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jetfuel
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Last 30 Years Achieved Compartively Very Little...

Sat Nov 18, 2006 11:48 pm

After watching a documentary I got thinking about how very little we have achieved in the past 20-30 years in commercial aviation. Yes fares may be cheaper and more people may be flying. The romance of aviation is all but gone. We don't fly any faster, planes are no bigger, there's no supersonic airliner anymore and the whole owwwwwwwwww factor is fading. Don't get me wrong, I know there have been technological advances, but in reality a 747 is still a 1970 aircraft, a 737 is a 1968 aircraft with a 1958 aircraft based fuselage, and the 1950 B52 still serves in the airforce.

A little reflection

**THE FIRST 30 YEARS OF POST WW2 AVIATION**

1946
The military prototype of the Douglas DC-6, the YC-122, makes its first flight
The Army Air Forces announces it has ordered two prototypes for a new multi-engined, jet-powered bomber, the Boeing XB-47. Boeing signs a contract to design the B-52, a long-range heavy bomber. The B-29 Pacusan Dreamboat sets a world nonstop, unrefueled distance record of 9,500 miles on a flight from Honolulu to Cairo, Egypt.

1947
First flight of the Boeing 377 Stratocruiser airliner.The last of the famous Douglas Skymasters to be built, DC-4. "Chuck" Yeager, flying the Bell X-1 "Glamorous Glennis," becomes the first pilot to fly faster than the speed of sound

1949
The Boeing B-47 sets a transcontinental speed record, covering 2,289 miles in 3 hours and 46 minutes, at an average speed of 607.8 mph.

1951
The first Boeing B-52 bomber is secretly rolled out in darkness at the Seattle plant

1952
Boeing starts building the Model 367-80, the jetliner and jet tanker prototype that will be known as the Dash 80, in a closed-off area at the Renton, Wash., plant (the prototype for the 707 passenger jet and the KC-135 jet tanker)

1953 The Douglas DC-7 airliner makes its first flight. It is the largest and most efficient of the DC series yet designed. Maximum speed is 400 mph, with a cruising speed of 375 mph

1955
Tex Johnston does two "barrel rolls" with the Boeing Dash 80 over the Seafair hydroplane course on Lake Washington in Seattle

1956
Eight Boeing B-52s complete a record nonstop flight of 17,000 miles over the North Pole

1957
Three Boeing B-52s, led by Lucky Lady III, fly 24,325 miles around the world in 45 hours and 19 minutes, at an average speed of 520 mph. The Boeing Dash 80 flies from Seattle to Baltimore, Md., at an average speed of 612 mph.
The first production Boeing Model 707-120 jet rolls out at Renton, Wash

1958
The Douglas DC-8 makes its first flight. It is the first of the DC line to have jet engines

1959
American Airlines starts Boeing 707 service from New York to Los Angeles for the first transcontinental jetliner route

1962
The first production 727-100 rolls out. It will make its first flight Feb. 9, 1963

1965
The Douglas DC-9 twinjet airliner makes its first flight and makes its first in-service airline flight for Delta Airlines

1966
Boeing announces it will build a 490-passenger 747 transport. Construction will begin in June on a new plant to build the huge jets in Everett, Wash and Boeing wins the competition to design the supersonic transport (SST).

1967
The Model 737 makes its first flight

1968
The first Boeing 747-100 is rolled out during ceremonies at the new assembly facility in Everett. Launched by Saturn V, Apollo 8 takes the first astronauts around the moon. They are Frank Borman, James Lovell and William Anders

1969
Concorde 001 took off for the first test flight from Toulouse on March 2, 1969, and the first supersonic flight followed on October 1

1970
AIRBUS FORMED. The Boeing 747 makes its first commercial flight from New York to London for Pan American. Apollo 11 makes the first successful moon landing on the lunar Sea of Tranquility and astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin are the first human beings to walk on the moon. The Douglas DC-10, the first "jumbo jet" from Douglas, makes its first flight

1971
The US federal government cancels funding for the Boeing SST.
American and United airlines take delivery of the first two production Douglas DC-10 jetliners, and American puts its new DC-10 in regular service just eight days later. NASA buys a Boeing 747 from American Airlines, and under a $30 million contract from Rockwell International, Boeing begins modifying it into the first Shuttle Carrier Aircraft

1976
Commercial flights on Concorde, operated by British Airways and Air France, began on January 21, 1976

**THE PAST 30 YEARS**

1977
The U.S. Air Force selects a modified version of the Douglas DC-10 as winner of the Advanced Tanker/Cargo Aircraft competition.

1978
Boeing begins production of the 767. Boeing begins production of the 757.

1980
The 500th Boeing 747 rolls out at Everett, Wash., and the original Boeing manufacturing building, the "Red Barn," is moved to its final site at the Museum of Flight at Boeing Field in Seattle

1981
The Boeing 767-200 makes its first flight.

1982
The Boeing 757-200 makes its first flight. The Douglas Aircraft division of McDonnell Douglas delivers its 2,000th jet airliner, a DC-10 built for United Airlines

1984
FIRST A320 DELIVERED

1990 The McDonnell Douglas MD-11 makes its first flight. The Boeing 737 becomes the world's best-selling jetliner when United Airlines accepts delivery of the 1,832nd 737. The 6,000th Boeing jetliner, a 767, is delivered to Britannia Airways. A new Air Force One, a modified Boeing 747-200B, is delivered to the Air Force and President George H.W. Bush. The formal go-ahead is given for the Boeing 777 jet transport, with an initial order of 34 airplanes and 34 options by United Airlines

1991
April 30: The 1,010th Boeing 707 rolls out of the Renton, Wash., plant, ending a 35-year-old production line

1993
AIRBUS DELIVERS FIRST A 330 AND A340 AIRCRAFT

2002 Ryanair places an order for 100 Boeing Next-Generation 737-800 airplanes. : Boeing delivers the 1,000th 757.

2003
CONCORDE October 24, 2003, with the last "retirement" flight on November 26, that year.

2004
Boeing launches the 787 Dreamliner program with an order for 50 787s from All Nippon Airways (ANA). The last 757-300 is delivered. The 500th 777 is rolled out. The 777 will reach 500 airplanes delivered faster than any other twin-aisle airplane in history

2005
AIRBUS A380 FIRST FLIGHT

Take a look at the period 1946-1976 and then 1976-2006 and I am sure you will agree that despite all the other advances in the world, any real progress in the airliner is minimal. I know I may be oversimpliyfing things, but
Where's the passion gone out of the airline industry? The smell of jetfuel and the romance of taking a flight....
 
B6MoneyGuyJFK
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Last 30 Years Achieved Compartively Very Little...

Sun Nov 19, 2006 12:03 am

I dont have much to add to the above, but I recall the day the Concorde made her last flight. There was a comment made which stuck with me: "For the first time in the history of aviation, with the retirement of the concorde, we have taken a step backwards" One day, the flying public can travel at faster than the speed of sound. the next day they can't. I can't give credit to whom said it because I don't remember.
Opinions are like @ssholes. Everyone has one, and everyone thinks everyone elses stinks!
 
ehho
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Last 30 Years Achieved Compartively Very Little...

