Future Three-engined Jetliners

Fri Apr 23, 1999 6:18 am

I will miss seeing three-engined jetliners in the future. They were such a good site to see. Oh well, life goes on.

I know Boeing will never do this in a million years, but could Boeing do a total remake of the 727? Here's what I think:

"Wide-body alternative to the 757-200"
1)Three-engined using latest engine technology. Trust me, they're gonna need it.
2)Wide-body 727. 2x4x2 seating in coach to compete with Airbus's seating.
3)Length of the 727-100, not 727-200.
4)Retain the T-tail look with the 2nd engine exhaust pipe.
5) With three engines, a length of 3000-5000 miles.
6)Maintenance costs would be low, even with three engines.

This aircraft would be great to put on domestic routes since passengers do not like to fly narrow-body aircraft, especially the 757.

RE: Future Three-engined Jetliners

Fri Apr 23, 1999 8:23 am

For me, I would just get Boeing to make a totally new Tri-jet. tri-jets in my opinion are the best planes out there, they are safer and larger then most twin engine planes and they offer the same econimical service as a four-engined plane while being more econimical with fuel. I will miss the MD-11 a lot here, watching it take it's first flight when I was 5, watching it be built at the plant my dad worked at building it, and now having to watch it's inevitable demise. A sad end to a great plane. Damn TQMS. (Total Quality Management System) TQMS was a program set up by the managers at Douglas in the early 90's to hopefully help speed up production on the behind MD-80 and new MD-11. It was a failure and it is rumoured that it helped cause the failure of the MD-11. I might be able to scan up a picture of me, my dad and my friend all standing inside an under consturction MD-11 wing. Long live the MD-11 memory, I hope I can make the most of the last few years of production. And after so many years the McDonnell Douglas sign was taken down at the Toronto plant, it was there since the Douglas/McDonnell merger and was a symbol of the company, I was very disappointed that Boeing didn't keep it up to at least keep a reminder of the McDonnell Douglas legacy.
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RE: Future Three-engined Jetliners

Fri Apr 23, 1999 8:25 am

Here's an interesting thought. It won't happen but A fifty seat communter version of the Falcon 900.

Regional Jets

Fri Apr 23, 1999 9:05 am

You know, at the growing pace of regional jets replacing unprofitable routes at mainline airlines, I would not be surprised if ComAir operated a nonstop from Cincinnati to Los Angeles on a fifty-seating version of the Falcon 900, if that ever happens in the first place.
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RE: Future Three-engined Jetliners

Fri Apr 23, 1999 9:31 am

I can't see that Falcon 50 idea happening. Three engines are not needed to haul 50 people from town to town when two engines can do nicely. Regardless of how small the engine is, it still needs to be maintained by a mechanic who gets the same rate whether he is fixing a small engine or a larger one. Economies of scale would dictate that it is more profitable to have him working on a larger engine which hauls more revenue. What I do think would be viable, as the next jumbo, if we ever see it, is a plane with ten-abreast seating, longer than the 777-300 with one engine on each wing and the Number 2 engine in the tail (a la L-1011.) MGTOW of around 1.2 million pounds. Bigger than a 747, single deck, but not much greater wingspan if you decrease the aspect ratio somewhat, and doing it all with 3 engines such as the P4060 or perhaps a tweaked derivative producing somewhere around 90,000 lbs thrust. Modern turbofan technology is so advanced that 4-engined airplanes may no longer be necessary. But ETOPS and other concerns do make twin-engined jumbos problematic. All we need to do is re-invent the L-1011 and double the dimensions. But Boeing and Airbus are too proud to imitate Lockheed's design. Thus I fear that we will be plagued with bland, nondescript twin-engined wide-bodies for the next 25 years.
An optimist robs himself of the joy of being pleasantly surprised
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Boeing 797

Fri Apr 23, 1999 10:07 am

Maybe Boeing will make a new tri-jet long haul widebody in two or three decades from now. That would be the 797. The 797 would have an even longer fuselage than the 777-300 and would have three engines each procucing nearly 100000 lbs or thrust, that is the PW4096 (yes 4096: maybe Pratt & Whitney wiil design that engine for the 797, it would produce 96000 lbs of thrust), GE90 or RR Trent 900 (yes I know the RR Trent 900 doesn't exist but maybe it will...who knows?). There would be one engine under each wing and the n. 2 engine would be fittdt on the tail so it would look like an DC-10 or an L-1011 if you prefer. The n.2 engine would be "married' to the rear fuselage section like on the L-1011and unlike on the DC-10 and MD-11, so I would rather say it would look like a big L-1011. It's like one could say, the 777 looks like a big 767. The MTOW would exceed 1 milliion pounds and there would be four landing gears, two six-wheel gears (one under each wing), one four-wheel gear under the fuselage just between the two six-wheel gears, and one two-wheel gear near the nose like on every airliner type. The seating layout in the economy cabin would be 3-4-3 like on a 747, or 2-3-3-2 (yes why not three aisles?), that'll depend on what the airlines will decide to do.

