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Ultra Long Range  
User currently offlinesweair From Sweden, joined Nov 2011, 1806 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 7894 times:

Will there ever be an aircraft made that can do the longest routes nonstop profitable? 10 000-9500nm. The 77L has to carry too much fuel to make it economical. Or are we at the peak of what we can do with technology? Fuel price will be even greater in the future, this will be a hard nut to crack.

Maybe air travel will become more expensive again? The BWB offers about 30% more lift than a tube with wings, but it does seem to have too many disadvatages for passenger duty. As a freighter it would be really good.

Will it take a huge technological leap from what we have right now?

69 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineCM From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 7890 times:

The A340-500 and 777-200LR have taught us a few things:

1. The market for this kind of range is very small.
2. Today's technology does not deliver quite enough range to capture some truly coveted ultra-long routes (e.g. SYD-LHR or SIN-ATL)
3. The small economic penalty of the higher gross weights in these current ULH aircraft has been just enough to keep them from being widely accepted in the market.

However, the newest generation of aircraft have moved the dot a bit, with the 787 and A350 demonstrating you can add considerable range over their predecessors AND deliver a significant improvement is economics. Because of that, I would not rule out a 777-8XL or A350-900R being able to achieve these very long range routes at a trip cost that makes them very attractive to certain airlines.


User currently offlinesweair From Sweden, joined Nov 2011, 1806 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 7878 times:

So after 787/A350, where is aviation heading right now? Will there be a slow period until the next major step takes place?

User currently offlineseabosdca From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 5107 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 7867 times:

At a certain point, ULH is just more expensive to fly, no matter how efficient your aircraft gets. You are using more of your fuel to keep fuel in the air, and less of it to keep payload in the air.

Thus to make a ULH route work you need to be able to attract a quite sizeable revenue premium.

SQ has the near-ideal case for such a premium route in SIN-EWR. Even so, the route has been satisfactory at best, never a standout. SIN-LAX has been extremely difficult for them.

So if you are wanting to operate routes 1000-2000 nm (2+-4+ hours flying time!) longer than SIN-EWR, even with a new revolutionary aircraft of some sort, you will need to attract a lot of customers who are willing to pay dearly for that nonstop.

I don't know that there's any route that could possibly attract enough of those customers except LHR-SYD. GRU-NRT is the only other candidate that is even somewhat credible.

Two routes of that length will necessitate no more than 10 aircraft. To put it mildly, that does not demonstrate a business case for building a super-ULH type.



Most gorgeous aircraft: Tu-204-300, 757-200, A330-200, 777-200LR, 787-8
User currently offlinesweair From Sweden, joined Nov 2011, 1806 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 7851 times:

Maybe if we solve the fuel problem it will be more popular, however 19 hours in a seat feels a bit awkward to me at least. Maybe it will have to be that suborbital idea to make it durable, rocket assisted flight to near zero gravity and then a long glide towards the destination. 5 hours LHR-SYD? I don´t see it happen.

User currently offlinesweair From Sweden, joined Nov 2011, 1806 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 7698 times:

Will there be a BWB developed as a freighter? 30% more lift must make a difference? If a BWB could fly as far as a 77L, would this be with 30% less fuel? Or am I thinking wrong here?

User currently offlinen92r03 From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 314 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 7678 times:

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 3):
SQ has the near-ideal case for such a premium route in SIN-EWR.

FWIW, my seat mate earlier this week on UA's HKG-EWR flight had transited in HKG from SIN. She told me she had done the SQ flight before but the cost was becoming an issue for her company. She also said that SQ was considering adding Y class to that flight...I have no idea if the rumor is true or not as I was under the impression weight was the big issue and keeping the weight down makes the flight doable.

Doing 15+ hours in Y or even J is enough. Any more than that and it just becomes downright uncomfortable. I don't see a plane being engineered to do 18+ hour flights as the demand is just not there.


User currently offlinepoLot From United States of America, joined Jul 2011, 2048 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 7629 times:

Quoting sweair (Reply 2):
So after 787/A350, where is aviation heading right now? Will there be a slow period until the next major step takes place?

