LGWflyer
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When Will We See A Plane Like Concorde Again?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 7:44 pm

When in the future do you think we will see an aircraft like Concorde again? In fact could there ever be a very small chance that it could fly again if given the chance...
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Semaex
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RE: When Will We See A Plane Like Concorde Again?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 7:53 pm

If Concorde is going to fly again, I'd bet real money on a no.
If there is going to be a plane like Concorde, meaning super-sonic passenger service, sure. Some day there will be a need for even faster travel. Whether that will be by gas-powered technologies or for that matter anything we nowadays consider the standard, I doubt.

That's my opinion. I leave the fighting over the subject and the ever-so-smart pro/con arguments to various people posting below. Just one thing: Never say never, cause never is time frame one will hardly ever witness.

Quoting LGWflyer (Thread starter):

Btw, I like the way you phrased your question. Not if, but when.

[Edited 2011-10-14 12:54:42]
// You know you're an aviation enthusiast when you look at your neighbour's cars and think about fleet commonality.
 
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RE: When Will We See A Plane Like Concorde Again?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 7:55 pm

The only way supersonic travel will ever be commercially viable is if real energy prices fall by at least a factor of 10. There is the possibility of a supersonic private jet, but the money to develop it is probably not available, and there are also likely not enough customers willing to pay what it will cost. Think of paying two or three times the cost of a private A380 for a plane that will carry maybe 6-10 people, and will not cross the Pacific without refueling. It will also only be able to travel supersonically over water. At least that is my estimate as to what is technologically feasible at this stage.
The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
 
flyby519
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RE: When Will We See A Plane Like Concorde Again?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:01 pm

I think the Virgin Galactic aircraft is the most likely thing for future travel. Something to get into the sub-orbital range and do a NYC to Tokyo in a few hours.
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canoecarrier
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RE: When Will We See A Plane Like Concorde Again?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:09 pm

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 2):
The only way supersonic travel will ever be commercially viable is if real energy prices fall by at least a factor of 10.

Using traditional fuels sure, but what makes you think some other form of propulsion won't become available in, hypothetically 20 years that's just as efficient as today's turbine engines but capable of powering a plane at supersonic speeds? It really wasn't that long ago where we were putting comparatively inefficient engines on airliners. The technology has gone a long way in the past 40-50 years.

Quoting Semaex (Reply 1):
Some day there will be a need for even faster travel. Whether that will be by gas-powered technologies or for that matter anything we nowadays consider the standard, I doubt.

As you say, engine technology is the key.
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RE: When Will We See A Plane Like Concorde Again?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:16 pm

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 4):

Using traditional fuels sure, but what makes you think some other form of propulsion won't become available in, hypothetically 20 years that's just as efficient as today's turbine engines but capable of powering a plane at supersonic speeds? It really wasn't that long ago where we were putting comparatively inefficient engines on airliners. The technology has gone a long way in the past 40-50 years.

Of course it is possible that a new fuel will emerge; and if one does appear that offers better energy density than Jet A it will make the prospect much more likely, as you will be able to go farther while carrying the same weight of fuel. But it will have to be much cheaper as well to be economically viable, as the energy required to fly supersonically will not change.
The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
 
bennett123
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RE: When Will We See A Plane Like Concorde Again?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:28 pm

IMO, operating a Concorde type aircraft today would raise a range of issues;

1. Cost of fuel. Concorde was conceived when fuel was almost free.

2. Size/capacity. The Concorde 130 people, a Boeing B747-400 up to about 500. Even if the costs were the same then it is split 4 x on the B747-400. Assuming the Concorde flies twice the number of trips, the cost per passenger is still double.

3. Noise. Concorde was latterly the noisiest aircraft around. Noise limits are lower now. This trend is likely to continue.

4. Concorde required "specialist" crew. This involves extra cost. A new Concorde will need to be flyable by line pilots.

For a new aircraft to fly, (Virgin Gallactic seems to be priced for millionaires only) all of these issies would need to be resolved.

I do not see it happening in my lifetime.

I would love to be proved wrong.
 
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RE: When Will We See A Plane Like Concorde Again?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:30 pm

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 5):
But it will have to be much cheaper as well to be economically viable, as the energy required to fly supersonically will not change.

One sentence, and I disagree with two things you mention.
First, call me nuts but I believe we don't yet consider energy to be as precious as it is. If humanity is to take the earth seriously, we should learn how to not exploit resources for the best price. The only way we can appreciate what we have is to make sure it gains in value. Long preach short: Energy is not yet expensive enough, and it will get more expensive surely, but that doesn't mean that people won't want to fly anymore (It's an attitude issue and actually has nothing to do with the topic, so let's skip the bashing)
Point two; who says that the energy required to fly supersonically will not change? Sure it's probably always (and I use that word carefully) going to be higher than travelling sub-sonic, but it would be foolish to bluntly state that the energy required to go M1+ will always be as high as what Concorde used to consume.
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canoecarrier
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RE: When Will We See A Plane Like Concorde Again?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:39 pm

Quoting bennett123 (Reply 6):
2. Size/capacity. The Concorde 130 people, a Boeing B747-400 up to about 500. Even if the costs were the same then it is split 4 x on the B747-400. Assuming the Concorde flies twice the number of trips, the cost per passenger is still double.

Who knows what they'll look like, assuming they actually come to fruition. I've seen a few designs for a future supersonic airliner that look more like a flying wing. Or, at the very least have a wider fuselage than today's designs. That adds capacity.

