Joni
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Businessweek Article On BWB

Fri Nov 22, 2002 12:55 am


Businessweek is running a rather provocative article on the BWB concept.

It's basically claiming that Boeing should ditch the SC and build a BWB family of planes, since the airlines are (according to BW) decidedly interested in BWBs.

It also claims that BCAG is deeply divided on the BWB issue and that this is hurting their relationship with their customers. Significantly, the article also says that NASA is paying for some of Boeing's BWB work and that the US government could pay for a sizable chunk of the 10 BUSD cost of launching a BWB plane on grounds of a future military version. (How this would fit in with the 1992 Agreement isn't discussed)

Overall the reporters paint a suspiciously rosy image of the BWB concept and seem to brush aside possible issues with the designs.
 
N79969
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RE: Businessweek Article On BWB

Fri Nov 22, 2002 1:09 am

I read the same article. I really, really do not like the idea of no windows except for first class. I think many non-aviation enthusiasts sort of like windows as well. That is why I found it surprising that airlines United and Singapore were so excited about the aircraft. They do all sorts of market research and I would have thought the lack of windows would have really hurt the BWB concept.
 
Greg
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RE: Businessweek Article On BWB

Fri Nov 22, 2002 1:21 am

I can't think of the last time I actually looked outside...except maybe landing.
Passengers will adapt.
 
N79969
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RE: Businessweek Article On BWB

Fri Nov 22, 2002 1:27 am

Greg,

You are apparently correct otherwise those carriers would not be pushing Boeing so hard. I look out quite a bit during t/o and landing off course, when flying over landmarks, and actually during turbulence to see the wing flex. I will miss windows more than the rest.
 
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VirginFlyer
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RE: Businessweek Article On BWB

Fri Nov 22, 2002 4:52 pm

There was an interesting article about BWBs on page 28 of the October edition of Aircraft & Aerospace Asia Pacific. It pointed out some faily major problems with the BWB concept as a passenger aircraft, including the effect of having passenger seating weel away from the centreline, which would have interesting effects during manoevering, or even turbulence. It also pointed out that the design requires quite a hefty angle of climb and descent, which would not make for pleasent flying experiences.

V/F
"So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth." - Bahá'u'lláh
 
Joni
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RE: Businessweek Article On BWB

Fri Nov 22, 2002 6:26 pm


I think the lack of windows can be compensated with nice interior decorating and lighting.

Increased turbulence may be more difficult to address, if it's indeed an issue with BWBs in respoect to conventional airliners.

Does anyone know, what are the actual reasons BWBs haven't been built (21 B2s are neither nere nor there) despite been researched for decades? There was an article on different configurations Airbus looked ar for the A380 that discussed the BWB option but I can't recall why they decided on the present configuration.

 
N79969
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RE: Businessweek Article On BWB

Fri Nov 22, 2002 11:58 pm

I think the A380 as a 555-seat aircraft is financially risky as a standard airliner. Airbus probably did not want to add the risk of the BWB concept to an already high-risk project. I did not read that article though.
 
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RayChuang
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RE: Businessweek Article On BWB

Sat Nov 23, 2002 12:28 am

I think we will see the BWB built.

Guess who's interested: the USAF's Air Mobility Command, FedEx, UPS, DHL, Northwest Cargo, Lufthansa Cargo, Singapore Airlines Cargo, Cathay Pacific Cargo, CargoLux, and Atlas Air. The reason is simple: Boeing has shown a BWB-based cargo carrier with roll-on/roll-off ramps, and the cargo area is big enough to carry both outsized cargo and generally more cargo than the A380-800F at lower fuel costs.

People forget that the BWB actually has less of a ground parking footprint than a 747-200F!  Big thumbs up

 
bwc1976
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RE: Businessweek Article On BWB

Sat Nov 23, 2002 1:27 am

The BWB sounds like a great idea for cargo, cargo planes don't have windows anyway and boxes don't complain. But for passenger service, the lack of windows may pose problems for evacuation. People would have a greater risk of being disoriented, there would be less natural light coming into the cabin, and it would be harder to see, for example, which parts of the plane may have fire, debris, or are underwater, etc. meaning you shouldn't use a particular exit.