Sun Nov 19, 2006 12:41 am

It's a difficult issue. One the one hand you're right: planes today are the same (literally) pressurized fuselages with jet engines they were 3-4 decades ago.

But on the other hand, I, a 23y/o, remember flying B727, DC-10, IL-86 and such stuff which is now history. Those planes really where different than the current ones.

What has really changed in the past ten years is that planes have become so much more reliable, cheaper and easier that you have literally EVERYONE flying. I for one really detest A.net snobbery about cattle class, and flying masses. I still get the oooooowwwwwwwww you were mentioning whenever I fly, on whatever. I think giving that opportunity to many more people is a huge step forward in aviation, comparable to supersonic flying, and transatlantic non-stops. Let's not forget that the massive character of todays civil aviation also stems from the technological merits of planes like B767, B737, A330, A320 etc., making flight reliable and affordable.
"Get your facts first. Then you may distort them as much as you please" -- Mark Twain
 
vc10
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Last 30 Years Achieved Compartively Very Little...

Sun Nov 19, 2006 1:12 am

Quoting B6MoneyGuyJFK (Reply 1):
I dont have much to add to the above

Well I think you must have forgotten
1] the first turboprop airliner

2] the first jet powered airliner

3] the first turbo prop airliner across the Atlantic

4] the first pure jet airliner across the Atlantic

However that is alright, as when you start a list of "1st this..." you will always miss something out  Sad

littlevc10
 
B6MoneyGuyJFK
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Sun Nov 19, 2006 1:38 am

Quoting Vc10 (Reply 3):
Well I think you must have forgotten

Love Aviation / Work for an Airline. Having said that, I will NEVER be able to compete with the encyclopaedic knowledge that some A.netters possess.
You can't forget something you don't know about in the first place  Smile
Opinions are like @ssholes. Everyone has one, and everyone thinks everyone elses stinks!
 
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RayChuang
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Last 30 Years Achieved Compartively Very Little...

Sun Nov 19, 2006 2:04 am

I think the biggest change in civil aviation is the arrival of widebody jets, starting with the Boeing 747 in 1970. This allowed a dramatic increase in seating capacity without the need to increase landing slot capacity, which dramatically reduced the cost air travel. People forget that in the 1960's a round trip on a 707-320B on an transatlantic flight could cost as much as US$700, about US$4,170 in 2006 dollars!  Wow! If you buy your ticket today through a ticket consolidator you can buy a round-trip transatlantic ticket for under US$500.  Smile
 
ikramerica
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Last 30 Years Achieved Compartively Very Little...

Sun Nov 19, 2006 2:07 am

Quoting Vc10 (Reply 3):
Well I think you must have forgotten

The original poster did forget these things. But he sure didn't forget insignificant events like FIRST A320 DELIVERED and put them in caps just for the heck of it. Not like the launch of the first plastic airliner deserves much attention.

What's happened in the last 30 years?

--Air travel was brought to the masses. That is HUGE. It was brought from the realm of the wealthy and business traveler only to everyone who just wants to get away for a weekend.

--The rise of the longrange twin jet. With all but the largest planes shifting to this technology by 2015, that's not a small thing. ETOPS 180 was a very significant advancement. 772LR travels further than any commercial jet, with fuel to spare, cementing the twin superiority.

--The 7500nm airliner: Boeing and Airbus both offer various versions of this jet, changing route decisions forever.

PS - don't get me wrong. The A320 is an important plane to Airbus. But even in terms of bringing flying to the masses, it doesn't add anything to the progress because it was just one of many short range jets. And first delivery was not in 1984. But that's okay...

[Edited 2006-11-18 18:10:32]
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
acabgd
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Last 30 Years Achieved Compartively Very Little...

Sun Nov 19, 2006 2:24 am

I cannot but agree with the original poster, as well as by comment mentioned by B6MoneyGuyJFK.

Yes, we have twin-jet widebodies, but who cares? I still need almost a day to reach Australia from Europe. Many movies but also magazines and people back in the 60s and 70s thought that by year 2000 we will be flying orbital between Europe and Australia.

Actually, none of the advances made in the last 30 years could really be called "groundbreaking". Fly-by-wire maybe did, as well as ETOPS, high-bypass turbine etc, but for an ordinary passenger flying in such machines is still the same as it was in a DC-10, B747-100 or a DC-9.
CSud,D9,MD8x,D10,Trid,BAC1,A30,31,319,320,321,33,346,B71,72,73,74,75,76,77,L10,S20,A42,A72,T13,T15,F50,F70,F100,B146
 
Jpax
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Sun Nov 19, 2006 2:58 am

In the overall scheme of things, we have only been flying for just over one hundred years. To go from the Wright Flyer to the A380/787 in terms of everything, leaps and bounds have been accomplished.

For some very few people, this is all just one lifetime, for the rest of us, around two or three. To go from short hundred foot flights to flying non-stop around the world (or just flight in general) in a century is among there with the invention of the wheel and discovering fire.

The last 30 years is represents only 1/3 of the time man has had powered flight, and even a smaller fraction that it was used for transporting people. Around 400,000 years ago, homo sapiens occured-- 30 years is such a negligible amount of time in the overall picture, but so much has advanced technologically. We will be flying for the rest of mankind, whether it be into space or otherwise. In thousands of years, if we are still around, when people are studying the history of flight, the first hundred years will always be significant.

Some landmarks of the last 30 or so years:

1969- French Concorde first flight
1969- Apollo 11 Mission
1969- First Cessna Citation
1970- DC-10 first flight / Tri-Star first flight
1970- F-14A Tomcat
1971- Harrier accepted into the Marines
1971- Apollo 14, third moon landing
1971- Southwest starts flying  Wink
1972- Airbus places it's first aircraft into flight
1976- SR-71 first flight, set record of 2,193mph
1977- Space shuttle first 'launch' from a 747
1981- F117 Nighthawk, stealth ability
1983- First night shuttle launch
1986- Voyager with nonstop, unrefueled flight around the world
1988- B2 Spirit Stealth Bomber
1988- An-225, the worlds largest aircraft
1990- F22 Prototype flight
1994- 777 first flight, first aircraft fully designed on a computer

I'd keep going, but lunch is served...  Wink
 
787atPAE
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Sun Nov 19, 2006 3:05 am

The first years like 1945 - 1970 or so seemed to focus on aircraft as a whole (treated as a single system). Now we are in the middle of a revolution in thinking about aircraft (and spacecraft) design. We now think of vehicles as a system of systems.

And from this has come fly-by-wire (space shuttle, A320, military planes), efficiencies in engines and aerodynamics, etc.

Next step seems to be using new materials and computing methods (composites and fiber optic wire instead of aluminum and copper wire).

Things are still changing dramatically, just not on the scale of the airplane itself.  Smile Just my 2 cents...

[Edited 2006-11-18 19:06:54]
 
F14D4ever
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Last 30 Years Achieved Compartively Very Little...

Sun Nov 19, 2006 4:17 am

Quoting Jpax (Reply 8):
Around 400,000 years ago, homo sapiens occured

How do you know? Were you there? Did someone who was there document it?
"He is risen, as He said."
 