Quoting bennett123 (Reply 6):
3. Noise. Concorde was latterly the noisiest aircraft around. Noise limits are lower now. This trend is likely to continue.

When I'd stay at JFK Ramada every car alarm in the parking lot would go off almost on cue sometime between 8 and 9 am when the Concorde left. That plane was really loud, at least in the civilian aviation realm.

Quoting bennett123 (Reply 6):
4. Concorde required "specialist" crew. This involves extra cost. A new Concorde will need to be flyable by line pilots.

It was specialist because of the limited number of airframes. You could probably say the same thing about the Global Express business jet. If you can get supersonic speed with the same or less amount of fuel with a new engine, a design will be produced that could be just as popular as a 777. Training costs go down, and no more specialist crew needed.
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trigged
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RE: When Will We See A Plane Like Concorde Again?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:43 pm

The cost will never come down to a level where most people could afford a ticket. Supersonic travel will be expensive regardless of next week or 30 years from now. If you build a supersonic airliner with the benefits of CAD, CFD, CNC machining, etc and use modern engines such as the F119/PW5000, it will still be a fuel hog. There is no path toward cheap fuel in the future and the airlines are looking to carry more passengers at standard subsonic speeds rather than a few passengers really fast.

Now, not to be a complete buzzkill, I will say that the general aviation market for a 10-15 pax supersonic biz-jet would probably be out there. You can build one and sell it for a price that some of the mega-rich could afford. Some of your Hollywood/music types would probably jump on the chance to have the first supersonic private jet. I would say the supersonic biz-jet will appear long before a commercial passenger version does again.
 
canoecarrier
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RE: When Will We See A Plane Like Concorde Again?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:51 pm

Quoting trigged (Reply 9):
The cost will never come down to a level where most people could afford a ticket.

Never? Ask that question to people in 1930 they'd probably have answered the same way you just did. I'm maybe just a little more of an optimist looking back at aviation history.

Quoting trigged (Reply 9):
Now, not to be a complete buzzkill, I will say that the general aviation market for a 10-15 pax supersonic biz-jet would probably be out there.

It already is. Although I'm not sure whether or not it will ever get built the Aerion Supersonic Business Jet is spec'd to Mach 1.6 with windtunnel tests to Mach 2.0.



Looks a little like a Starfighter...

[Edited 2011-10-14 13:54:16]
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bennett123
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RE: When Will We See A Plane Like Concorde Again?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:54 pm

My understanding is that the need for "specialist" crew related to complexity rather than fleet size.

IMO, a supersonic airliner will continue to be more complex.

Also will "standard" airframe materials be sufficient. Iirc, the SR71 required some relatively exotic materials. I thought Concorde did too.
 
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RE: When Will We See A Plane Like Concorde Again?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:57 pm

Quoting Semaex (Reply 7):
Point two; who says that the energy required to fly supersonically will not change? Sure it's probably always (and I use that word carefully) going to be higher than travelling sub-sonic, but it would be foolish to bluntly state that the energy required to go M1+ will always be as high as what Concorde used to consume.

The physics of supersonic flight is not going to change, but you do have a point in that aerodynamic advances may make it less. But the energy differential between subsonic flight and supersonic will not change, which is what I meant to say. As to your point about energy, I completely disagree; but it is based on my conviction that we were placed on this earth by God, and the first commandment He gave was to have dominion over the earth and subdue it. Obviously you do not share that view, so there is no point in arguing about it, and I do understand where you are coming from.

Quoting trigged (Reply 9):
You can build one and sell it for a price that some of the mega-rich could afford

But you have to develop it before you can sell it, and the cost to do that will be in the same order of magnitude as it would be for a supersonic airliner. The price you would have to sell it at would approach a billion dollars, and at that price you might sell a couple of dozen, certainly not enough to pay for the development.
The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
 
canoecarrier
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RE: When Will We See A Plane Like Concorde Again?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 9:00 pm

I'm playing a little devils advocate here. So bear with me. Just looking back at aircraft designs 50 years ago they were made almost completely from aluminum.

Quoting bennett123 (Reply 11):
Also will "standard" airframe materials be sufficient. Iirc, the SR71 required some relatively exotic materials. I thought Concorde did too.

So, now we've advanced to the 21st Century and Airbus/Boeing are using a whole lot of composite materials to put together the 787 and A350. Materials not imagined even 30 years ago.

Quoting bennett123 (Reply 11):
My understanding is that the need for "specialist" crew related to complexity rather than fleet size.

Military aircraft are just as complex if not more than the Concorde. Yet some types have 100's of frames operating in the USAF alone. Granted budgets for the military are much different than that of a commercial airline. But, with fleet size comes efficiencies.

The point I'm making is that can you 100% say there won't be a supersonic airliner in the future? I don't think so.
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RE: When Will We See A Plane Like Concorde Again?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 9:11 pm

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 13):
Materials not imagined even 30 years ago.