After the 787/A350/777/Possible A330S/Neo/Whatever is all cleared up by the end of the decade, Airbus and Boeing will probably turn their focus on permanent replacements for the 737/A320, as both companies are making it sound like the MAX/NEO are just stopgaps for the time being.


User currently offlinesweair From Sweden, joined Nov 2011, 1806 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 7574 times:

So a technological slow decade ahead in aviation?

User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 18704 posts, RR: 58
Reply 9, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 7412 times:

Quoting sweair (Reply 4):
Maybe if we solve the fuel problem it will be more popular, however 19 hours in a seat feels a bit awkward to me at least. Maybe it will have to be that suborbital idea to make it durable, rocket assisted flight to near zero gravity and then a long glide towards the destination. 5 hours LHR-SYD? I don´t see it happen.

You have a very good point. The flight becomes 19-20 hours. At that point, most passengers would actually like a stop to stretch their legs out a bit. The stop stretches the travel time out to maybe 22-24 hours, but that's only an increase of 10-20% in exchange for lower fuel costs and a more comfortable experience.

As it stands, the 77L could probably do SYD-LHR or SYD-JFK in an all-F/J configuration (lower payload than having a Y cabin). There just aren't enough takers to make it work.


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 29689 posts, RR: 84
Reply 10, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 7403 times:
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Quoting n92r03 (Reply 6):
She also said that SQ was considering adding Y class to that flight...I have no idea if the rumor is true or not as I was under the impression weight was the big issue and keeping the weight down makes the flight doable.

When SQ first started SIN-LAX/LHR the planes were configured with the SpaceBed Business Class seat and an Economy product that was equivalent to domestic First Class in the United States - 20" seat width and 38" seat pitch. SQ found Economy load factors were low and Business yields high so when they introduced their new Business Class hard product (which is likely significantly heavier than the SpaceBed), they removed Economy and put in only Business Class.


User currently offlinerwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2238 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 7387 times:
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Quoting DocLightning (Reply 9):
As it stands, the 77L could probably do SYD-LHR or SYD-JFK in an all-F/J configuration (lower payload than having a Y cabin). There just aren't enough takers to make it work.

And if not, an all F/J cabin would certainly leave space and mass for a good sized auxiliary fuel tank in the hold, which would not be a big engineering challenge. I can’t imagine it would take Boeing all that long to whip up such a thing if a customer asked.


User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 18704 posts, RR: 58
Reply 12, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 7142 times:

Quoting rwessel (Reply 11):
And if not, an all F/J cabin would certainly leave space and mass for a good sized auxiliary fuel tank in the hold, which would not be a big engineering challenge. I can’t imagine it would take Boeing all that long to whip up such a thing if a customer asked.

Right. The trouble is that there is a global market for maybe ten such aircraft. Not worth the certification costs.


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 29689 posts, RR: 84
Reply 13, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 6992 times:
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Quoting DocLightning (Reply 9):
As it stands, the 77L could probably do SYD-LHR or SYD-JFK in an all-F/J configuration (lower payload than having a Y cabin). There just aren't enough takers to make it work.

They could probably find enough takers (schedule the flight for the most desirable departure or arrival time).

I expect the real issue is that those seats really help to "pay the rent" for the flight and the Economy Class cabin is likely more there for ancillary revenue. So if you put all your premium cabin passengers on one flight, the all-Economy flights (even on low-CASM aircraft like the A380) probably don't financially pencil out.


User currently onlineprebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6291 posts, RR: 54
Reply 14, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 6911 times:

Quoting rwessel (Reply 11):
...an all F/J cabin would certainly leave space and mass for a good sized auxiliary fuel tank in the hold, which would not be a big engineering challenge. I can’t imagine it would take Boeing all that long to whip up such a thing if a customer asked.

Sure right. But the gain isn't all that much. Cutting pax load in half on a 77L (150 instead of 300) would allow a roughly 8% increase of fuel load (assuming saved cabin furniture weight identical to weight of additional fuel tanks).

A fully loaded 77L carries some 60,000 lbs payload and 365,000 lbs fuel.

Even reducing pax load to one single passenger would extend the potential range capability surprisingly little.

These numbers clearly show how crazily inefficient ULH flight is. On a fully loaded 77L fueled for max range the payload is limited to less than 8% of MTOW, while that figure on a 738 is roughly three times higher.

There is a good reason why the 77W sells so much better than the 77L.



Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
User currently offlineseabosdca From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 5107 posts, RR: 4
Reply 15, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 6825 times:

Quoting sweair (Reply 2):
So after 787/A350, where is aviation heading right now?

If any one of us somehow knew the answer to this, he or she could get very, very rich.  



Most gorgeous aircraft: Tu-204-300, 757-200, A330-200, 777-200LR, 787-8
User currently offlinesweair From Sweden, joined Nov 2011, 1806 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 6711 times:

How high would a near orbital flight be, most fuel spent to reach the peak and then gently glide for the destination?

User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 16908 posts, RR: 67
Reply 17, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 6680 times:

Quoting sweair (Reply 16):
How high would a near orbital flight be, most fuel spent to reach the peak and then gently glide for the destination?

By definition it would have to reach 100km altitude (de jure threshold of space) to be sub-orbital. And yes, almost all fuel would be used on ascent (and boost stops pretty early in the flight), with the rest used for approach and landing.

If we use an ICBM as an example if intercontinental suborbital flight, boost would be 3-5 minutes, cruise (in free fall) would be about half an hour, and reentry 2 minutes. However since in our case we want to land and not impact, reentry would take longer.

BTW I don't think "gently glide" would be the expression used to describe reentry.  



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlinesweair From Sweden, joined Nov 2011, 1806 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 6540 times:

Is there another way of doing such a long route faster, say 10 hours.. If the aircraft didn't need to go quite the distance towards orbit. The g-forces with rockets would make comfort bad  

How high can air breathing engines go? Could we make LHR-SYD without going spaceship2?


User currently offlinerwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2238 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 6510 times:
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Quoting sweair (Reply 16):
How high would a near orbital flight be, most fuel spent to reach the peak and then gently glide for the destination?

Obviously it depends on the distance of the flight, but a 5000mi flight has been kicked around here a few times. A ballistic flight of that length would reach an apogee of about 1500mi.


User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 16908 posts, RR: 67
Reply 20, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 6383 times:

Quoting sweair (Reply 18):
Is there another way of doing such a long route faster, say 10 hours.. If the aircraft didn't need to go quite the distance towards orbit.

You either go supersonic and conventional or suborbital. Once you're going suborbital, my guess is that it would cost more fuel to use a lower and slower trajectory.

Quoting sweair (Reply 18):
How high can air breathing engines go? Could we make LHR-SYD without going spaceship2?

You don't need to power the whole way up. In fact suborbital flight boost phase is only the first few minutes and in atmosphere (mostly). You're coasting most of the way, even going up. My guess is you could use air breathing engines, in theory.

However turbofans would not work. You'd have to use scramjets to get the required velocity. And you can't use those at low speeds. So now we're talking a hybrid propulsion system. The SR-71 engines were more or less ramjets at high speed, but they were speed limited by the dragging core. If you could lock out the core in ramjet mode, and use supersonic combustion to make it a scramjet, then you would be in business to at least look at prototyping.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineDarksnowynight From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 1281 posts, RR: 3
Reply 21, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 6362 times:

Quoting rwessel (Reply 11):

And if not, an all F/J cabin would certainly leave space and mass for a good sized auxiliary fuel tank in the hold, which would not be a big engineering challenge. I can’t imagine it would take Boeing all that long to whip up such a thing if a customer asked.

Boeing does already offer auxillary tanks as an option. The native fuel capacity of 47,980gallons (oddly enough, only about 2600 more than what the ER maxes out at) can be augmented up to 54,000. But...