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ClassicLover
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Last 30 Years Achieved Compartively Very Little...

Sun Nov 19, 2006 4:39 am

Interesting list... though it's slightly America centric. Okay, more than slightly...

I was particularly peeved at missing -

1947 - Chuck Yeager breaks the sound barrier
1949 - First flight of the world's first jet airliner, deHavilland Comet
1952 - First jet airliner in service, deHavilland Comet
1953 - First turboprop airliner in service, Vickers Viscount

I mean seriously, the above had a major influence on what was to come.

On topic though, the last 30 years has seen major refinement of aircraft -

1. Introduction of fly-by-wire
2. Cathode ray, then LCD displays
3. Better manufacturing techniques
4. PTVs and AVOD
5. A return to flat beds - probably more comfortable than the ones on the Stratocruiser
6. Engine efficiency has been increased markedly
7. Moving production lines
8. ETOPS
9. HUD
10. Development of composites

There's ten off the top of my head. Trust me, all of the above are just as exciting as your original first 30 years of American aviation list.
I do quite enjoy a spot of flying - more so when it's not in Economy!
 
ksupilot
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Sun Nov 19, 2006 4:56 am

In some ways agree, there haven't been vast improvements that have changed aviation, but that does not mean there have been improvements.
Look at some of the small props, for the first time you are seeing cockpits that look more like the family SUV than an aircraft. While glass cockpit displays are not a replacement for the old gauges, for the most part they are making aviation easier and safer. Look at terrain mapping...as this improves there will come a time where an accident caused by ground collision because of low visibility will be rare.

I see the Embraer E-Jets as somewhat of a major breakthrough for aviation. They have shown that a regional jet doesn't have to be a cramped torture tube. While larger than your usual ERJ-145 or CRJ-200, airlines are looking to the E-170 as an alternative. Most of the flights I take are short RJ type flights so this is something that I see as a great improvement.
 
sstsomeday
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Sun Nov 19, 2006 4:56 am

Quoting EHHO (Reply 2):
What has really changed in the past ten years is that planes have become so much more reliable, cheaper and easier that you have literally EVERYONE flying.

agreed. Well, the 747 helped with getting the "masses" flying, too.

Quoting B6MoneyGuyJFK (Reply 4):
I think the biggest change in civil aviation is the arrival of widebody jets, starting with the Boeing 747 in 1970.

agreed

Quoting B6MoneyGuyJFK (Reply 1):
I recall the day the Concorde made her last flight. There was a comment made which stuck with me: "For the first time in the history of aviation, with the retirement of the concorde, we have taken a step backwards"

As practical as this decision may have been, I agree with you. A tremendous loss for forward thinkers and aviation enthusiasts.

In the early years there was so far to go in terms of advancement. Most of the advances in the last 30 years have been gradational ones having to do with technology (efficiency, safety, etc.), not dramatic advances having to do with substantially different missions of new A/C types, primarily due to the limitations of physics and the medium (the atmosphere).

The thickness and air pressure of the atmosphere is finite and offers limited opportunity to build A/C profoundly differently, or with profoundly different performance specifications. It's not necessary or possible to fly much higher unless we go a lot faster. It doesn't make sense to go much faster unless we can do so economically and without harming the environment (ozone layer).

It may make sense to get somewhat larger (380 and beyond) although the jury is still out on that one.

The next paradigm or dramatic landmark in the industry will be with regard to (the return to) speed, even hypersonic (sub-orbital), if that happens at all.

or...

I see high speed trains, perhaps running in depressurized tunnels on magnetic beds, as a direction that transportation may take within the next 50 years or so. This would afford a number of advantages:

City center to city center travel.
Fuel efficiency, and no need to take the fuel with you
No reliance on fossil fuels.
Environmentally friendly
Speed - Could conceivably go faster than sound.

Although revolutionary, the cost to create the infrastructure for such a system would be astronomical.
I come in peace
 
irobertson
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Sun Nov 19, 2006 5:01 am

I will first off say that overall, I agree with the original premise. It does look like aviation technological advances are less exciting than they were before. Thats not to say they aren't important, which I think everyone here has politely (incredible!) emphasized. There are only two points I'd like to bring to this discussion. The issue of causation and the issue of regional and/or genre development. I'll start with the latter.

What I mean by regional and/or genre development is that the original timeline started out mentioning military and civil research and development in the united states. As it went on, it became less about the military and settled down with the two major players today, Airbus and Boeing. While this makes since they mostly fuel civil aviation on the grand scale today, I think there's a lot of other things we shouldn't forget, especially depending on where you come from and what sort of civil aviation advances your region or nation helped forge. For example, coming from Canada, I'd like to think that Avro played a major role in advancing military aviation technology and though this was cut short by blind-sighted politics (the Avro Arrow program), the technology from the Arrow (and the minds of the scientists and technicians) went to developing the Space Shuttle and the Concorde, amongst other things. In fact, Avro had even designed the first jet airliner in North America (the Avro Jetliner) and flown it first before the Comet or the 707, but (for reasons that escape me) failed to deliver orders to Trans Canada Airlines as it was supposed to. It is unfortunate that a huge chunk of our aviation research died with Avro, but even then, Dehavilland Canada (later Canadair) has been responsible for designing and building some of the most incredible turboprops the world has seen, such as the Beaver (true, this is before the list started), the Otter and its Twin, the Caribou (ask the Aussies about their love affair with that plane), and the Dash 8, surely one of the best selling turboprop commuter planes ever and still being re-designed and re-engineered by Bombardier.

My whole point is not to go "YAY CANADA" but to show that different regions of the world have made major advances in civil aviation history that shape how things advance today. Ask the Brits about their aviation history and they'll tell you of the 1-11, the Trident, the VC-10, the V-bombers, the Meteor fighter, the Comet (not mentioned above!)... Ask the Russians about their aviation timeline, growing almost completely on its own (with a little spying here and there!). Spend some time in Eastern Europe and you'll still see the effects that the Russian civil aviation program had, what with the Tu-134s, 154s, and the Antonov turboprop cargo haulers. Thankfully someone mentioned above the An-225, surely a major achievement, especially by a country who was well past its economic prime by that point. The Antonovs are the worlds premiere heavy oversized haulers and they definitely evoke a "wooooooooooow" factor, even the four-engined smaller giants.

Funny story, I was spotting at Heathrow with a friend back in August and while we stared up the glide path at the end of 27R I believe, I had trouble making out a four-engined t-tailed aircraft on final amongst the afternoon rush of A319s, 320s, 777s, etc. The T-tail got me excited but my depth perception was messed up and I couldn't tell if it was a 146 a couple miles back or *gulp* an Antonov freighter farther back in the pattern. I asked my friend and he was pretty sure it was a 146 fairly close in. Turns out he was right and I felt pretty stupid and a little disappointed, as was he, although he said he would have s%@* his pants right then and there had it been an antonov and that would have been an unpleasant train back to Reading.  Big grin

So you see, back to the point, there's been a lot of other important advances going on around the world that we shouldn't try and forget, although I'm sure that if you're from Russia you have a different view of aviation history.