Yes, they were. They are basically fiberglass with stronger and lighter fibers, and improved resins. I do not know when carbon fibers started being used, but I suspect it was a lot more than 30 years ago. What has happened is that exotic (but known) materials have become more commonplace due to advances in technology to produce and utilize them, and their characteristics have become much better understood. Nobody is going to incorporate a structural material in a civilian airliner that is not thoroughly understood, and that takes time. Airbus was incorporating CFRP (granted, it was probably quite a bit different than what is being used now) in the A300-600; and that was 30 years ago. I am sure there are new developments with CFRP that are being developed now that will improve things in the future; but I have not heard of any radically new materials that will make a significant difference. There may be some, but I have not heard of them. And if they do appear, it will take decades before they become accepted as structural material for airliners.
The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
 
canoecarrier
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RE: When Will We See A Plane Like Concorde Again?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 9:23 pm

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 14):

Yes, they were. They are basically fiberglass with stronger and lighter fibers, and improved resins.

Fiberglass was first used in the 707 in the 1950s, where it comprised about two percent of the structure. For comparison:

787
- 50 percent composites
- 20 percent aluminum

777
- 12 percent composites
- 50 percent aluminum

http://www.boeing.com/commercial/787family/programfacts.html

So, we went from 2 percent to 50 percent from the 50's to the 2000's. I'm just saying new materials and technologies will be found to make this economically practical. When I don't know, but it will happen.
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RE: When Will We See A Plane Like Concorde Again?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 9:24 pm

Quoting bennett123 (Reply 6):
3. Noise. Concorde was latterly the noisiest aircraft around. Noise limits are lower now. This trend is likely to continue.



I guess you have not herd of a B-1b Lancer.



In 2001, Airbus planed to design a wide body SST, to compete with the Boeing Sonic Cruiser. Sadly 9-11 happened and that was that.
 
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RE: When Will We See A Plane Like Concorde Again?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 9:32 pm

http://uk.ask.com/wiki/Aerion

http://aerioncorp.com/media#news

Well this Nevada corporation has been generating press releases since 2005, but it is unclear when they will start to cut metal, let alone first flight or EIS

Clearly, I am aware of at least some of the advances still 1970. However, the issues that I raised are essntially in addition to those faced by as normal sub sonic aircraft.

I remain to be convinced that this is more than a paper project.
 
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RE: When Will We See A Plane Like Concorde Again?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 9:37 pm

Quoting bennett123 (Reply 6):
Concorde was latterly the noisiest aircraft around.
Quoting 747400sp (Reply 16):
I guess you have not herd of a B-1b Lancer.

I've heard both perform takeoff rolls from the same position (Air Show) and I think Concorde was louder.   
 
bennett123
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RE: When Will We See A Plane Like Concorde Again?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 9:40 pm

747400sp

Sorry, I should have been clearer.

I was referring to commercial aircraft.

Are military aircraft subject to noise limits?.
 
mffoda
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RE: When Will We See A Plane Like Concorde Again?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 9:45 pm

Quoting bennett123 (Reply 19):
Are military aircraft subject to noise limits?.

In a word... NO 
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canoecarrier
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RE: When Will We See A Plane Like Concorde Again?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 9:51 pm

Quoting bennett123 (Reply 17):

http://aerioncorp.com/media#news

Boy don't they have an awesome website  
Quoting bennett123 (Reply 17):
I remain to be convinced that this is more than a paper project.

No doubt they all are. But, the group above isn't the only one that's working on it. EADS has it's own paper plane that they want to enter into service around 2050. We all know that's way out there and could never happen, but they think it would go Mach 3.6 and burn 30% less fuel than Concorde.

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/TECH/inn...e.hyper.sonic/index.html?hpt=hp_c1

This quote sums it up for me, "The science exists, we know planes can fly at supersonic speeds: Fighter aircraft do it, Concorde did it -- the technology is there, but the problem is making it work commercially"

It's not the can we do it, it's the can it pencil out that's the catch. Also, a quick look at the range of these planes shows none of them have the legs that the 777 or A340 have. Granted not everyone needs to fly from Johannesburg to JFK, but having a supersonic aircraft capable of point to point service anywhere in the world (at least in the biz jet world) would be a huge selling point for Fortune 500 companies.
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bennett123
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RE: When Will We See A Plane Like Concorde Again?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:11 pm

Still 2050 is a long way off, even assuming that they acheive that.

hopefully it will happen in your lifetime.
 
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RE: When Will We See A Plane Like Concorde Again?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:28 pm

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 4):
Using traditional fuels sure, but what makes you think some other form of propulsion won't become available in, hypothetically 20 years that's just as efficient as today's turbine engines but capable of powering a plane at supersonic speeds?

If such a propulsion system comes to be, it doesn't do anything to reduce the amount of energy required. As was stated, you need the price of energy to drop a *lot* (regardless of where the energy comes from) in order for supersonic commercial travel to be viable.

Quoting Semaex (Reply 7):
Point two; who says that the energy required to fly supersonically will not change?

Physics. Drag scales with speed squared over all speed ranges of relevance. For any level of technology, it always takes more energy to go supersonic than sub, and it's not a linear dependance. Going from M0.9 to M2 is, at absolute minimum, going to require 5 times as much energy and that's pretending you don't have any shock losses (also physically impossible).

Quoting Semaex (Reply 7):
Sure it's probably always (and I use that word carefully) going to be higher than travelling sub-sonic

I would pretty firmly stamp that one as "always".

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 13):

So, now we've advanced to the 21st Century and Airbus/Boeing are using a whole lot of composite materials to put together the 787 and A350. Materials not imagined even 30 years ago.

Supersonic economics have nothing to do with materials. The overwhelming driver is how drag, and hence energy required, goes up with speed. The only way to make an economical supersonic transport is either have a huge drop in energy cost, or discover a technology that causes energy to get cheaper as you go faster.

