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Posts: 187
Joined: Thu Aug 17, 2000 3:33 am

Has The "sst" A Future?

Thu Sep 14, 2000 5:11 am

As the Concorde is under fierce fire of criticism, I´m asking myself if a probable successor will be developed.

Many studies were underway in the 80`s and 90`s in Europe, Russia and the U.S.

Even a refurbished TU-144 was used by an U.S. consortium in the mid 90`s as a supersonic testbed.
But as I know all this has come to a sudden stop, because of economic doubts in the project.

The only programme which is still studying civil supersonic transport is Gulfsteam together with Sukhoj.
these two companies are defining a SST business jet.

Does anyone know more about SST project?

Posts: 2115
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 3:49 am

Not Interesting Economics

Thu Sep 14, 2000 5:26 am


One of the problems is that the current subsonic airliners make the economics of a proposed supersonic aircraft, even carrying 300 passengers, not very interesting at all.

The difference of economics sub/supersonic would have even increased a bit since the launch of the Concorde, and the A3XX and 747X will make a supersonic aircraft even less likely.

And FYI, the Concorde has still not retired today. Nothing says it will not restart flights next Spring -at least I hope it.

Best regards,
Alain Mengus
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Posts: 7982
Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2000 7:43 am

RE: Has The

Thu Sep 14, 2000 5:44 am

Actually, Boeing and NASA did a study that concluded a supersonic airliner capable of flying 300 passengers LAX-NRT non-stop at an average of Mach 2.2 is technologically feasible, thanks to several breakthroughs in jet engine design that will allow the plane to be ICAO Stage III compliant on take off and landing, have much lower emissions of oxides of nitrogen (which can damage the ozone layer at high altitude easily), and also have much better fuel burn per passenger mile.

The only reason why Boeing has not persued the concept further is the high cost of development: US$18 billion. But given that Airbus is about to shell out US$12 billion to build the A3XX, I think Boeing may be reconsidering their decision and may actually do more serious studies on whether it makes economic sense to build this plane.

Remember, we're talking about flying across the Pacific at twice the speed we're doing now with our 747-400's. Even with one technical stop for fuel in HNL, a LAX-SYD flight can fly from LAX to SYD in nearly half the time it takes for the 744 to fly the same route on a non-stop flight. Imagine flying from LAX to NRT in six hours westbound or five hours eastbound; this could be very desirable for business travel.

It could also mean that US East Coast-LHR/CDG/FRA supersonic travel will be very viable again. Because the proposed plane can fly LAX-NRT non-stop, this means the plane has the following advantages:

1. It will not require special exemptions for noise and exhaust emissions, thanks to ICAO Stage III noise compliance and the new combustor design. That means the plane can land at any airport in Europe with no limitations.

2. It will seat 300 passengers, which means ticket prices will not have be be outrageously priced like a Concorde ticket; the plane will likely have both First and Economy class sections.

3. With its range, every airport from MIA to BOS can be used to fly to LHR/CDG/FRA with supersonic service.

In fact, I won't be surprised that such a plane will be announced by the 2007-2010 time frame for introduction into service by 2015.