The other thing I mentioned was the causation issue. What is it that spurs development today compared to the 1950s? Some people feel that the military is responsible for all major technological advances and civil aviation is no exception and often a by-product of military advances. This is an arguable point and potentially true. But how has the world changed since 1980? For starters, the end of the Cold War changed things. 9/11 changed things. The demise of the space race meant that we're still using a 1980s space shuttle with few options to replace it, and the most space exploration we've done aside from a few remote control vehicles on Mars (which are remarkably more versatile than we thought) is launch a pretty cool telescope and start building a space station which everyone wanted to help with and now no one really cares about. Wars have changed civil aviation ENTIRELY. For a while there, wars were fought over communism or capitalism (except in the middle east, where its been over religion it seems for thousands of years and shows no signs of stopping). We don't really fight wars very much over invaded territory, aside from the Falklands, nothing the likes of WWI or II. Since about the time the original posting points out as being the start of the decline in aviation acheivement (roughly 1980?), there have been at least three separate wars in the persian gulf, the oil barrel of the world. We had an economic depression between two of them, and a terrorist attack that set a different kind of war off thanks to someones idea to go beyond hijacking and use planes as manned missiles, which drove fuel prices through the roof, stopped hundreds of thousands of people from flying (some possibly ever again), bankrupted dozens of airlines soon after, and led to the slow starving death of scores more afterwards. In many ways, we have been *forced* to step backwards in aviation in order to address new needs, such as security, but most of all, fuel efficiency.

Fuel costs are probably what have made the biggest changes in aviation design and research now. Certainly they were on the rise before 9/11, the idea of an extended range and more fuel efficient aircraft was always part of designers plans back well into the 1970s. But in the last six years, its become critical. It has prematurely killed designs and forced others into retirement, some very young. Its has made Airbus and Boeing fight tooth and nail over their products and forced them to spend excrutiating amounts of time and money making their planes as efficient and attractive as current designs and demands will allow. The passenger aviation business is the most cutthroat as it is potentially more volatile for profits and success than the cargo industry. I have no hard facts to back this up, but think about the turnover rates for new designs in passenger aviation compared to cargo aviation. It seems standard that when a passenger design grows obselete, it gets considered for cargo hauling. Some are more apt than others. Some turn out to be far better for cargo hauling than they ever were as a passenger plane (I immediately think of the BAe ATP, the few examples that there are). That we can sit here on this forum and squabble about the efficiency of the A340 vs the 777 and talk about how the CFM-powered A340s are out of date and fuel-guzzlers, yet CFM-powered DC-8s are hauling our goods and products around the world as we type is incredible, and I believe proves my point. The fact that the MD11 nearly overnight was dropped from passenger service and converted to freighters (aside from a couple like, God bless 'em, KLM) says something about how fuel costs tripling have changed how we design planes. We're slapping winglets on anything now that goes more than 1000nm. We've gone from making planes designed on paper with pencils and rulers and sliderules to advanced computer graphics; riveted tanks have given way to planes of composites and plastics. Look at the size of jet engines! In order to get more fuel efficient (and quiet, noise has been a factor), we've had to go from a tube design turbojet or turbofan (I'm thinking of Convair 880/990, DC8, VC-10, Caravelles and DC-9s) to huge high-bypass hair dryers on A346s and 777s.

These are incredible changes but they aren't really exciting most of the time, you're right. Especially when flying on low-cost carriers with 150-190 people in an A319/320 or 737 and very little in the way of aesthetics or entertainment. But there are some things that are better about modern air travel. I think lie-flat beds are quite a change; the first class in Virgin Atlantic, Etihad, Emirates, and other long-haul airlines is quite fancy now, several steps better than the train-style berths offered (and never used) in the 707 and the DC8. We have lounges and bars and PTVs (well some of us do) and wireless satellite internet and pretty soon (god help us) cell phone reception. And lets not forget the flying part of flying, advances in technology have allowed us to make becoming a pilot somewhat easier, and two professionals can pilot an enormous aircraft up to 9000nm using fly by wire, advanced computers controlling the surfaces, and MFDs and HUDs instead of hundreds of single gauges. While I would love to see more radical leaps and bounds, I don't think we'll see a lot of major events until we tackle the current challenges and get a grip on them first. We'll just have to be happy with the A380 being the biggest "wow" in a while, enjoy every new change and advance (I for one went wow at the Honda Jet and the new Embraer 170/190 series), and look forward to future events like the 787 and the A350.

Cheers for such a good discussion topic!
 
sstsomeday
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Sun Nov 19, 2006 5:07 am

Quoting ClassicLover (Reply 11):
On topic though, the last 30 years has seen major refinement of aircraft -

1. Introduction of fly-by-wire
2. Cathode ray, then LCD displays
3. Better manufacturing techniques
4. PTVs and AVOD
5. A return to flat beds - probably more comfortable than the ones on the Stratocruiser
6. Engine efficiency has been increased markedly
7. Moving production lines
8. ETOPS
9. HUD
10. Development of composites

Yes, these are all substantial technical achievements which we admire, but as you say, they fall more under the category of "refinement." They are not as dramatic or significant to the masses.

I would imagine more people flock to an airport to get a glimpse of a visiting 380 (or to see a Concorde, the way I did when it came to YOW many moons ago) than they would to see the first fly-by-wire A/C or the first A/C to have flat beds...
 wink 

By the way:

11) I appreciate the CRJs and ERJs that have replaced many of the old school smaller turbo props on commuter routes.
I come in peace
 
Jpax
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Last 30 Years Achieved Compartively Very Little...

Sun Nov 19, 2006 6:14 am

Quoting F14D4ever (Reply 10):
How do you know? Were you there? Did someone who was there document it?

I believe that man evolved and did not just pop into existence, as you seem to be hinting. All scientific evidence points that homo sapiens originated somewhere between 200,000 and 400,000 years ago in Africa then later colonized other parts of the world.

Do you have scientific evidence that what I am stating did actually not occur? Or are we going to go into a religious point of view? Even though I am Catholic, I do not believe God placed man in it's current form on this earth. I follow the scientific proof of the theory of evolution which resulted in homo sapiens several hundreds of thousands of years ago.
 
irobertson
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Sun Nov 19, 2006 6:22 am

Quoting KSUpilot (Reply 12):
I see the Embraer E-Jets as somewhat of a major breakthrough for aviation. They have shown that a regional jet doesn't have to be a cramped torture tube. While larger than your usual ERJ-145 or CRJ-200, airlines are looking to the E-170 as an alternative. Most of the flights I take are short RJ type flights so this is something that I see as a great improvement.

I agree... but... *cough* Yak 40 and 42... been there long before Embraer made it popular!  Smile Must say though, ERJ-190... one hot bird.

Quoting Jpax (Reply 16):
Quoting F14D4ever (Reply 10):
How do you know? Were you there? Did someone who was there document it?

I believe that man evolved and did not just pop into existence, as you seem to be hinting. All scientific evidence points that homo sapiens originated somewhere between 200,000 and 400,000 years ago in Africa then later colonized other parts of the world.