Tom.
 
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RE: When Will We See A Plane Like Concorde Again?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:21 pm

Supersonic air travel will never happen again. There are two reasons for that:

1. It is environmentally unacceptable

2. There is no market for it, and there has never been one.

Apart from that, air travel is constantly getting slower and slower when we count the true travel time from check-in to baggage retrieval. On average we travelled a lot faster 25 years ago.

On the most popular routes today we travel at roughly the same true travel speed as 60 years ago when a dominating plane type was DC-6. We spent more time sitting in the plane back then, but much less time standing in queues in the airports. Various sorts of congestion is another issue. In 20 years time it will probably only be even slower.

If speed really means a thing (and I very much doubt that) then we would pick the low hanging fruits first.

I often fly with airlines which brag about being among the most punctual airlines in the statistics. And they may be right seen from their window.

But when was it last time that we actually took off when we were ready to go? Often the captain comes on the horn to tell us when he intends to light the engines as there seems to happen to be a simultaneous take off slot and air space slot on our route. The airline is punctual, but the plane is late.
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trent1000
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RE: When Will We See A Plane Like Concorde Again?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:37 pm

What does "latterly" mean?

Quoting bennett123 (Reply 6):
latterly the noisiest aircraft around

What is a "line pilot"?

Quoting bennett123 (Reply 6):
need to be flyable by line pilots.

I heard the Concorde take off on more than one occasion, but have to say the Tupelovs can roar like rockets, too!
 
bennett123
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RE: When Will We See A Plane Like Concorde Again?

Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:44 pm

By "latterly", my understanding is that the difference in volume was more evident in 2003 than in 1969.

By "line pilot", I mean that I understand that AF/BA only selected experienced crews for Concorde. Less experienced/skilled pilots I refer to as "line pilot".

In the same way, the RAF has many pilots, but only a few would be accepted by the Red Arrows.
 
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RE: When Will We See A Plane Like Concorde Again?

Sat Oct 15, 2011 12:02 am

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 24):
Supersonic air travel will never happen again. There are two reasons for that:

1. It is environmentally unacceptable

2. There is no market for it, and there has never been one.

Okay, seriously this is getting rediculous at some point. Never is a friggin long time, did I mention that before?

Here's my shot at the opposite: Supersonic air travel is at some point in time going to happen. There are two reasons for that:

1. Humankind will find a source of energy which is overall environmentally acceptable

2. With ever-growing world population, sooner or later there will be a sufficient number of people which form a market that is dependent on travel far faster than common aeroplanes can fly.

Wow did I convince you now?
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jacobin777
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RE: When Will We See A Plane Like Concorde Again?

Sat Oct 15, 2011 12:15 am

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 24):
will never happen again

"Never" is a mighty long time..  

[Edited 2011-10-14 17:15:37]
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nomadd22
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RE: When Will We See A Plane Like Concorde Again?

Sat Oct 15, 2011 12:17 am

I don't really know why, but I've always heard that something around mach 1.6 to 1.7 makes the energy needed to go faster go up dramatically, and one Concorde's main problems was being designed to go that last 20%. A lot of folks seem to think that a craft designed for 1.6 or so would be a lot easier and practical to build and operate. It would still take four times the fuel per hour, but don't forget, only for half as long. And, just doubling the portion of the ticket that covers fuel expense wouldn't really be that much of an increase. Also, if by some miracle the maintenance was comparable to today's airliners, it could fly a lot more revenue miles each day.
If the technology comes around to make it as reliable and useable as other planes I think a lot of people are being too pessimistic.
Anon
 
canoecarrier
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RE: When Will We See A Plane Like Concorde Again?

Sat Oct 15, 2011 12:39 am

Quoting Jacobin777 (Reply 28):
"Never" is a mighty long time..  

The OP asked whether we'll ever see it again. 100 years ago the main source of transportation was the horse and in some places the camel, elephant or llama. As Jacobin says, "never" is a very long time. I'm not saying we'll see it tomorrow, 10 years from now or even 100 years from now. But, we (as in humanity not me) will see it. Now I'm going to watch the next Star Trek episode I have on Netflix  
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CXfirst
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RE: When Will We See A Plane Like Concorde Again?

Sat Oct 15, 2011 1:10 am

There seems to be so many pessimistic views about supersonic air travel on this board!

When it comes to supersonic, I don't think it will happen with technology like todays, it cannot be based on fuel that we use now and engines that we have seen before.

Think hydrogen fuel cells, or something different. Not ready for production today due to weight and cost, but eventually, it like everything else will become more efficient. This is just one route to go down.

There are enough people on this planet with innovative minds that will be and are tackling this problem, as soon as a fuel solution is sorted, where the cost of fuel becomes relatively small (ie. almost limitless fuel source), planes will start to be built to go faster rather than efficiently.

-CXfirst
 
prebennorholm
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RE: When Will We See A Plane Like Concorde Again?

Sat Oct 15, 2011 1:22 am

Quoting Semaex (Reply 27):
With ever-growing world population, sooner or later there will be a sufficient number of people which form a market that is dependent on travel far faster than common aeroplanes can fly.

Wow did I convince you now?

No, you didn't convince me.

