flight time is cut into quarters!  Wink/being sarcastic



The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.
User currently offlineMark_D. From Canada, joined Aug 2001, 1447 posts, RR: 5
Reply 2, posted (12 years 10 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 958 times:


Charlieduke Here is an excerpt from a recent story on the (Super)Sonic Cruiser

Thanks a lot, sure is interesting wording, all right (sorry Lehpron, but y'gotta admit it is  Big grin). And here's another article where there's a bit more speculation on this --pretty intrinsic-- theme about the aircraft:

http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/story.hts/business/1057776

Lehpron -- if you really want to see the aviation industry live on, go for hypersonic travel

Fine Lehpron, but not in this decade, y'wont. (note even the Air Force has now canned the X-33 program. There're all kinds of technical and cost barriers, to that kind o' stuff)

Anyway I think it's pretty neat the way this Sonic-cruiser talk is evolving. I guess they gotta keep some sort of buzz going since nothing much has been said for a few months now, and maybe it is in fact to be a 'phased in' introduction of a faster craft.

And it wouldn't surprise me if Airbus doesn't have at least some sort of contingency and/or development plans in that area either, even if their sleeves are going to be rolled up mightily the next several years just getting the 380 in the sky and then out the door.






User currently offlineAreopagus From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1369 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (12 years 10 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 910 times:

Re: "We think the sweet spot is just below supersonic, but we'll be keeping an open mind on going faster," said Russ Young, Boeing spokesman in Seattle.

Another such indicator: Alan Mulally said, "We do see a 'sweet spot' right around both sides of the speed of sound, and this is something we'll explore with the airlines."


User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 19
Reply 4, posted (12 years 10 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 906 times:

The X-33 was NOT canned for technical reasons. In fact, it was in final assembly.
It is also not an air force project, it was LM-co/NASA joint venture.
The X-33 was a victim of budget cuts. NASA simply got the option of keeping the shuttle flying now or fund the X-33/Venturestar program for a possible replacement in the future, they're that starved for cash.



I wish I were flying
User currently offlineTeva From France, joined Jan 2001, 1871 posts, RR: 16
Reply 5, posted (12 years 10 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 895 times:

1) If Boeing call it SONIC and not SUPERSONIC, it is simply because ..... It is NOTand will NEVER be a supersonic.
2) I think it will never be built, and is just use as a counter-fire to slow down the sales of A380.
3) You cannot call Concorde a grounded aircraft anymore. A few aircraft have retrieved their certificates of airworthiness. The only reason it is not yet back to comercial flights is that BA and AF have to retrain their crew, and need a few more certified planes. But don't worry, service will start again as planned, in October and November !!!!
Nana...



Ecoute les orgues, Elles jouent pour toi...C'est le requiem pour un con
User currently offlineAreopagus From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1369 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (12 years 10 months 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 865 times:

" I think it will never be built, and is just use as a counter-fire to slow down the sales of A380."

SC is not a direct competitor to the A380. If it is a ruse, it's an expensive, time-consuming ruse. If Boeing didn't believe in it, they would be better off spending their resources on re-winging the 767 to take back sales from the 330. I hardly think they would risk the wrath of the engine makers and other suppliers by pushing them to sink their resources into a hoax.


User currently offlineMark_D. From Canada, joined Aug 2001, 1447 posts, RR: 5
Reply 7, posted (12 years 10 months 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 860 times:

JWenting-- The X-33 was NOT canned for technical reasons. In fact, it was in final assembly.

Officially, the Air Force canned it because they said there weren't enough applications for it that they could see, which would suit their needs. Looming over the project though --'final assembly' or not-- the rather giant --and technical-- issue of ditching the cracked graphite-composite LH2 tank in favour of a significantly-heavier aluminum structure.

It is also not an air force project, it was LM-co/NASA joint venture.

..and the cost overruns about this dilemma being the main reason why Skunkworks didn't pursue the project, and about a year ago the Air Force was more or less pressured to try to see what they could do to still keep it going. And which about a month ago they themselves stopped, with their announcement that it was unsuitable for their needs.


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