Do you have scientific evidence that what I am stating did actually not occur? Or are we going to go into a religious point of view? Even though I am Catholic, I do not believe God placed man in it's current form on this earth. I follow the scientific proof of the theory of evolution which resulted in homo sapiens several hundreds of thousands of years ago.

um... HUH!? I"m not even going to ask how we got to this point, but in any case, both of you have really derailed off topic in a way that blows my mind...  Confused  boggled   crazy   redflag 
 
supa7E7
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Sun Nov 19, 2006 6:59 am

Some revolutions since 1976 include:

Turbofan engines, much quieter than 732/727/DC9/etc. Pre-1976 airliners were LOUD!! (except jumbojets which had turbofans).

Electronic flight decks - this was a quantum leap in reliability, precision, etc

Plastic airliners - the A320/A330 include a lot of plastic. Now, the 787 is completely designed, and it is revolutionary.

Aviation megahubs

2006-era jets require MUCH less maintenance. They are easier to build and cheaper to run, requiring fewer engine tear-downs (i believe).

Internet - goes without saying. Ticket sales is totally competitive now, which is revolutionary for airlines.

Finally, the concept of airliner "families." Look at the 737 and A320 families. This is a relatively new concept, encouraging airlines to buy 3 different sizes to run them as one integrated flight system. This is new since 1976.
"Who's to say spaceships aren't fine art?" - Phil Lesh
 
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ClassicLover
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Sun Nov 19, 2006 7:25 am

Quoting Supa7E7 (Reply 18):
Turbofan engines, much quieter than 732/727/DC9/etc. Pre-1976 airliners were LOUD!! (except jumbojets which had turbofans).

I'm sorry, turbofan engines were around as early as 1960.
I do quite enjoy a spot of flying - more so when it's not in Economy!
 
Curmudgeon
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Sun Nov 19, 2006 9:21 am

If you include the BAC-111, Trident, Caravelle, Mercure, the Soviet airliners, a host of heavy turboprops, and consider them all against the backdrop of the pace of military advances, the 30 post war years were the "Golden Age".

The one biggest single advancement is an intangible: Safety. If the industry was having as many accidents/mile as we were in 1970 then we would be in a sorry state indeed. The old rate extrapolated out would have been about one hull loss per week by now.

I find it astonishing that we went from the Wrights to the B-47 in 45 years.
Jets are for kids
 
sstsomeday
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Sun Nov 19, 2006 10:18 am

Quoting Acabgd (Reply 7):
In the overall scheme of things, we have only been flying for just over one hundred years. To go from the Wright Flyer to the A380/787 in terms of everything, leaps and bounds have been accomplished.

And to think from the first powered flight, to landing on the MOON, in about 2/3 that time.

Amazing.
I come in peace
 
VonRichtofen
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Sun Nov 19, 2006 10:33 am

Quoting F14D4ever (Reply 10):
How do you know? Were you there? Did someone who was there document it?

Well, there's a lot of physical evidence to support this. Unlike your story book version  Yeah sure
 
baron95
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Sun Nov 19, 2006 11:26 am

I could not disagree more with the OP.

Yes the post war period was very fertile. It was an age of discovery and experimentation in airline travel (Jet, SSTs, VLAs, etc).

But the last few years saw the maturation and increased sophistication of the industry and airliners.

The five bigest accomplishments were SAFETY, SAFETY, SAFETY, SAFETY and SAFETY. The advanced flight deck, advanced training, CRM, TCAS, TWAS, EICAS, on-board weather, etc, has meant that on most years there are no fatal airline accidents in the US (the largest market in the world). This is an astouding advance, considering how much the number of departures/year has increased.

The next batch of accomplishments has been EFFICIENCY. Efficiency in aircraft utilization, yield management, checkin times (e-tickets, Internet check-in), Jet-engine on-wing times measured in tens of thousands of hours, dispatch reliability unheard of in the 70s. You don't think that the fact that people fly coast-to-coast on 737s vs 747s and DC-10s as an amazing achievment? All of which translates into move value for the customers.

The next batch in importance relates to customer service. I already mentioned e-tickets and internet check-in. Did you know that in the 70s you had to physically walk to a travel agent and spend a good hour there to get your paper ticket? And had to go back there to change it or get a refund? My god!!!! Customer service, as bad as we think it is is miles above what the experience was in the 70s. Frequent flyer programs enable even more people to fly. IFE is exploding and changing the flying experience. First Class and Business class cabins with lie-flat beds and even sky-suites represent levels of comfort unheard off. Direct flights over 8000nm are an unheard off convinience compared to the 70s. Smoke free flights and lounges are a comfort and health improvement of incalculable benefit.

The ONLY, and I mean ONLY area that has not seen an improvement is SPEED of jetliners. However, if you take into account increased frequency, increased competition, more direct flights, longer range flights, smaller aircraft size for long haul, the average traveller has expereinced much faster travel.

Lets look at a wealthy traveller in 1980 flying from Frankfurt to ORD. Go to travel agent, gets 3 paper tickets Frankfurt to LHR, LHR to JFK on Concorde, JFK to ORD. Goes a couple more times to change tickets. Takes the flight with 2 connection which add 4 hours on average to the trip, saves 3 hours flying on the Concorde for a net loss of one hour. Has to fly cramped on 2 narrow bodies plus a cramped and noisy Concord flight.

Today that same passanger has a few choices of airlines and times to fly direct non-stop on a sky suite with Internet access and on demand IFE. Faster, cheaper. Buys his ticket over the phone or internet, changes at will. And has the prospect for a much safer flight and better on-time odds. Arrives refreshed to enjoy the destination for business or pleasure.

So flying today is miles improved vs the 70s. Don't even go there, my friend.
Killer Fleet: E190, 737-900ER, 777-300ER
 
sstsomeday
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Sun Nov 19, 2006 5:02 pm

Quoting Baron95 (Reply 24):
Today that same passanger has a few choices of airlines and times to fly direct non-stop on a sky suite with Internet access and on demand IFE. Faster, cheaper. Buys his ticket over the phone or internet, changes at will. And has the prospect for a much safer flight and better on-time odds. Arrives refreshed to enjoy the destination for business or pleasure.

So flying today is miles improved vs the 70s. Don't even go there, my friend.

I wish I could agree with you, but for the average, modest-income traveller I think the experience has deteriorated from something romantic and service orientated to a downright uncomfortable and inconvenient experience. The lines at check in, the lines at security, the packed planes and small seats, the many new fair rules and restrictions and hidden fees (non-ticket revenue). The lack of meals and unavailability of frequent flyer seats or upgrades.

By the way, in the 70's a 747 had 9 across in coach, not 10. And I flew in a Continental DC-10 in 1984-ish that had a lounge and a bar in coach. Those days are long gone.

The advances you list are real, for the rich, and I'd like to be happy for them as I munch on my 6 pretzels (I guess peanuts are too expensive now?). But the backward evolution of the "cattle-class" overshadows the advances in technology, I'm afraid. Just my opinion. "Moo."
I come in peace
 
kaitak744
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Sun Nov 19, 2006 6:38 pm

Today, airplanes have long range, large capacity, quiet engines, entertaining interiors, and feul efficiency. Pretty much, commercial aviation has advanced in almost all possible aspects except for 2. And those 2 aspects have been the same for the past 30 years.

