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Tugger
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What If We Couldn't Fly Anymore? What Then?

Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:25 pm

Well, we all know of the havoc being wrought across Europe right now (and internationally with flights destined for Europe), and this just from a simple eruption in Iceland. There is ongoing discussion of how long the eruption will go on and how it will effect things and what the options are to get transportation back up to speed to meet modern needs.

So what would happen if the eruption continued (or got worse) and significant amounts of ash continued to disrupt air travel in Europe. What if it happened elsewhere such that the problems impact a jet engine's ability to function. What would we do to replace or how would modify current transport modes to meet the new flight environment?

I am not wanting to get into environmental issues which I know could/would be an aspect of anything like this. Just the impacts for air travel as we use it now.

Tugg
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Fly2HMO
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RE: What If We Couldn't Fly Anymore? What Then?

Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:28 pm

You'd probably have to resort back to pistons, and even then who knows. Creating a hefty enough filter system for a piston plane would be a pain, but certainly easier to do than for say, a GE-90.
 
Rara
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RE: What If We Couldn't Fly Anymore? What Then?

Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:37 pm

What if air travel were to become altogether impossible? Hypothetically speaking...

We'd manage, I suppose. Obviously international travel would be greatly reduced, with passenger ships used for transatlantic and transpacific connections.

The whole of Europe doesn't actually need air travel, with few exceptions (Ireland would be a problem). On the continent, trains could take most of it, and they'd be reasonably fast. Obviously high-speed service would be greatly expanded.

The business world would switch to virtual solutions, I imagine, with video conferencing, collaboration over the internet etc.

It'd be interesting how Europe-Asia connection would work. Construction of a huge high-speed railroad perhaps?

Snail-mail would be a lot slower, and completely fade out intercontinentally, in favour of e-mail.

We couldn't buy fresh exotic fruit anymore during the winter months, but nutrition should be no problem.

The world would be very different, but not necessarily worse off. After all, a world without air travel is not far in the past; the oldest generation today can still remember it.

[Edited 2010-04-16 13:38:38]
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fca767
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RE: What If We Couldn't Fly Anymore? What Then?

Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:42 pm

Plus we could take the Bus to Australia from the UK http://www.oz-bus.com/
 
PHLBOS
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RE: What If We Couldn't Fly Anymore? What Then?

Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:42 pm

Quoting Rara (Reply 2):
After all, a world without air travel is not far in the past; the oldest generation today can still remember it.

In the States, one can go more recent than that; immediately following of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, there was NO commercial air travel either within or to/from the U.S. for 3 days.
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UAL747
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RE: What If We Couldn't Fly Anymore? What Then?

Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:51 pm

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 4):

In the States, one can go more recent than that; immediately following of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, there was NO commercial air travel either within or to/from the U.S. for 3 days

I have a feeling that the situation may become much worse in the EU than what happened on September 11. On Sept 11, we knew that the skies were safe, at least mechanically, for airliners and aircraft to get back to the skies. In this instance, no one really knows at this point in time. I wonder if the airlines will ask their respective governments for bail outs?

UAL
"Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy. Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy.....Okay, fine, we'll just turn 190 and Visual Our Way
 
IMissPiedmont
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RE: What If We Couldn't Fly Anymore? What Then?

Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:54 pm

On an individual basis it wouldn't matter in the slightest. A few people would get cranky being unable to flit about at will but they could survive. The problem would be the total collapse of the world economy since there is no structure in place to replace the aircraft fleet.
The day you stop learning is the day you should die.
 
Boeing1970
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RE: What If We Couldn't Fly Anymore? What Then?

Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:04 pm

Quoting Tugger (Thread starter):
Well, we all know of the havoc being wrought across Europe right now (and internationally with flights destined for Europe), and this just from a simple eruption in Iceland. There is ongoing discussion of how long the eruption will go on and how it will effect things and what the options are to get transportation back up to speed to meet modern needs.

So what would happen if the eruption continued (or got worse) and significant amounts of ash continued to disrupt air travel in Europe. What if it happened elsewhere such that the problems impact a jet engine's ability to function. What would we do to replace or how would modify current transport modes to meet the new flight environment?

I am not wanting to get into environmental issues which I know could/would be an aspect of anything like this. Just the impacts for air travel as we use it now.

Tugg

Easy...

WE DRIVE!

We have an incredible system of highways and cars (for now anyway given some nut jobs are hell bent on abandoning them to urge people out of their cars and into a single point failure mass transit system).

We'd certainly be in a better position then we were with horse and buggy and we survived then.

So we take a 14 day vacation instead of 8 or 9. Big deal. Maybe things would slow down a little and we'd stop and look around vs. going full speed ahead into a brick wall.

[Edited 2010-04-16 14:06:21]
 
B747forever
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RE: What If We Couldn't Fly Anymore? What Then?

Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:05 pm

Quoting fca767 (Reply 3):
Plus we could take the Bus to Australia from the UK http://www.oz-bus.com/

I would never, ever do something like that. It is pure craziness.
Work Hard, Fly Right
 
UAL747
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RE: What If We Couldn't Fly Anymore? What Then?

Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:06 pm

Quoting Boeing1970 (Reply 7):

So we take a 14 day vacation instead of 8 or 9. Big deal.

You and I both know this has much more impact on the world than simply people on vacation.
"Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy. Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy.....Okay, fine, we'll just turn 190 and Visual Our Way
 
Boeing1970
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RE: What If We Couldn't Fly Anymore? What Then?

Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:07 pm

Quoting UAL747 (Reply 9):
You and I both know this has much more impact on the world than simply people on vacation.

So how did we survive before rail and air?

Like I said. Big deal.

We'd adapt. Its what we do best.
 
B747forever
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RE: What If We Couldn't Fly Anymore? What Then?

Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:20 pm

Quoting Boeing1970 (Reply 10):
So how did we survive before rail and air?

Like I said. Big deal.

We'd adapt. Its what we do best.

Big deal? Of course it is. Do you know how much this would impact us.
Work Hard, Fly Right
 
Boeing1970
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RE: What If We Couldn't Fly Anymore? What Then?

Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:23 pm

Quoting B747forever (Reply 11):
Big deal? Of course it is. Do you know how much this would impact us.

Yes... As I said:

Quoting Boeing1970 (Reply 7):
Maybe things would slow down a little and we'd stop and look around vs. going full speed ahead into a brick wall.
 
desertjets
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RE: What If We Couldn't Fly Anymore? What Then?

Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:27 pm

Quoting B747forever (Reply 11):
Quoting Boeing1970 (Reply 10):
So how did we survive before rail and air?

Like I said. Big deal.

We'd adapt. Its what we do best.

Big deal? Of course it is. Do you know how much this would impact us.

Yeah life was really great in pre-industrial times. You'd be lucky to leave your village, live off of subsistence farming, have a small number of manufactured good, pretty much make anything you need.

Sure we'd adapt, but don't expect your life to be even remotely close to what it is now. For better or for worse we depend heavily on the rapid movement of people and goods.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
 
UAL747
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RE: What If We Couldn't Fly Anymore? What Then?

Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:28 pm

Quoting Boeing1970 (Reply 10):
So how did we survive before rail and air?

Like I said. Big deal.

We'd adapt. Its what we do best.

If air travel were completely disrupted around the world, it would be havoc for years. Economies would fail, and we'd be thrown back into the stone age. I think you are minimizing how much of an impact air travel has on the global economy, and how many people's lives, both financially and physically, depend on air travel. Don't forget that military jets and fighters are also susceptible to the same flying conditions as airliners. Anything that flies and has an engine, that engine needs clean air.
"Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy. Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy.....Okay, fine, we'll just turn 190 and Visual Our Way
 
Boeing1970
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RE: What If We Couldn't Fly Anymore? What Then?

Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:28 pm

Quoting DesertJets (Reply 13):
Yeah life was really great in pre-industrial times.

For many it was.
 
cws818
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RE: What If We Couldn't Fly Anymore? What Then?

Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:29 pm

Quoting Boeing1970 (Reply 15):

Quoting DesertJets (Reply 13):
Yeah life was really great in pre-industrial times.

For many it was.

Please, do elaborate....
volgende halte...Station Hollands Spoor
 
desertjets
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RE: What If We Couldn't Fly Anymore? What Then?

Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:31 pm

Quoting cws818 (Reply 16):
Quoting Boeing1970 (Reply 15):

Quoting DesertJets (Reply 13):
Yeah life was really great in pre-industrial times.

For many it was.

Please, do elaborate....

Yeah, maybe we shouldn't feed the troll on this one.... though I am intrigued.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
 
Boeing1970
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RE: What If We Couldn't Fly Anymore? What Then?

Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:33 pm

Quoting UAL747 (Reply 14):
Economies would fail

Yes, those who do not adapt would fail.

Quoting UAL747 (Reply 14):
we'd be thrown back into the stone age

No, we wouldn't.
 
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Jetsgo
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RE: What If We Couldn't Fly Anymore? What Then?

Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:36 pm

I honestly think we'd be in far more trouble if we permanently lost the internet as opposed to air travel.

Just my   

[Edited 2010-04-16 14:41:26]
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UAL747
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RE: What If We Couldn't Fly Anymore? What Then?

Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:37 pm

Quoting DesertJets (Reply 17):
Yeah, maybe we shouldn't feed the troll on this one.... though I am intrigued.

JRDC930 with a bit o' valium I'd say.
"Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy. Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy.....Okay, fine, we'll just turn 190 and Visual Our Way
 
Boeing1970
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RE: What If We Couldn't Fly Anymore? What Then?

Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:42 pm

Quoting JetsGo (Reply 19):
I honestly think we would be in far more trouble if we somehow permanently lost the internet as opposed to air travel

Yup.

Quoting UAL747 (Reply 20):
JRDC930 with a bit o' valium I'd say.

You act as though we'd suddenly lose all forms of transportation and communication. Loss of air travel would mean travel would take longer and overnight packages would take a few days. My God, we'd be back in the 1950's. Well, not really. We had no internet, there were 4-5 TV channels if you were lucky and the interstate highway system was nearly four decades from completion. Oh, and air travel cost a fortune in real dollars.

Dear God, how will we survive!!!! Oh the humanity!!!!

Maybe 7-11's will be open from 7-11 again???? Got forbid the clerk not have to work all night.

[Edited 2010-04-16 14:44:52]
 
kiwiandrew

RE: What If We Couldn't Fly Anymore? What Then?

Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:47 pm

Quoting Boeing1970 (Reply 7):
Easy...

WE DRIVE!

We have an incredible system of highways

Please remind me what the route number is for the highway from New York to London , it seems to be missing off my map , and strangely enough so is the highway from San Francisco to Tokyo , and the one from LA to Auckland seems to be missing too ?
 
Boeing1970
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RE: What If We Couldn't Fly Anymore? What Then?

Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:49 pm

Quoting kiwiandrew (Reply 22):
Please remind me what the route number is for the highway from New York to London

What was it in 1930 for the common man?

I'd imagine the ship building industry would see a bit of a renaissance.

[Edited 2010-04-16 14:54:35]
 
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Jetsgo
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RE: What If We Couldn't Fly Anymore? What Then?

Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:55 pm

Quoting kiwiandrew (Reply 22):
San Francisco to Tokyo

Easy! Just follow Google Maps!  http://i63.photobucket.com/albums/h159/xtremebillibong7/Untitled.jpg

In all honesty though, there just aren't enough people that NEED to move across the oceans to bring the world economies down if suddenly it took days as opposed to hours. Internet would suffice just fine. Good are usually shipped anyway.
Marine Corps Aviation, The Last To Let You Down!
 
Boeing1970
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RE: What If We Couldn't Fly Anymore? What Then?

Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:59 pm

Quoting JetsGo (Reply 24):
Easy! Just follow Google Maps!

Now that's funny.
 
desertjets
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RE: What If We Couldn't Fly Anymore? What Then?

Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:59 pm

Quoting JetsGo (Reply 24):
In all honesty though, there just aren't enough people that NEED to move across the oceans to bring the world economies down if suddenly it took days as opposed to hours. Internet would suffice just fine. Good are usually shipped anyway.

In many cases while we have the ability to shift the movement of people and goods to other modes of transportation we simply just don't have the capacity to do so. Not enough trains, ships and automobiles. It is simply naive, arrogant, ignorant, or whatever to act as if a longer-term disruption of air travel would not impact the global economy. Beyond the immediate impact to the airline industry, there are enough industries out there that depend on rapid shipment of goods across the globe. Sure those companies can alter their supply chains and modify their business plans but it'll have a negative economic impact. Even moreso where there isn't enough shipping capacity to take up the slack that aircraft provided.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
 
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Jetsgo
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RE: What If We Couldn't Fly Anymore? What Then?

Fri Apr 16, 2010 10:06 pm

Quoting DesertJets (Reply 26):
would not impact the global economy.

Now hold on a second. I absolutely believe it would have an impact on our economy. In fact, it would have a huge impact. But it would not bring world economies to their knees. Society would adapt.
Marine Corps Aviation, The Last To Let You Down!
 
desertjets
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RE: What If We Couldn't Fly Anymore? What Then?

Fri Apr 16, 2010 10:08 pm

Quoting JetsGo (Reply 27):
Now hold on a second

I'm not arguing with you on that. Though I think some folks in the discussion overstated things a touch -- but that was after the troll came in and fanned the flames.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
 
Boeing1970
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RE: What If We Couldn't Fly Anymore? What Then?

Fri Apr 16, 2010 10:08 pm

Quoting DesertJets (Reply 26):
It is simply naive, arrogant, ignorant, or whatever to act as if a longer-term disruption of air travel would not impact the global economy.

What was said is that we would adapt.

Some people seem to think the world would come to an end, yet they forget much of this mobility has only come in the last few decades and that technology is far more advanced than it was just 20 years ago putting us in a far better position to adapt.
 
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Tugger
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RE: What If We Couldn't Fly Anymore? What Then?

Fri Apr 16, 2010 10:10 pm

Quoting Boeing1970 (Reply 23):
What was it in 1930 for the common man?

In all honesty I think you are over-simplifying the impacts of no air travel. No, the world would not come to an end but yes, many things would be severely disrupted if simply because the world has evolved recently to be used to fast global travel. You can downplay all you want but I think it would be a greater impact than you are implying.

