Posts: 343
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 1999 2:35 am

Boeing New Plane

Wed Apr 18, 2001 5:27 am

Here is an article about "plasma" engineering that Boeing is working on. http://www.beyond2000.com/news/Apr_01/story_1099.html

I wonder if this is how they will invision the sonic cruiser?

Posts: 3391
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2001 10:18 pm

RE: Boeing New Plane

Wed Apr 18, 2001 6:47 am

Wolfpacker - I'm sorry to say so, but you have chosen pretty much the least fitting Thread title possible: I was half-expecting someone to come out with the "news" that Boeing is thinking about a sonic cruiser....

However, the article is truly interesting and thanks for pointing it out!

I have a few thoughts, though:

1) Obviously, the idea of using plasma generated by the craft itself is only usable for hypersonic and space-vehicles. Hence I am not sure it would ever be used for combat, as is suggested, but as defence system for space-exploring craft.
2) Generating a plasma-field around an aircraft to reduce drag is a very interesting concept worth investigating. It would make more expensive structural designs like the BWB or the sonic cruiser quite redundant - why bother building a very expensive manufacturing line and structure if all you need is some modifications to the existing 747 to outperform the A380? So no: This does not sound like a solution likely to be used on the sonic cruiser, but on older designs to upgrade them
3) Using plasma for stealth sounds unlikely: I imagine you would have to fly slowly enough to stay within you bubble all the time - something not very popular among combat pilots, I'd imagine

On the whole, I believe plasma is far more likely to gain more importance in space travel, and not in earthly aviation, but the concepts do appear interesting and worth some research.