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 12):

Right. The trouble is that there is a global market for maybe ten such aircraft. Not worth the certification costs.

Quite right. There have been, thus far, no takers for that option. So all 777LRs are limited to 47,980 gallons, or just about 321,500lbs.



Posting without Knowledge is simply Tolerated Vandalism... We are the Vandals.
User currently offlinerwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2238 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 6264 times:
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Quoting Darksnowynight (Reply 21):
Boeing does already offer auxillary tanks as an option. The native fuel capacity of 47,980gallons (oddly enough, only about 2600 more than what the ER maxes out at) can be augmented up to 54,000. But...

Which would net you what? About an additional 1000nm? For the loss of two-thirds (ouch!) of your paying payload.

Quoting Darksnowynight (Reply 21):
Quite right. There have been, thus far, no takers for that option. So all 777LRs are limited to 47,980 gallons, or just about 321,500lbs.

That certainly says something about the economics...


User currently offlinecmf From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 6100 times:

Quoting sweair (Reply 8):
So a technological slow decade ahead in aviation?

Not at all. Just focused on other things than additional distance. Ironically this is likely to be more technologically advanced.


User currently offlinesweair From Sweden, joined Nov 2011, 1806 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 5980 times:

Quoting cmf (Reply 23):
Not at all. Just focused on other things than additional distance. Ironically this is likely to be more technologically advanced.

Well after 787/350 there will be max, neo and 777ng...Not very exciting at least for me. Nice power point presentations doesn't do it for me. Boring  