Fifty years ago there was a small market. Not nearly enough to make development of an SST viable, but still "some" market. Since then that market has shrunk to a tiny fraction due to optical fibres, com satellites, video conferencing, internet etc. People, who would benefit from an SST fifty years ago, haven't got the time to fly for doing their duties today, and it doesn't matter whether the speed is Mach 2, 3, 4 or 5.

If we are in a hurry, let's pick the low hanging fruits. Example:

Last month when leaving from my home airport CPH I queued up in the security line. There are 16 security gates, 12 of them were closed, but the screen on the wall showed estimated waiting time = 7 minutes. So far so good.

I chose what seemed like the shortest of the 4 queues. A while later a security official came up to us and said that maybe we should choose another line since they had a "difficult situation" with one passenger which might take "some time". At least those of us who understood his Danish language went to one of the other 3 queues.

Then after a while another officer came up to us in my new queue and shouted "closing, closing, please find another line". Maybe time for coffee break? At least he talked English and was therefore more widely understood.

Finally I passed, and stood then there with a pile of trays with handbag, computer, wallet, Phone, car key, belt, jacket (no shoes, wonder why CPH never is interested in shoes) with practically no means to get organized again because any space for that is occupied by ten million bottles of tax free booze. But after 35 minutes I was ready to find my gate. and enjoy an 80 minutes flight to ZRH.

No problem. We all know it is like that. Therefore we always plan for it, even if we sometimes are more lucky.

But had it been a Chinese zipper factory, which had organized their work flow in the same primitive way, then the fault would be corrected immediately.

There are airports out there which are better than CPH. Agreed! But certainly not nearly all of them.
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RE: When Will We See A Plane Like Concorde Again?

Sat Oct 15, 2011 1:38 am

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 24):
2. There is no market for it, and there has never been one.

This is actually a huge point.

While everyone on here seems to focus on the physical part, namely the aircraft, or the economic part, namely what fares would be ... but the big point is, is there really a market? And I don't just mean, do people want to go faster.

There was a very interesting book a few years ago entitled "The SST Myth" (or something like that), and the author had a few points I had never considered.

For example. Other than North America to Europe, there really isn't a market that works aircraft scheduling well. For North America across the Pacific, (a route system everyone seems to think would be the panacea), but in fact, departure times, and arrival times, because of the aircraft speed, would never be convenient. You would either be leaving or arriving in the middle of the night.

And ... because of these odd arrival and departure times, connections would be almost impossible. You would be waiting around at the connection point for 6 hours or so, at either end, for the next connection bank, thus losing your speed advantage.

So this author felt that other than few exceptions, an SST would only work on point to point traffic. And there are very few city pairs that could support such a premium market. And that would preclude R&D costs, as very few airframes would be sold.

I forget the exact number, but I think his final conclusion was that one would have to reach M8.0+ to make scheduling work again.
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dfambro
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RE: When Will We See A Plane Like Concorde Again?

Sat Oct 15, 2011 1:53 am

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 32):
People, who would benefit from an SST fifty years ago, haven't got the time to fly for doing their duties today

Video conferencing is great, but it doesn't completely replace face-to-face. My company does a lot of work with Japanese partners and I could not do my job properly if I didn't show up there in person on a regular basis, so I'm making a BOS-NRT journey every couple of months (can't wait for JAL direct service on 787!). Video-conferencing? It's great, we're doing it with Japan at least once a week, it's big improvement over conference calls. But until there's a way to do dinner and sake over videoconference, it isn't the whole solution.

I think there quite a few folks like me who'd love a supersonic transpac and would pay a substantial premium for it. I think you could fill a Concorde-sized plane ORD or JFK-NRT a few times a week, maybe daily, at profitable fares. As for me, I kinda like 12+ hrs in J or F, but I'm a little weird that way.

That said, I don't see it happening in the forseeable future. Very high develoment cost plus a small total market framecount creates per-frame cost which is just too high for an airframer to ever get comfortable with. Obviously the Concorde was a commercial disaster from the airframers point of view, even if it was very good for BA, AF & passengers. So, we actually agree in the end.

Some unforseen technical revolution could change everything, but I don't expect to see anything in my lifetime.
 
canoecarrier
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RE: When Will We See A Plane Like Concorde Again?

Sat Oct 15, 2011 1:55 am

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 32):
No problem. We all know it is like that. Therefore we always plan for it, even if we sometimes are more lucky.

You must not fly F or on a shuttle much. If I wanted to fly SEA to PDX I could show up 45 min or less before the flight left and go through the express lane. Same with DL/AS/ F class anywhere out of SEA. When the Concorde flew the same express pass security rules applied.

Quoting longhauler (Reply 33):
This is actually a huge point.

Originally I thought the business jet market would be the first to pick this idea up, but even the longest haul business jets don't have the legs commercial jets have. What you gain on the biz jet end is flexibility, so it's still possible there's a market there for a SST.
The beatings will continue until morale improves
 
2175301
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RE: When Will We See A Plane Like Concorde Again?

Sat Oct 15, 2011 2:34 am

I actually think that once a SS business jet is built; that it will be used in routine fare service between select cities using smaller airports. It may only have 5-10 passengers per flight; but, I believe that is really the level of routine market willing to pay the cost of such service.

The key is getting the SS business jet built first.

A comment regarding future newer fuel sources. Hydrogen fuel cells will not power aircraft as the most dense way to package hydrogen is to pair it with some carbons and make liquid hydrocarbons (look up the volume it takes to store 1 lb or kg of hydrogen by various methods - gasoline/diesel fuel cannot be beat by any reasonable form of hydrogen storage).