The speed of aircraft
The feel of aircraft.

Planes still fly at ~mach .8 and they still burn fossil fuels. Those 2 areas are the only frontiers left.

I feel that with in the next 30 years, those 2 will be changed.
 
lehpron
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Sun Nov 19, 2006 8:54 pm

How should we decide what an achievement is? To me it is a technological jump. But in the past few decades it has been the implementation of that which was created that people make big deals about. This time it is about business. Just about every commercial product could be attributed to a reduction in fuel consumption. We created the first turbojet and from there we got turboprops and turbofans, then what? They lead to increases in range, capacity, reduction in fares, price wars, blah blah blah = modern aerospace where people think a 20% reduction in fuel usage is revolutionary. Uh no, it is just an ITERATION of the prior. There are exception, I'm just tired. (I don't think Concorde was revolutionary, not by my definition)

Quoting Jetfuel (Thread starter):
After watching a documentary I got thinking about how very little we have achieved in the past 20-30 years in commercial aviation

You will be knocked around by highly biased and completely nonobjective aviation enthusiasts who can never be critical of what they love. I applaud your conclusion just wished you didn't have to see a documentary, they are usually pessimistic.
The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.
 
acabgd
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Sun Nov 19, 2006 8:58 pm

Quoting SSTsomeday (Reply 25):
I wish I could agree with you, but for the average, modest-income traveller I think the experience has deteriorated

Completely agree. What Baron95 says is okay in terms of advances, but the travel experience has definitely deteriorated. Maybe not in First or Business class, but the rest of the plane is much worse now in terms of space and service.

What bothers me the most, however, is speed. We've had supersonic aircraft for some 60 years now, with supersonic passenger aircraft 30 something years that are now gone.

Is it really possible at this age that no-one sees the need for faster travel? I mean, trains are nowadays moving as fast as some regional planes! Why is there no such advances in aircraft design?
CSud,D9,MD8x,D10,Trid,BAC1,A30,31,319,320,321,33,346,B71,72,73,74,75,76,77,L10,S20,A42,A72,T13,T15,F50,F70,F100,B146
 
irobertson
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Mon Nov 20, 2006 2:22 am

Quoting SSTsomeday (Reply 25):
I wish I could agree with you, but for the average, modest-income traveller I think the experience has deteriorated from something romantic and service orientated to a downright uncomfortable and inconvenient experience. The lines at check in, the lines at security, the packed planes and small seats, the many new fair rules and restrictions and hidden fees (non-ticket revenue). The lack of meals and unavailability of frequent flyer seats or upgrades.

 checkmark 

Quoting Supa7E7 (Reply 18):
Internet - goes without saying. Ticket sales is totally competitive now, which is revolutionary for airlines.

 checkmark 

Quoting SSTsomeday (Reply 25):
(I guess peanuts are too expensive now?).

Too many allergies maybe? I was on a flight once where they had good-sized bags of cashews for $2, that was pretty good value since they're so bloody expensive to begin with it. I think it was Air Canada!  eek 

Quoting Acabgd (Reply 28):
Is it really possible at this age that no-one sees the need for faster travel? I mean, trains are nowadays moving as fast as some regional planes! Why is there no such advances in aircraft design?

I think there's a market for it for sure, especially in the business jet market. But we haven't even reached the levels of the Convair 990 yet today, why not start there? Mach 0.92-5 should be possible, it would probably cut a good deal of time off a flight too.

In my opinion, the problem with getting from Mach 0.82 to Mach 2.2 is that we're going to need a clean efficient way of doing it. I don't think jet fuel is the answer. Maybe hydrogen fuel cells? Concorde was a great plane but I often wonder if it really was the limit for conventional aircraft, engines, and fuel sources?
 
VEEREF
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Mon Nov 20, 2006 4:54 am

Can't forget Deregulation. The US government finally allowed airlines the opportunity to sell their product below cost.
The rest is history.
Airplanes are cool. Aviation sucks.
 
caribb
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Mon Nov 20, 2006 5:35 am

I have to agree with the original post in that the "wow" factor has long faded away and the advances we have made are good but not really ground breaking like they were in the past. That being said I suppose that's the case in any industry that transitions from infancy to a more mature status. Car engines today are not much different than those of the past also but like aviation they are better built, get better gas milage, are more reliable, more quiet, are more visually pleasing inside and out and much cheaper to operate. Aviation too has followed this pattern and just like more people today own two cars or more there are many more people flying than ever before. A trip overseas was once an event people sent off Bon Voyage cards and went with their families to to airport to send them off on a Big Trip... today "Joe" in the next booth at work is off for 5 days because he's just flown to Tokyo to do some planepotting. didn't he say anthing to ya?..

My expectations though were set too high for the future when I dreamed about flight in the 21st century. I thought the Concorde would be the first step to a gradual move over to SST travel on a much bigger scale. I imagined those proposed 2 hour flights to Tokyo from the East Coast of North America. I envisioned flights into space to either the moon or luxurious vacation space stations with a hotel room peering down on a rotating blue Earth.. LOL, the dreams of kids... Instead we got very efficient, comfortable and somewhat luxurious (First Class only) twin and quad jets... and crowded security crazed mega hubs where for all the effieciency of the aircraft the joy of travelling is lost. Oh well... I still think we are advancing but it's incremental and behind the scenes technological innovations... still good stuff but the Hypersonic Aircraft and Blended Wings Planes of the future are still dreams of designers and not anything that looks to be real in the near future but at least the ideas are still there.
 
sstsomeday
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Mon Nov 20, 2006 6:35 am

Quoting Veeref (Reply 30):
Can't forget Deregulation. The US government finally allowed airlines the opportunity to sell their product below cost.

How true.

Quoting Caribb (Reply 31):
My expectations though were set too high for the future when I dreamed about flight in the 21st century. I thought the Concorde would be the first step to a gradual move over to SST travel on a much bigger scale. I imagined those proposed 2 hour flights to Tokyo from the East Coast of North America. I envisioned flights into space to either the moon or luxurious vacation space stations with a hotel room peering down on a rotating blue Earth.. LOL, the dreams of kids... Instead we got very efficient, comfortable and somewhat luxurious (First Class only) twin and quad jets... and crowded security crazed mega hubs where for all the effieciency of the aircraft the joy of travelling is lost. Oh well... I still think we are advancing but it's incremental and behind the scenes technological innovations... still good stuff but the Hypersonic Aircraft and Blended Wings Planes of the future are still dreams of designers and not anything that looks to be real in the near future but at least the ideas are still there.

I'm with you. And where are the flyer cars!?!?!!!!
I come in peace
 
baron95
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Mon Nov 20, 2006 10:51 am

Quoting Lehpron (Reply 26):
Uh no, it is just an ITERATION of the prior.

I guess according to your logic, automobiles have had no technical accomplishments in 100 years, since the advent of internal combustion engine and 4 wheels. All the advances in fuel economy, power, handling, safety, comfort, quietness, on-board entertainment and navigation and nothing to write home about.