25 Darksnowynight : Maybe even that much, yes. Depending on WX conditions, payload, etc. We also have to remember that the more fuel they pack on, the more they have to
26 DocLightning : Is it even an option? Mind you, if Tim Clarke went to Boeing and asked for it and promised to buy 50 copies, I'm sure they'd build it. The issue is t
27 Post contains links Darksnowynight : Indeed it is. http://www.smartcockpit.com/data/pdf.../boeing/B777/systems/B777-Fuel.pdf If you scroll down to page 5, there is a listing of fuel tank
28 DocLightning : I wonder if the extra tanks have been installed on any VIP 777's, or if any VIP 77L's have been built at all. But then again, VIP aircraft carry lower
29 Post contains links and images Viscount724 : There are at least 3 VIP 777s, 2 77Es and 1 77W. Not sure if that's all. View Large View MediumPhoto © Propfreak
30 Post contains images sunrisevalley : Not quite, it is good for ~308t TOW on a standard day off SXM's 7700' runway
31 seabosdca : Field performance aside, I'm not sure a pax 77L taking off at MTOW would even be under MLW after a flight of that length. (No problem for a freighter
32 Post contains links and images mafi29 : Because it was the right number Acording to the Boeing website three optional fuel tanks add up to a total of 53,515 U.S. gallons (202,570 L). http:/
33 Post contains images sweair : The 77L is really a big gas tank
34 sweair : I know airships are slow but would a lighter than air airship be able to do ultra long range flights, that would probably be one long and slow journey
35 Starlionblue : No problem really. The energy requirements are way lower. The German airships easily flew transatlantic 80 years ago. That's the problem. You need a
36 Post contains links DocLightning : Yes, but why? They move at about 100-125 km/h and they're horribly sensitive to weather. They can't pass over the Himalayas safely, either. They have
37 sweair : A BWB with helium bladders then? Some how we have to solve the 9500nm route, I know its no problem, but for the fun of it? I like creative thinking fo
38 Post contains images seabosdca : The trouble is that we have already come up with a solution for that route which is awfully hard to beat, given physics: break it into two ~5000 nm p
39 sweair : If I have to fly a long tiresome route I rather get it over with as quickly as I can. Not that I don't like Singapore or Bangkok, I just hate deboard
40 Starlionblue : Approaching, landing, taxiing, taxiing again, taking off and climbing is a process which uses a lot of fuel. Extending a flight also uses a lot of fu
41 tdscanuck : The economics have almost nothing to do with the development of the tube with wings and everything to do with cost of fuel and cost of time. Lots of
42 thegeek : With the aircraft of that day. Even today, I reckon if you have an A333 it will be more economic on LHR-SIN making a stop than doing it non stop. Dep
43 Starlionblue : Well put. Always learning from you, Tom. However with advances in technology and lower fuel usage (supercritical wings, big fans, etc...) the design
44 sweair : A BWB would have some 20% more lift in the same size of frame as a tube+wings? The question is how do that extra lift get used in the best way? I wont
45 tdscanuck : Yes, absolutely. I apologize if it seemed like I was implying otherwise. As long as technology focuses on reduced fuel burn (which is has for about 3
46 Post contains images Starlionblue : I love how you correctly nitpick. Lift will always by definition be equal to weight of course. However the entire point of having an airfoil that is
47 sweair : Well the wing area that creates lift would be much larger in a BWB, the B2 can carry an impressive cargo for its size IMO.
48 Starlionblue : Yes but watch out for skin friction draaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaag......
49 Post contains images sweair : So there is no low hanging fruit to pick from the BWB? I had the impression BWB was the future of aviation Oh well my interest in aviation technology
50 Starlionblue : There absolutely is low hanging fruit but it is mostly aerodynamic. Skin friction drag with that big wing would be higher but all in all you'd end up
51 my235 : I would say today's technology is easily capable of producing a plane that can fly half way around the World economically. We are going to have to sta
52 Post contains images sweair : Or two GE-90-115 on a BWB, flying at mach 0.7. Cargo can be placed in the outer higher G wing parts, emergency exits can be either back, side, up or d
53 DocLightning : No we don't. You stop about halfway. Or you wait until engine efficiency improves another 10-15% and use the same fuel loads. But it still won't happ
54 Post contains images sweair : I want to keep optimistic, how much is it worth not having to deplane in Singapore? I would rather deplane in Perth, its the same continent at least
55 DocLightning : The 77L can do PER-LHR in a single hop, actually. How many people want to fly that route every day?
56 cedarjet : What's interesting is how close the order quantities for ULH machines has turned out - 747SP 45, A340-500 34, 777-200LR 54. Not as long as it takes th
57 Post contains images sweair : Would it be able to do LHR-PER? Perth is a perfect resting place, take a few days and go swim with dolphins etc Much quieter than Singapore or Bangkok
58 Starlionblue : Heh. Most people would rather actually get to their destination.
59 thegeek : According to Boeing, yes. I'm sure the 77L will sell some more before production ceases. Does it count as an ULH machine without the aux fuel tanks?
60 sunrisevalley : There was a flight plan in a posting a year or so ago which gave the west bound PER-LHR ESAD ~ 8700nm or close to 19hrs. Payload would be about max p
61 sweair : QF could pick up the BA feed to PER, no serious competition domestic like Emirates and others. They could sell it as 1 step to Australia.. Perth could
62 Post contains images DocLightning : There are a number of disgusting and snide comments I could make about airline food here, but we're talking about SQ and I slept unusually well last
63 clydenairways : Well there are just different priorities these days. 40-50 years ago the drivers were more speed, more capacity, more range. Now the main driver is p
64 CXB77L : That document you linked to is probably correct with regards to a 777-200LR with one auxiliary fuel tank, but according to Boeing's ACAPs, the 777-20
65 Darksnowynight : Always great to be right the first time, lol. Oddly enough, I had a few hours at work the other day to chase this mystery down, and could not find an
66 sweair : But will global flight be realistic say 100 years from now? Or have we reached a wall in technological development? Fuel has to be solved, engines hav
67 Starlionblue : The Gs don't have to be that high. Even 2-2½ Gs is fine. With a proper seat that's no problem. The problem isn't price per se. It is energy density
68 Post contains links rheinwaldner : But how much more would the economics be improved if they would not have to have excessive range? I consider the 781-type of aircraft as an aircraft
69 Post contains images sweair : Well I give up, there is no way of doing this. One just have to put up with that deboarding or stay at home. I´ll rather stay at home
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