Society is far more spread out and intertwined nowadays then the 1930's with millions of foreign citizens in countries that are not in their own and many hundreds of thousands of others that daily "need" to make a trip for one reason or another (doctors, family needs, business, etc). And currently there is no mode of transport that could handle the sudden demand to get to far distant places. There would a be a real, and for some devastating, impact on many people and for the global environment (and I mean political, business, and human) there would a real and lasting impact. Not world crushing but very real and it would take time to get used too and develop alternatives.

I know my title is somewhat draconian but I was also hoping the discussion might also cover what can be done to allow air travel even in an environment that is hostile. Perhaps it would mean engine teardowns after every flight, perhaps screen or filters as noted here by others. How would commercial transport handle the issues (I am certain that military/government flights would likely still continue on so limited or as needed basis)?

This is just a "what if" scenario but as we see with the current eruption (and others) it does have situations where it is most definitely real.

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
 
dxing
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RE: What If We Couldn't Fly Anymore? What Then?

Fri Apr 16, 2010 10:27 pm

Didn't the Russians have some sort of aircraft that flew in ground effect right over the water? A big 4 jet engine job that flew in the Caspian or Black Sea? Unless the ash were right down on the surface you could use that if you could find some decent weather where the waves wouldn't be too big. Short of that we need a hpersonic space plane launched with a solid rocket booster to get above the ash and one that can glide back down through it.
Warm winds blowing, heating blue skies, a road that goes forever, I'm going to Texas!
 
levent
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RE: What If We Couldn't Fly Anymore? What Then?

Fri Apr 16, 2010 10:45 pm

It would undoubtedly have a huge effect on our society but nothing destructive. It just would slow down life. I guess you could say it would throw us back several decades as far as transportation goes.

It wouldn't be comparable to, say, a nuclear World War with its radiation fallout, nuclear winter and general direct and indirect mass destruction of life as we know it. But that would be for another thread...
 
kiwiinoz
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RE: What If We Couldn't Fly Anymore? What Then?

Fri Apr 16, 2010 11:00 pm

Despite the fact that I am an aviation enthusiast, I would welcome something like this for a time. Air travel has become so accessible and convenient that travel has lost it's sense of occasion and adventure. It is almost effortless. In the last few years I can remember suddenly taking long haul overseas holidays pretty much out of the blue, with only a few days planning. People used to take years to plan these things.
 
Viscount724
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RE: What If We Couldn't Fly Anymore? What Then?

Fri Apr 16, 2010 11:42 pm

Quoting UAL747 (Reply 14):
Don't forget that military jets and fighters are also susceptible to the same flying conditions as airliners.

Wouldn't that be a good thing? If military aircraft can't fly, it's harder to start a war.

Quoting UAL747 (Reply 14):
If air travel were completely disrupted around the world, it would be havoc for years. Economies would fail, and we'd be thrown back into the stone age. I think you are minimizing how much of an impact air travel has on the global economy, and how many people's lives, both financially and physically, depend on air travel.

You're being much too negative. What percentage of current air journeys are vitally necessary? Business can be done other ways with current technology, and does anybody really have to fly half way around the world on vacation? No matter where you live, there are many places worth visiting much closer to home that you can reach by surface transportation.

You'd probably even see some of the hundreds of cruise ships diverted to operating regular scheduled services, the way most people crossd the Atlantic until the late 1950s.

The biggest economic impact would be on the many less-developed countries where tourism is now one of the largest source of income.
 
tropical77W
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RE: What If We Couldn't Fly Anymore? What Then?

Sat Apr 17, 2010 9:32 am

Quoting JetsGo (Reply 19):
I honestly think we'd be in far more trouble if we permanently lost the internet as opposed to air travel.

Agreed
 
rcaq
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RE: What If We Couldn't Fly Anymore? What Then?

Sat Apr 17, 2010 11:58 am

It's a worse case scenario limited to today's air travel standards. As already mentioned above, we'd still be able to find alternative solutions.

You either stick to sea/ground transportation - or just get even higher... How about Space Travel?
 
Elite
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RE: What If We Couldn't Fly Anymore? What Then?

Sun Apr 18, 2010 2:57 am

Quoting rcaq (Reply 36):
You either stick to sea/ground transportation - or just get even higher... How about Space Travel?

I assumed that when/ if air travel was shut down, it would be because of a lack of natural resources to keep fueling it, and other means such as space travel or cars would also be affected..
 
signol
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RE: What If We Couldn't Fly Anymore? What Then?

Sun Apr 18, 2010 3:08 pm

Quoting Tugger (Thread starter):
What If We Couldn't Fly Anymore? What Then?

The Man in Seat 61 would make a killing...

signol
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