Here are some thoughts of mine about B's position regarding a "son of Concorde". Please share you opinions !
Disclaimer: I'm no aviation expert, just an enthusiast, so everything that follows is perhaps be completely and irremediably wrong...
Everybody was thrilled at LBG
'05 when Airbus and a consortium of Japanese industries announced a preliminary study of feasibility of what might one day become a new SST. Now as I understand, one major problem with SSTs is to break the sound barrier, so to speak - drag is highest at transsonic speeds. But Boeing had the Sonic Cruiser project which was supposed to fly precisely around M=1.0. Assuming that this project was real, not just PR
material, it would mean that B has found some new, highly effective solutions to the transsonic flight problem.
In these conditions, it would seem only natural that Boeing would be involved in such a project, since it would allow them to share the potential benefits of the venture at a relatively low risk. Yet we didn't hear anything from the sort. So the question is: what is B's strategy ? Which of the following ideas is the most plausible ?
1) B adopts a "wait and see" approach and will evaluate their strategy later, if decision is made to actually proceed with the project (isn't the deadline 4 years from now?)
2) B expects the project will eventually not be launched, and even if it is, they believe that the SST idea is doomed anyway. The best thing to do is to stand away from it. The infamous 2707 memory is still alive with them and the less-than-enthusiastic reaction to the Sonic Cruiser does little to reverse the situation ?
3) B has its own secret plans, perhaps based on the research conducted in late 90s by the NASA using a Tu-144. As far as I know the program was eventually cancelled... but who knows?
4) B believes that should Airbus and the Japanese eventually proceed with a SST and even in the (improbable) case it is successful, it will drain so much resources that A will be forced to virtually abandon the subsonic jet market at least for years. Therefore the best option is to invest there, either nothing happens and they will have to compete against A, or they could potentially gain a SubST monopoly... ?
What do you think ?