 
AT
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RE: Businessweek Article On BWB

Sat Nov 23, 2002 3:45 am


Why is it not possible to have windows on the BWB?
In any case, I think passengers will adapt to the lack of windows, and Boeing/the airlines involved will come up with new innovations to compensate
 
voodoo
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RE: Businessweek Article On BWB

Sat Nov 23, 2002 3:54 am

Designing evacuation procedures for a BW might be `interesting'.
` Yeaah! Baade 152! Trabi of the Sky! '
 
bwc1976
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RE: Businessweek Article On BWB

Sat Nov 23, 2002 3:59 am

I know one thing, the wider a cabin gets, the less window seats there are to go around. It's bad enough with the 747 and 777, but people (including me) would really not be happy in the middle or rear of the BWB. I'm sure they would have PTV's and/or larger video monitors to show outside views, but that's just not the same. Plus they malfunction sometimes, and in an emergency it's good to be able to see directly out to assess the situation and to have outside light coming in to help you see to evacuate the plane when necessary.

 
houstondallas
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RE: Businessweek Article On BWB

Sat Nov 23, 2002 5:10 am

The only thing that really matters to customers is price. That's why lcc's are doing so well. People will fly in a bucket of shit if it's fast and cheap. If the BWB reduces costs, it will succed in the marketplace.

houston
 
AvObserver
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RE: Businessweek Article On BWB

Sat Nov 23, 2002 9:29 am

If the technical issues can be worked out, the BWB could be a world-beater. If an airplane with A380 capacity could be built for 7000 or more nm range using just 3 medium-class (65,000 lb. thrust) conventional turbofans, the fuel savings would be tremendous! I don't think we'd be seeing one in the skies much before 2020, however, so I don't think Airbus has anything to fear in the near-term. It seems to me Dassault of France has a similar concept under study.
 
777236ER
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RE: Businessweek Article On BWB

Sat Nov 23, 2002 9:34 am

There are MASSIVE technical issues to be worked out. They aren't niggling concerns, they're big problems. The biggest would be a BWB of this size hasn't been built or tested at all. On a more general level, pax seated towards the outside of the aircraft will feel marked discomfort while banking, and ctrying to pressurize something that's not round is a nightmare.

No one really knows the aerodynamics of a BWB. They do theoretically, but there's a BIG gap before a BWB is built that conforms to current air travel standards (safety, comfort, costs etc)
Your bone's got a little machine
 
cloudy
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RE: Businessweek Article On BWB

Sat Nov 23, 2002 2:34 pm

The lack of windows can be compensated for by outside cameras tied to the IFE. The roll and climb rate problems have been well studied and are managable.

I suspect the thing that's really holding the BWB up is that companies are reluctant to invest their own money now into something they might get the government to pay for later. The BWB also has potential as a military transport or tanker and Boeing hopes it can get the government to pay the bill to make one for this purpose. Once they have proven the concept with our money - they can feel safer investing their own money.

This is what held up the US commercial space launch business for some time. Remember how even the faint prospect of government funding or government funded competition helped kill off Beal and many other commercial Reusable Launch Vehicle companies.

Remember when you were a kid? First you tried to get mommy and daddy to pay for something. Or ask for it for Christmas. Only when you were SURE that wouldn't work would you put down your own hard-earned dough.

Anyway, the government needs to know how to say "NO" to Boeing and be credible in so doing. Same thing with Airbus. If Airbus has recieved more government funding than Boeing, we here in the US shouldn't complain but should laugh at the European taxpayers for being duped. This kind of subsidy merely helps competing market oriented economies concetrate on more profitable and efficient endeavors.