Now this does not mean that other forms of dense energy utilization devices may not appear. Nuclear is most likely the best option looking long term (nuclear in this sense includes fusion). Please don't tell me how much problems current generation nuclear technology is (I work in the field - current reactors are not suitable). The question is what about far future advanced reactor designs and theoretical fusion reactor designs that are nowhere near any level of commercialization at this stage. There might be very real possibilities in 50-100 years.

If you want some interesting reading - look up "energy density" on Wiki

Have a great day,
 
dfambro
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RE: When Will We See A Plane Like Concorde Again?

Sat Oct 15, 2011 2:48 am

Quoting longhauler (Reply 33):
For North America across the Pacific, (a route system everyone seems to think would be the panacea), but in fact, departure times, and arrival times, because of the aircraft speed, would never be convenient.

Umm, I don't see that. At least headed west, you could depart JFK or ORD at ~9pm, and a 6 hr flight gets you into NRT at 4-5pm. I can connect from BOS (and probably about anywhere else in the eastern half of the US) for a 9pm departure without a long layover. I don't know about NRT connections, but that's about my normal arrival time in NRT anyway (but I have to depart ~7-8 hours earlier!). That's a great schedule - leave later in day, arrive for dinner and a night in the hotel, and off to business the next morning. If you need to be in Tokyo for Monday morning, that's the difference between leaving Saturday night instead of Saturday morning, which is a very big difference.

Haven't thought through the return.
 
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RE: When Will We See A Plane Like Concorde Again?

Sat Oct 15, 2011 5:13 am

Another major issue not often considered is that many airlines generate a very disproportionate share of their revenue in the J and F cabins. If you introduce even a limited SST fleet, you may end up cannibalizing a lot of your own premium traffic and shifting these pax from low-cost subsonics to high-cost supersonics. This is exactly why Boeing designed the 747 - it was supposed to be the low-cost tourist and cargo hauler when all the premium traffic decamped for Concordes or B2707s. Even in the highly regulated air travel environment of the 1960s, Boeing needed to deliver a sharp reduction in operating costs to keep economy passengers profitable.

Concorde worked because the tiny fleet size meant BA and AF could keep fares high enough to make the operations reasonably profitable, although reportedly AF had more difficulty than BA on economics. Certainly the "halo" effect on branding, e.g. satisfying loyal clients with Concorde upgrades, also had a lot of intangible value, but I doubt this could be sustained with several hundred aircraft in service all over the world.

Consider that the greatest selling point of an SST to the airlines is higher utilization. In other words, one 250-seat Mach 2+ SST is "worth" one 500-seat jumbo in seat-miles per day, since it can make twice as many trips in a given period. It's not encouraging that only one city pair, LON-NYC, was able to sustain even 200 daily supersonic seats each way with a near-total lack of competition (again, if one believes that AF's Concorde operation was less commercially successful). BA had the aircraft to go to 3x daily or higher, and did so on a few one-off occasions; obviously they did not find it profitable to do so routinely.

--B2707SST
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zippyjet
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RE: When Will We See A Plane Like Concorde Again?

Sat Oct 15, 2011 9:46 am

Quoting Semaex (Reply 1):
Btw, I like the way you phrased your question. Not if, but when.

  

I too am an optimist. But as others stated: supersonic travel will be trickle up technology wise. Supposedly it's easier, cheaper and environmentally friendlier for smaller sized super/hypersonic passenger planes. The uber rich and clebrties will be the first to board the supersonic biz jet bandwagon. Imagine the cast of Jersey Shore tooling around at Mach 1.5! More time to preen less time to schtupp each other.

Trickle down: Just as commercial aviation did from the 1960's onward more and more folks from different economic strattas took to the friendly skies. Such will be the case when super/hypersonic commercial travel returns. Hopefully I'll still be around and not pushing up the daisies as a Boeing 2707/808 and or Airbus A3000 or A 400 streaks through the sky.

And whereas the Concorde was chichi luxo travel the next generation of supersonic/hypersonic planes will eventually be mega people haulers and fly even faster negating a lot of the over the top luxury. Eventually one will be able to travel from say JFK to Pango Pango in less than 2 hours making that 7 course meal from soup to nuts impractical. I feel down the line it will be an airline such as WNthat will roll out that Boeing 2707, 808 or 7707 that holds 600 pax in one class and can zip from BWI to HNL in a quick 2 hours!
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EGTESkyGod
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RE: When Will We See A Plane Like Concorde Again?

Sat Oct 15, 2011 11:13 am

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 24):
2. There is no market for it, and there has never been one.
Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 32):
Fifty years ago there was a small market

Kinda contradicting yourself there aren't ya...

Between 1976 and 2003 there WAS a market for supersonic travel, primarily between London and New York, two of the biggest financial capitals in the world. Also between Paris and New York. Concorde was designed as a business tool, she was designed to get 100 people over 3,000 miles of ocean in a short space of time. The very fact she was in service for 27 years shows that not only was there a market, but there was demand. There was still huge demand (certainly for the BA fleet) when she was retired, the spiralling costs of maintenance were what ultimately forced BA's hand. AF since the accident were not making any money with Concorde, whereas BA was.

There was also a market that BA exploited very well outside of the main London to New York business route, and that was the charter market. BA regularly sent Concorde out to various airports around the world as a charter tool, so people could experience supersonic travel. Manchester, Liverpool, Exeter, Bournemouth, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Leeds are just a few examples in the UK. Also a scheduled route was London to Barbados for the holiday makers.

So to say that a) "there is no market for supersonic travel" and b) "there never was" is completely wrong.

There are several businessmen and women around the world (especially in London and New York) that have expressed a desire to have Concorde back or to have an alternative method of waking up in London, doing a days business in New York and returning home to London that evening. Should an alternative become available, I am certain that there would be a way to make a success of it.

As for Concorde returning to the skies...? Forget it.
I came, I saw, I Concorde! RIP Michael Jackson
 
tdscanuck
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RE: When Will We See A Plane Like Concorde Again?

Sat Oct 15, 2011 6:55 pm

Quoting nomadd22 (Reply 29):
It would still take four times the fuel per hour, but don't forget, only for half as long.

On a per-hour basis, it will burn eight times as much fuel.

The energy required to go from A to B is the force required (thrust) times the distance...speed doesn't enter directly into it.

Thanks to the physics of drag, the thrust requires goes up by a factor of about 4-5 for Concorde speeds over a subsonic equivalent. The distance does change, hence energy required (fuel) goes up by about 4-5.

Speed comes in when you switch from energy required to power required...since you're going twice as fast and expending 4-5 times the energy, the power required is 8-10 times higher.

Tom.
 
comorin
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RE: When Will We See A Plane Like Concorde Again?

Sat Oct 15, 2011 8:27 pm

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 41):
Thanks to the physics of drag, the thrust requires goes up by a factor of about 4-5 for Concorde speeds over a subsonic equivalent.

Does this include the effect of of flying at higher cruise altitude? - thanks.
 
nomadd22
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RE: When Will We See A Plane Like Concorde Again?

Sat Oct 15, 2011 8:28 pm

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 41):
Quoting nomadd22 (Reply 29):
It would still take four times the fuel per hour, but don't forget, only for half as long.

On a per-hour basis, it will burn eight times as much fuel.

The energy required to go from A to B is the force required (thrust) times the distance...speed doesn't enter directly into it.

Thanks to the physics of drag, the thrust requires goes up by a factor of about 4-5 for Concorde speeds over a subsonic equivalent. The distance does change, hence energy required (fuel) goes up by about 4-5.

Speed comes in when you switch from energy required to power required...since you're going twice as fast and expending 4-5 times the energy, the power required is 8-10 times higher.

Tom.

I'm more than a tad confused there. It takes 8 times the fuel for 4 times the thrust? Granted, all my numbers are from rockets in vacuum, and accelerating projectiles, and I get confused about reality and physics from Bugs Bunny cartoons on occasion. Maybe I'm just clueless on the nature of jet engines and what it takes to accelerate incoming air for thrust.
Anon
 
tdscanuck
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RE: When Will We See A Plane Like Concorde Again?

Sat Oct 15, 2011 9:24 pm

Quoting comorin (Reply 42):
Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 41):
Thanks to the physics of drag, the thrust requires goes up by a factor of about 4-5 for Concorde speeds over a subsonic equivalent.

Does this include the effect of of flying at higher cruise altitude? - thanks.

Not really, but it's also not much of an effect up that high. Altitude comes in through the density term in the dynamic pressure...lower density means lower drag for a given speed and drag coefficient. At very high altitudes the density doesn't change very fast so the change isn't huge. Drag is also linear in density, so the altitude change is not big enough to overcome the increase in drag due to increased speed.

Quoting nomadd22 (Reply 43):
I'm more than a tad confused there. It takes 8 times the fuel for 4 times the thrust?

I don't blame you for being confused...this:

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 41):

On a per-hour basis, it will burn eight times as much fuel.

Was a complete brain fart. I let velocity get in there one too many times.

For a particular motor, to first order, thrust is proportional to fuel burn. Here's what's going on:
-For a given technology level, the drag coefficient you can achieve is essentially fixed.
-For a given aircraft mission, the frontal area is essentially fixed.
-Drag is drag coefficient x area x 1/2 x air density x true airspeed^2

So, if you double your speed (and don't change anything else), your drag goes up by 4 (2^2).
In level accelerated flight (i.e. cruise), thrust equals drag so your engines have to put out 4 times the thrust, so they burn 4 times as much fuel.

However, you're going twice as fast so they only run that 4x fuel burn for half as long. Fuel burn per unit time is 4x, fuel burn per flight is 2x. But keep in mind how hard the OEM's work to get a 2% reduction in burn and here we're talking a 100% increase...that's why the economics don't work with current energy prices.

Tom.
 
VC10er
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RE: When Will We See A Plane Like Concorde Again?

Sat Oct 15, 2011 9:55 pm

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 24):

You really believe that mankind, should we survive a few hundred years or more hopefully, will never have a mode of airtravel that is faster than the speed of sound? Never?

I can only guess..but when my grandmother was born in 1898 there were no cars or airplanes. Jessy Kelt also watched the Empire State Building built along with flying back to Scotland to see family on a 707 a few decades later. For those who believe it..my granny saw man land on the moon and a tiny calculator. She also was around to see Concorde and my first car: a Camaro  
So using the past 113 years as a precedence, "logic would dictate" (Mr Spock) that it is just time standing in the way. Unless mankind looses it's passion for progress, I think we will see commercially available SS air travel. And "if" Boeing builds it, it would be just in time to be a Boeing 878!

No?
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SEPilot
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RE: When Will We See A Plane Like Concorde Again?

Sat Oct 15, 2011 10:14 pm

Quoting VC10er (Reply 45):

I can only guess..but when my grandmother was born in 1898 there were no cars or airplanes. Jessy Kelt also watched the Empire State Building built along with flying back to Scotland to see family on a 707 a few decades later. For those who believe it..my granny saw man land on the moon and a tiny calculator. She also was around to see Concorde and my first car: a Camaro

You are quite correct in terms of the amazing advances we have seen in the last century +. Still, we have in many areas reached a plateau. Autos, for example, in the last 60 years have gotten better in terms of safety, efficiency, reliability, comfort, and durability, but they haven't gotten any faster. There are problems other than just technology in going much faster than 65MPH/120KMH on the ground, and we are probably never going to see ground travel faster than that (except by rail, and that has so far not proved economically viable.) As mentioned previously, the problem with going faster than sound is really one of economics, not technology. The energy requirement differential is a matter of physics, not technology, and the cost of developing an aircraft to go faster than sound and then operating it is the main barrier. It is a matter of diverting the necessary resources (engineering time, raw materials, manufacturing resources, and then energy to operate it) from other competing projects to a SST that must be made, and there must be a segment of society willing to divert those resources to this project in order for it to come about. In the foreseeable future I do not see that happening; there are too many other needs that are competing for those resources that offer far more benefit for the people putting up the resources. If we come to the place where there is far more excess resources available it may come, but I do not see it anytime soon (as in the lifetimes of anyone living today.)
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Semaex
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RE: When Will We See A Plane Like Concorde Again?

Sun Oct 16, 2011 8:32 am

Quoting VC10er (Reply 45):
I can only guess..but when my grandmother was born in 1898 there were no cars or airplanes. Jessy Kelt also watched the Empire State Building built along with flying back to Scotland to see family on a 707 a few decades later. For those who believe it..my granny saw man land on the moon and a tiny calculator. She also was around to see Concorde and my first car: a Camaro

        

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 46):
You are quite correct in terms of the amazing advances we have seen in the last century +. Still, we have in many areas reached a plateau. Autos, for example, in the last 60 years have gotten better in terms of safety, efficiency, reliability, comfort, and durability, but they haven't gotten any faster.

I'm not quite sure if you've ever heard of the Bugatti Veyron. It's something like a Corvette, just roughly 150km/h faster. Rumour has it you can also go shopping with it - tell me something about cars not going faster without drawbacks!


The first powered, manned, fixed-wing flight was in 1903. The first manned moon landing was in 1969. That's 63 years. Only.
Now let's just presume that mankind is still going to be around in the year 3000 C.E. (you see, I think positive). Take a minute to visualize this future.
Now do you really think that we already hit the "plateau" of our skills, knowledge, engeneering, ideas and technology in terms of aviation?
The most sensitive word I can use to discribe this attitude, which by no means I accredite to you in person, but to a whole systems of belief, is "arrogant".


/edit/
Now this bit has got me really shivering after the second read:

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 46):
There are problems other than just technology in going much faster than 65MPH/120KMH on the ground, and we are probably never going to see ground travel faster than that (except by rail, and that has so far not proved economically viable.)

You may not be living in a country where railroad service is neither popular nor economically viable. But I assume you've never taken a train anywhere in Europe, India or Japan, because these folks would disagree in a split second with what you just said.
There are multiple reasons why railroad lines are economically preferable to other transport on ground. Just think of the amount of cargo you can place on a train vs. trucks on a road. Clogged roads are a HUGE economical factor.
As for going faster than 120km/h by car, I have the privillege of living in Germany, being able to freely use the Autobahn. I don't think there is a way "other than just technology" how going 120+ causes more problems than going 'just' 100. I'm sure you'll have arguments, but I've read them all before and most of them can be debunked with statistics [65% of fatal accidents occur on overland streets, 5% on highways.....] and common sense, once you get to go 200 for the first time.



For a person having to deal with highly advanced technology on a daily basis, you do not seem to have a real trust in it. I just find it very hard to understand why that is so.

[Edited 2011-10-16 01:53:02]
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zippyjet
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RE: When Will We See A Plane Like Concorde Again?

Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:02 am

Quoting EGTESkyGod (Reply 40):
As for Concorde returning to the skies...? Forget it.

When AF and BA terminated Concorde service, Sir Richard Branson wanted to mount the Scarlet Lady and continue Concorde service/flights. If there was anyone who could do it, Branson was the one. However BA put the kabosh on that idea in a supersonic minute. Maybe if an airline such as Emirates would have gotten hold of AF Concordes then maybe the Scarlet Lady would be breaking the sound barrier with Virgin Atlantic Concorde flights. Just my 2 cents.


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frmrCapCadet
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RE: When Will We See A Plane Like Concorde Again?

Sun Oct 16, 2011 4:43 pm

Wikipedia in its main article shows the Concorde getting 14 passenger miles per US gallon, and the roughly comparable technology 747 getting 91 passenger miles. This is roughly a factor of 6, although the article does have asterisks because citations were not provided for the statistics. I suspect those ratios may persevere.

Another serious issue was flying at 60,000 feet, loss of pressurization required different safety features, current oxygen masks were/are not sufficient. A special procedure of rapidly descending was instituted.
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