On the same note PCs have not evolved at all since the late 70s. All the advances on speed, capacity and SW are boring iterations of an old idea.

Well that is a valid position. But in the world of engineering, 99.9% is all about product refinement. It will be a long time since matter-antimatter engines or teleportation really make you execited.
Killer Fleet: E190, 737-900ER, 777-300ER
 
baron95
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Mon Nov 20, 2006 11:11 am

Quoting Acabgd (Reply 27):
What bothers me the most, however, is speed. We've had supersonic aircraft for some 60 years now, with supersonic passenger aircraft 30 something years that are now gone.

Actually that is not true.

The FIRST conventional, quantity produced military aircraft capable of sustainable supersonic flight (M1.5) the F/A-22 Raptor has just become operational.

No supersonic commercial airliner capable of flying long-range missions non-stop has ever been produced.

I think the supercruising F/A-22 turbofans are the poweplants that will give limited supersonic air travel a shot in the future.
Killer Fleet: E190, 737-900ER, 777-300ER
 
RIX
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Tue Nov 21, 2006 7:27 am

Quoting ClassicLover (Reply 11):
Interesting list... though it's slightly America centric. Okay, more than slightly...

- to say next to nothing; from the thread starter, I've got an impression that no aviation existed outside the US until 1969, then, all of a sudden (which is, out of nothing), Europeans built Concorde  Smile... and such a thing as Soviet aviation (with first jetliner entering service before any Boeing/Douglas, and first SST flight, as well as M1 and M2 flights) existed somewhere in parallel Universe... very parallel, I'd say  Wink

Quoting Baron95 (Reply 33):
No supersonic commercial airliner capable of flying long-range missions non-stop has ever been produced.

- ?? How come Concorde and Tu144D are not long-range ones? Until F22 was designed, only three aircraft ever built were able to sustain supersonic speed during hours (not minutes); two of these three were commercial! Trans-Atlantic is long-range, even if it's not trans-Pacific...

Overall, folks - OK, we didn't see same impressive progress as decades ago... but - other than "mass SSTs", what else would you expect as a sign of progress? Another jet-like leap in engine technology? I can't think of anything else that I would want to see "here and now"...
 
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RayChuang
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Tue Nov 21, 2006 9:43 am

I think within the next 20 years we will see the return of supersonic travel, but this time on more environmentally-friendly airliners.

Thanks to modern research into finding ways to reduce the pressure wave buildup that causes the sonic boom in the first place and dramatic improvements in engine technology since the days of the Olympus 593 engines used on the Concorde, I can see a 200-250 passenger Mach 1.7 SST that can fly as far as 7,000 nautical miles (very neccessary for transpacific flights) but with just about no sonic boom and uses variable-cycle engines that meet ICAO Stage IV noise emission standards for takeoff and landing.
 
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EA CO AS
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Tue Nov 21, 2006 10:04 am

Quoting Jetfuel (Thread starter):
the whole owwwwwwwwww factor is fading.

Seats are closer than ever and customers larger than ever. Trust me, the "Ow!" factor is still there.  duck 
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
baron95
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Tue Nov 21, 2006 11:06 am

Quoting RIX (Reply 34):
How come Concorde and Tu144D are not long-range ones? Until F22 was designed, only three aircraft ever built were able to sustain supersonic speed during hours (not minutes); two of these three were commercial! Trans-Atlantic is long-range,

Are you serious? The newest airplane to start flying the Atlantic is a narrow-body 757. Crossing the Atlantic is a 3500nm problem. These days NO WIDEBODY LONGHAUL airplane can even be marketed unless it has 8000nm range on most or all its version. Some designs (787) and Airlines (EK) are even saying that 8500 nm is the tickiet for the core of their wide-body long-haul fleet. Without that you are a nich player.

You statement on sustained suppersonic flight is not true either - The SR71 could sustain M2.5+ for a couple of hours, but it was not mass produced.

Anyway, to compete in the mainstream market, the new SST would have to have 8000nm range, seat 200+ with enough floor area to accomodate lie flat seats. We are not even close, not even within stricking distance of that technology/cost wise. It simply will not happen. Give it up.
Killer Fleet: E190, 737-900ER, 777-300ER
 
sstsomeday
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Tue Nov 21, 2006 11:17 am

Quoting Baron95 (Reply 37):
Anyway, to compete in the mainstream market, the new SST would have to have 8000nm range, seat 200+ with enough floor area to accomodate lie flat seats. We are not even close, not even within stricking distance of that technology/cost wise. It simply will not happen. Give it up.

On only this point I disagree with you. I believe the lie flat seats could be traded for double or more the speed.
I come in peace
 
planemaker
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Tue Nov 21, 2006 12:20 pm

Quoting SSTsomeday (Reply 13):
The next paradigm or dramatic landmark in the industry will be with regard to (the return to) speed, even hypersonic (sub-orbital), if that happens at all.



Quoting RayChuang (Reply 35):
I think within the next 20 years we will see the return of supersonic travel, but this time on more environmentally-friendly airliners.

I don't think that there will ever be a return to supersonic pax commercial airliners... supersonic bizjets yes. There just won't be a big enough market for a supersonic airliner production line.

Quoting Baron95 (Reply 23):
Today that same passanger has a few choices of airlines and times to fly direct non-stop on a sky suite with Internet access and on demand IFE. Faster, cheaper. Buys his ticket over the phone or internet, changes at will. And has the prospect for a much safer flight and better on-time odds. Arrives refreshed to enjoy the destination for business or pleasure.

And when you look at international F, with departure and arrival lounges like BA's, flying is very, very comfortable. However, is seems that everyone has forgotten about the growth of the biz jet sector!!!

The F class pax of the past will nowadays mainly fly biz jet in a company owned, chartered or frax biz jet. And with the arrival of the first VLJs entering service next year, P2P biz jet travel will be further extended down the "food chain". Eventually, sometime in the next decade, families will be able to chose the convenience of a VLJ P2P flight rather than the hassle of commercial flights.
Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
 
a380heavy
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Tue Nov 21, 2006 4:31 pm

Going back to the original poster's idea of listing how quickly aircraft design and propulsion was changing between the 1940's and the 1970's and how it seems to have slowed down between the 70's and the Noughties I thought I'd get the thread back in this direction.

I cannot disagree with all of you clever people out there who have informed us of all the tweaking that has been going on over the last few decades. Many of these are not insignificant advances, but in terms of very visual design changes there has been a huge slow down.

A pair of aircraft that demonstrate just how fast things were changing between the 40's and 70's are the Avro Lancaster and the B52 (yes I know that this is a Civil Aviation forum). There were just 11 years between these two - talk about chalk and cheese!!  Smile

Barring the advent of any SST's have there ever been two aircraft produced in an 11 year period that are so radically different other than the examples above?

