A3XX = MD-12?

Sat Jun 03, 2000 11:26 am

I was reading a book called the future of aircraft, In the book there was a diagram of a MD-12 which looked very similar to the A3XX. Did MD or Boing sell the desing to Airbus
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RE: A3XX = MD-12?

Sat Jun 03, 2000 11:31 am

Back about 5 years or so ago, all 3 of the big airline makers had ideas made up for the superjumbos. Boeing had the 747X and NLA (new large aircraft). MDC had the MD-12 and the BWB (blended wing body). Airbus had the A3XX. The NLA, MD-12, and A3XX are/were all 4 engined double decker airliners, looking very similar. The 747X was, in simple terms, a 747-400 on steriods. The BWB was an all new concept, a flying wing airliner.

RE: A3XX = MD-12?

Mon Jun 05, 2000 7:55 am

I don't know, but I saw the drawings of what the MD-12 would look like in that book, and it was cool.

RE: A3XX = MD-12?

Mon Jun 05, 2000 8:25 am

Boeing would not sell a design to Airbus and the same with Airbus to Boeing...

At the end of the day when you are designing a aircraft as big as the A3XX there are only a few ways you can make the aircraft look, one of them is big and the other is umm big...
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RE: A3XX = MD-12?

Mon Jun 05, 2000 8:57 am

I've read a few articles about the BWB and it is truly fascinating. This is the real revolution in sumper-jumbo transport evryone is waiting for...yet I don't think it will ever prove feasible unless there is cooperation between manufacturers.

From the articles I read, it was predicted the BWB could handle between 800-1000 pax at over 30% less cost than the 747X or A3XX in seat/mile costs. Still, the design looks to be twice as expensive as the A3XX, maybe $25-30 billion (my guess) and only so many potential customers. One solution might be radical combi flights, so difficult these days with after midnight cargo flights delaying pax service.

I stll see the future in 300-500 SST airliners once NG engine technology is available. Either Jump Jets or supercruise around 2025? God, we'll be old farts by then. I love airplanes but I really hope to be traveling strictly via sailboat by then.
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RE: A3XX = MD-12?

Mon Jun 05, 2000 9:08 am

Here is what the BWB might look like:


First Flight: 2010-2015
Crew: 2 pilots and 25 (?) attendants
Capacity: 800 in three class configuration
Cruise speed: mach 0.85 / 562 knots / 1,041 km/h
Range: 8,000 nm / 14,816 km

Jeremiah Teahan

Goodbye SR-LX MD-11 / 6th of March 1991 to the 31st of October 2004
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RE: A3XX = MD-12?

Tue Jun 06, 2000 3:15 am

Although I think the BWB concept is fascinating, I have one major complaint:

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RE: A3XX = MD-12?

Wed Jun 07, 2000 7:25 am

The BWB is a very nice plane. What about the wingspan?
«Horum omnium fortissimi sunt Belgae.»
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RE: A3XX = MD-12?

Wed Jun 07, 2000 8:40 am

Akelley728, there are window seats in the front. Thats probably first class, you have to pay extra to look out the window.  
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RE: A3XX = MD-12?

Wed Jun 07, 2000 9:12 am

Airline passengers are very conservative people. Airliner manufacturers must be very careful to make sure that their products look exactly the same as all other airliners. Otherwise the airline companies will loose 10-15% of the passengers to the competitors. Those 10-15% means the difference between loss and profit.
Therefore BWB airliners will never fly.
There may be technical reasons as well. Landing in strong side wind. Too narrow centre of gravity margins. Engine positioning will be difficult. I think that most engine specialists will just shake their head when they see some of the drawing of BWB design "proposals" with rear mounted engines. A jet engine needs an undisturbed airflow and certainly not an airflow which has passed over a wing of a heavy plane.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs

RE: A3XX = MD-12?

Wed Jun 07, 2000 9:16 am

I think this concept has been validated by the B-2 Spirit.
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RE: A3XX = MD-12?

Wed Jun 07, 2000 9:44 am

CstarU is right, the B-2A Spirit is a true BWB plane.
Now little information has been released about the B-2. But we can guess a few facts:
1. the centre of gravity is much easier managed than on a passenger plane.
2. the B-2 will never be asked to land at 40 seconds interval in strong sidewind at JFK or LHR. Anyway, the B-2 is unstable on the gearing axis - "rudder control" is performed by wing spoilers. That's a principle which nobody would dream of having certified on a civil transporter. So maybe the B-2 is in fact able to fight strong sidewind while a civil BWB can't.
3. Little is known about the engines, except that they are used in no other plane. But they have a rather small and fast rotating front fan. That could indicate that sensitivity to disturbed air has been traded in against a somewhat inferior fuel eficiency.
4. Maybe the most striking difference between the B-2 and a civil BWB: Economy was never a driving force behind designing the B-2. Money is everything when talking airliners. They are only built to make money.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs