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Bristol Brabazon - A History Lesson

Sat Sep 16, 2006 5:15 am

The Bristol Type 167 Brabazon was a huge airliner designed by the Bristol Aeroplane Company to fly transatlantic routes from the United Kingdom to the United States. The prototype was delivered in 1949, only to prove a complete commercial failure when airlines felt the plane was too large and expensive to be useful. Despite its huge size, comparable to a Boeing 747, it was designed to carry only 60 to 80 passengers, albeit in roomy conditions not generally found on modern aircraft....

...The Brabazon Report was backward-thinking in one aspect however. When considering the people who would fly in the aircraft they designed, they thought in the context of wealthy people who were the only ones able to afford it at that point. The idea that a larger aircraft would make flying less expensive never appears to have occurred to them. Instead they assumed that the wealthy flying the plane would consider a long trip by air to be uncomfortable, and they designed the Type I for luxury, demanding 6 m³ (200 ft³) of room for every passenger, and 8 m³ (270 ft³) for luxury. This is about three times the interior room of a small car.

In order to meet these requirements the Type 167 initially specified a huge 25 foot (7.6 m) diameter fuselage, which is about 5 ft (1.5 m) greater than a Boeing 747, with upper and lower decks. This enclosed sleeping berths for 80 passengers, a dining room, 37 seat movie theatre, promenade and bar; or day seats for 150 people....

...A tremendous amount of effort was put into weight savings....


Sounds familiar? Luxury interiors with lots of space, bars, gyms, jacuzzis... Outdated business assumptions (luxury vs. economy then, hub-to-hub vs. point-to-point now)... Weight savings issues... Any similarity with any modern airliner is, of course, purely coincidental.
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RE: Bristol Brabazon - A History Lesson

Sat Sep 16, 2006 8:41 am

Quoting Katekebo (Thread starter):
Any similarity with any modern airliner is, of course, purely coincidental.


Like other British airliners of the period, the Brabazon was designed for elite travel by the jet set (avant-la-lettre until the Comet), ie, with a handful of pax and far too high cost per seat.

Whereas the A380, just like the 747, is designed for the masses and not really for bars and jacuzzis, as we all know.

Here's what the Brabazon looked like:

The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)