A380Heavy
Flown in:732,733,734,738,742,752,763,772,F27,DC9,MD-11,A300,A332,ATR72,DHC-6,Bell206,C172,Auster,PA-28
 
Shenzhen
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Tue Nov 21, 2006 4:41 pm

Other then safety, leg distance, IFE and economics, there really hasn't been a leap in the basic design. Still waiting for the plane that goes straight up, then straigt back down on the other side of the earth. But, that will just speed things up again, and push the fares back to where they were 40 years ago...

cheers
 
FCYTravis
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Tue Nov 21, 2006 5:30 pm

I could not disagree more.

The last 30 years have seen a democratization of air travel like never before. It used to be a luxury, reserved for the rich... now it's just another way to get from Point A to Point B. That's *good* for our economy - the average American can afford to travel across the country or across oceans. We have achieved the commoditization of air transportation.

Furthermore, we have done all that while making gigantic strides in improving airline safety. From TCAS to CRM to improved training through computer simulators, pilots have the tools they need to prevent disaster. The aircraft themselves are reliable, redundant and more survivable. For someone like me who will have his butt in an airline seat for nearly 100,000 miles this year, that's an astonishing and comforting achievement.
USAir A321 service now departing for SFO with fuel stops in CAK, COS and RNO. Enjoy your flight.
 
Shinkai
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Tue Nov 21, 2006 7:09 pm

Jetfuel you've brought up a very interesting point indeed. Have you heard of the law of diminishing marginal rate of returns however?

There is only so much that the aviation industry can develop. Unless there is a REVOLUTIONARY development in technology, I'm afraid that the next 30 years would yield even less achievement than the last 30.
please relax, enjoy your flight... Good Luck!!
 
SailorOrion
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Tue Nov 21, 2006 11:08 pm

But what revolutionary development can we get?

Lets say we stick to fossil fuels for the 30 years, what will/might come?

Engines:
-Geared Fan.
-recuperators/intercoolers
-Less visible changes like better materials and stuff

Airframe:
-Blended Wing Bodies, Tri-Surface, V-Tail, whatever. Some layout that is more efficient than the current B-47 layout.
-CFRP (not far away)
-More/Full electrical aircraft.

All in all, you might get about a 50% reduction in fuel consumption, which is QUITE an achievement.

What has been done in the past 30 years?
-Reduction of emmissions by about 50-95%
-Reduction of fuel consumption per PRK by around 50%
-Reduction of noise by about 70%.

And maybe in about 30 years, we might end up with some supersonic airliner, but I don't see that happening at M2.0-2.2 anymore. Possibly the "first shot" will be somewhere near M1.4-1.5

SailorOrion
 
TeamAmerica
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Tue Nov 21, 2006 11:51 pm

Quoting Jetfuel (Thread starter):
Apollo 11 makes the first successful moon landing

An error in your chronology; first moon landing occurred in 1969, not 1970.

Quoting Jpax (Reply 8):
1969- Apollo 11 Mission

 checkmark 

Quoting F14D4ever (Reply 10):
How do you know? Were you there? Did someone who was there document it?

What a sad thing to argue over...  Yeah sure
Failure is not an option; it's an outcome.
 
planemaker
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Last 30 Years Achieved Compartively Very Little...

Wed Nov 22, 2006 2:57 am

Quoting SailorOrion (Reply 44):
But what revolutionary development can we get?

Lets say we stick to fossil fuels for the 30 years, what will/might come?

Engines:
-Geared Fan.
-recuperators/intercoolers
-Less visible changes like better materials and stuff

And the above will result in single-engine airliners... looking like a DC-10 (but without the underwing engines, obviously).

Quoting SailorOrion (Reply 44):
Airframe:
-Blended Wing Bodies, Tri-Surface, V-Tail, whatever. Some layout that is more efficient than the current B-47 layout.
-CFRP (not far away)
-More/Full electrical aircraft.

Much smaller control surfaces (and perhaps wireless not FBL) and morphing wings.

Quoting SailorOrion (Reply 44):
And maybe in about 30 years, we might end up with some supersonic airliner, but I don't see that happening at M2.0-2.2 anymore. Possibly the "first shot" will be somewhere near M1.4-1.5


Not large enough a market for SST airliners (and SST biz jets will satisfy any "real" demand).

In about 30 years we'll see single-pilot, single-engine airliners with much fewer cabin crew.  Smile
Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
 
RIX
Posts: 1590
Joined: Thu Aug 03, 2000 4:46 am

Last 30 Years Achieved Compartively Very Little...

Wed Nov 22, 2006 7:39 am

Quoting Baron95 (Reply 37):
Are you serious?.. Crossing the Atlantic is a 3500nm problem. These days NO WIDEBODY LONGHAUL airplane can even be marketed unless it has 8000nm range on most or all its version.

- yes, I am serious. I don't care about WIDEBODY LONGHAUL marketing today: the only two SSTs ever built were not designed "these days". To me, trans-ocean intercontinental flight is long-range. Unless you insist on "long range" to be what "LR" in B777-200LR designation means - then, Concorde was not even ER. Which, again, I don't care about as you are applying today's criteria to what was built decades ago.

Quoting Baron95 (Reply 37):
You statement on sustained supersonic flight is not true either - The SR71 could sustain M2.5+ for a couple of hours, but it was not mass produced.

- care to read carefully (below)?

Quoting RIX (Reply 34):
Until F22 was designed, only three aircraft ever built were able to sustain supersonic speed during hours (not minutes); two of these three were commercial!

Thanks!  Wink

Quoting Baron95 (Reply 37):
to compete in the mainstream market, the new SST would have to have 8000nm range, seat 200+ with enough floor area to accomodate lie flat seats.

- why is all that? Airline version of Aerion/SAI QSST may have about 4000 nm range and 30 seats in "Concorde configuration"; as long as it is profitable with ticket prices comparable to today's premium classes, it's a seller. In this case,

Quoting Baron95 (Reply 37):
We are not even close... It simply will not happen. Give it up.

is nonsense: they already develop it as SSBJ. Whether it ever flies is totally unknown, but it already absolutely denies any "We are not even close... It simply will not happen." - again, if not to stick with "200+ seats / 8000 nm" mantra.

Cheers!
 
OB1783P
Posts: 310
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2003 9:49 pm

Last 30 Years Achieved Compartively Very Little...

Wed Nov 22, 2006 8:47 am

Quoting Baron95 (Reply 23):
The five bigest accomplishments were SAFETY, SAFETY, SAFETY, SAFETY and SAFETY.

Absolutely right.

I remember an article in The Economist, way back, predicting on average worldwide one hull loss a week by now. Even that would be safe, by the way, but what we've achieved with safety is amazing.
I've flown thousands of miles and I can tell you it's a lot safer than crossing the street!
 
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zippyjet
Posts: 5091
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2001 3:32 pm

Last 30 Years Achieved Compartively Very Little...

Wed Nov 22, 2006 8:58 am

Quoting Jetfuel (Thread starter):
747 is still a 1970 aircraft

More like a 1954 vintage bird. Sure, they hippoed up the 747 but, basically it is a 707 chassis with a hump and bigger. Even the classic tri-jet 727 utilized the same frame etc. of the 707 which is actually the offspring of the B-52 at least indirectly. The name of the game for the past 30 years has been build it quicker and cheaper. As discussed in other threads, the science of making a full size commercial HST bird is cost and energy prohibitive.
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