Just posted this on another thread http://www.airliners.net/discussions/general_aviation/read.main/732291
. Thank god for copy and paste...
As much as I would like to see a Sonic Cruiser [I think it would be even better looking than the already awesome Concorde!], I don't see it as being commercial viable though. Boeing is [rightfully!] proud of the economic efficiency of the tripple seven. The 777 [by many it is seen as a 747 replacement] carries 350-400 pax with two big-ass turbofans. Now install these same two big-ass turofans in a 200-250 pax jet. I think you can do the maths on fuel consumtion per pax for yourself!
Airbus is selling A380's because of fuel-efficiency and space. However the A380 offers only 15-20%improvement in fuel effiecency per seat compared to the 744. Now how on earth can you make money if you have only 200-250 pax paying on an aircraft that consumes the same fuel as a 400 pax jet!
Ticket price is going to be very high, even to today's standard. I guess most pax would rather prefer flying 13 hrs on an A380 than 11 hrs on a Sonic Cruiser. In the A380 they would have upto twice as much space per pax compared to the SC, which will have a cabin much more reflecting that of a Concorde, maybe 3-3 seating instead of 2-2, and even pay less money for the trip on the A380.
On these very long haul flights, 15% reduction in flight time is not as atractive as a 50-100% increase in personel space! So the battle is IMHO between speed and comfort [not to mentioned DVT syndrom in a cramped SC cabin].
I wouldn't be surprised at all if this SC bird goes the same path as the 7J7 [who remembers this once would-be Boeing bestseller]. The only reason that the 7J7 came along, was to deter customers away from the 320! Boeing is doing the same thing with the Sonic Cruiser I'm affraid.
Boeing was trying to launch the 747-500/600 for years and had put huge amount of engineering efforts in it. And all of a sudden, when Airbus pretty much looked like winning the Jumbo battle, Boeing pulls a rabbit out of their hat called SC. I don't think so!
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