Ben Soriano

RE: Hmmm

Fri Apr 23, 1999 4:39 pm

You say that Boeing and Airbus might be too proud to imitate Lockheed's design if they make a three engined plane. But can't Boeing imitate the MD-11 instead of the L1011, that shouldn't cause problems with pride should it?
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Twinjets, Trijets, And Quads

Fri Apr 23, 1999 7:23 pm

the idea that a twin is more eccomical than a quad or trijet isn't as clear as it may seem. Even though the tri and quad jets have more labour engine wise, experience has found that there comes a point where it is more eccomical to operate a quad than a twin. I know that when rodd eddington was Chief of Cathay, he said that cathay found that the crossover point was about 5 and a half hours. Keep in mind that Cathay's A330s, and its A340s are not configured for the same number of seats - the A330 has more. From what i can find, Airbus industrie clams in one of its product line reports that the crossover point between A330-300/A340-300 operations was just under 7 hours. There is obviously things to take into consideration about the intervidual operation - but i think it is safe to conclude this. The Quads jets potential is alive and well - i wouldn't totally rule out the trijet for the same reason.

Think about the current A330/A340 program. The idea behind it is exactly the same as the trijet widebodies of the early 70s. To try and offer the best combination between short haul and long haul operations. With Airbus Industrie, the idea is that you buy two different types of airplanes, provided you have a need for both types of operations. If you don't, you a suppose to pick the one that suits your operation best (ie either a twinjet or a quadjet). Thus, you didn't have a compremise between long haul and short haul. For the next larger widebodies - since the cost will be so high, maybe such a luxury is just to expenive, both in the design phase and for airlines to buy. So, the trijet may be the answer. If you have a trijet though, you can't produce versions of it with twinjets or quadjets and keep the same tail and wing. Who knows, but, i wouldn't rule out the possibity of a new trijet.
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RE: MD-11

Fri Apr 23, 1999 8:20 pm

I didn't want to bring up the DC-10/MD-11. It gave me the creeps 25 years ago and I still don't like it today. I much prefer the S-ducted Number 2 design that lockheed used. The DC-10 suceeded commercially despite its inherent flaws. The L-1011, on the otherhand, failed commercially despite its inherent virtues. If we bring back that trijet idea, which is all I'm suggesting, then lets bring back the L-1011 design. However, my point about pride would apply to the MD-11 too.
An optimist robs himself of the joy of being pleasantly surprised
David L
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RE: Hmmmm

Fri Apr 23, 1999 8:43 pm

"It gave me the creeps 25 years ago and I still don't like it today. I much prefer the S-ducted Number 2 design that lockheed used."


RE: MD-11

Fri Apr 23, 1999 8:55 pm

How is it possible that the MD-11 gave you the creeps 25 years ago, when no one had even heard about the idea of the MD-11. You shouldn't speak of the DC-10 and MD-11 as a single entity...

Anyway, it doesn't seem as if Boeing has any pride standing in the way of imitating the MD-11 since they will use features of the MD-11's wing on future 747s if they are made.

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RE: MD-11

Fri Apr 23, 1999 11:40 pm

MD-11 succeed the line numbers of the DC-10.
And at least the MD-12 was already on the paper, stretched fuselage. But why look so far into the future? We still have plenty of lovely B727 though L1011 getting less rapidly. But MD-11s are still being delivered...

Anyway, the trijet has a certain elegance which a four engine can never reach, it just looks more mighty.
Well, it's also the other way round!

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RE: Future Three-engined Jetliners

Sat Apr 24, 1999 3:20 am

Here we go again. Only airline enthusiasts will dream up different type of new planes. The airlines and the aircraft manufacturers are too engrossed in economics, finance and market research to care about the beautifulness of the next product they develop. Money talks. That's the bottom line.

My prediction is, if we will never see a tri-jet that resembles the looks of a 727 or MD-11. In fact, the next tri-jet will be a flying wing. When we perfected the flying wing technology, we can build a large flying wing with 1000 passenger capacity and be powered by 3 engines more powerful than GE90 or RR Trent. We might even talk about 5-jet flying wings.

RE: MD-11

Sat Apr 24, 1999 4:58 am

The reason they might use MD-11 related wings on future planes is because my dad built them. heheh. for those who don't know me, he used to build MD-11 wings from 1990 to 1995 then from late 97 to late 98. Now he works as a aircraft maintenace and refueler person at Toronto airport. (YYZ)


Sat Apr 24, 1999 6:48 am

Is there something wrong against dreaming? I stated in my first post that Boeing will not make it. I know they won't. It has to do with, like you said, economics and money.

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