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Super-sonic Airliners

Thu Jun 01, 2000 2:45 am

I suspect the reason we do not see mainstream super-sonic airliners is we simply don't have the technology to make them cost-effective. The Concorde is still a novelty after all these years, probably because its expensive to fly. But my question to all if you is, could we someday, in the near future, see economically feasible super-sonic RJs? After you stop laughing, please give it a hard second thought. I bet it'll happen long before financially practical full-size SSTs. If you think it could happen; how many years away is it? Any thoughts?
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RE: Super-sonic Airliners

Thu Jun 01, 2000 12:37 pm

There are not just economic reasons for supersonic passenger aircraft not gaining popularity. They also produce a lot or air pollution and even more noise pollution - at least with the Concorde does with its engines. I don't think you'll even see a supersonic RJ as you suggest because every urban area in the world does not allow supersonic overflight because of obvious noise considerations.
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RE: Super-sonic Airliners

Fri Jun 02, 2000 12:14 am

I read back in the late 1970s of a proposed joint French-Soviet supersonic business jet; I believe the two companies were Dassault and Sukhoi. Evidently the idea never became reality, probably for the economic and environmental reasons cited.
The aeroplane has unveiled for us the true face of the earth. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
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RE: Super-sonic Airliners

Fri Jun 02, 2000 12:25 am

In the last 10 years Gulfstream and nearly every other business jet manufacturer looked into Supersonic buiness jets and determined that there isn't an engine that is workable in this area yet.

As for RJs they would probably be the last ones to go supersonic. They always fly overland, supersonic booms create a lot of noise below so those living underneath wouldn't allow that. Plus they fly short range trips where speed doesn't matter all that much
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RE: Super-sonic Airliners

Fri Jun 02, 2000 1:34 am

Business jets will definitely come first. I agree that engine technology is the key. My opinion is that the engines being built for the F-22 incorporate the first radical breakthrough required for economical SST travel for business or commercial. This is the "supercruise" feature which will allow the F-22 to maintain SS speeds without afterburners. The result is a significant drop in fuel consumption. We'll see if it actually works, but it's certainly a step in the right direction. The only problem is surrendering the technology early on for commercial use.

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