VC10er
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Sonic Cruiser Today

Sat Jan 30, 2016 11:44 am

Last night on TV there was a Boeing ad. It features all the super-advanced machines they make from pax aircraft to space and military...and it made me think about the Sonic Cruiser!

With oil prices at a crazy, unpredictable low, would the Sonic Cruiser had a chance today? I realize that it's size is basically covered now by the 787/777, (and Airbus 330, 350) but if the Sonic Cruiser could fly with great economics today, would something a bit faster be desirable?

I also thought of United's new SF to Singapore non-stop service at 16+ hours, a flight I am dying to take. I also thought about my past travels to Australia, China, JoBerg, and even though I was in F, they were loooong flights, and as much as I love to fly, the last hours I do become fidgety. So would shaving off a few hours be very appealing fliers, especially those stuck in the back (or business fliers upfront too). The last few hours of being in Y for more than 6 hours is HELL in Heaven.

Curious?

(and wouldn't have been great to see such an aircraft at Newark!!!)
To Most the Sky is The Limit, For me, the Sky is Home.
 
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BlueSky1976
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RE: Sonic Cruiser Today

Sat Jan 30, 2016 2:35 pm

Quoting VC10er (Thread starter):
With oil prices at a crazy, unpredictable low, would the Sonic Cruiser had a chance today? I realize that it's size is basically covered now by the 787/777, (and Airbus 330, 350) but if the Sonic Cruiser could fly with great economics today, would something a bit faster be desirable?

Not a chance. That ship has sailed.

Anyone willing to spend big bucks to get where he wants to faster than anybody else will charter a Gulfstream 650.
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Stitch
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RE: Sonic Cruiser Today

Sat Jan 30, 2016 2:35 pm

Quoting VC10er (Thread starter):
With oil prices at a crazy, unpredictable low, would the Sonic Cruiser had a chance today?

No.

Speed does not sell to the general public. Efficiency does (because it translates into lower fares).

Cheap fuel would make a Sonic Cruiser more economical, but nowhere near as economical as cheap fuel makes a 787 or A350 so fares would be higher on a Sonic Cruiser.
 
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hOMSaR
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RE: Sonic Cruiser Today

Sat Jan 30, 2016 2:49 pm

If Boeing had launched the Sonic Cruiser when it was proposed, it would have gone into service right in the midst of the global financial crisis, heading right into the period of high oil prices.

That could well have killed the program as no airline would have been able to afford it.
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glbltrvlr
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RE: Sonic Cruiser Today

Sat Jan 30, 2016 4:40 pm

Quoting HOmsAr (Reply 3):
If Boeing had launched the Sonic Cruiser when it was proposed,

Boeing was never going to launch the Sonic Cruiser. It was intended to be a distraction for the employees and take their minds of the fact that Boeing HQ was moving away from Seattle.
 
masseybrown
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RE: Sonic Cruiser Today

Sat Jan 30, 2016 5:27 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 2):
Speed does not sell to the general public.

Enough speed will sell; alas, the sonic cruiser didn't provide that.
 
aviatorcraig
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RE: Sonic Cruiser Today

Sat Jan 30, 2016 5:48 pm

The problem with the 'Chronic Snoozer' was that whilst it was faster than a conventional design, it wasn't faster by a big enough margin to justify the premium price tag. If your 16 hour flight can be done in 14 hours are you really going to sell many more tickets when those tickets cost considerably more?
Also bear in mind the time saving only applies to the cruise phase not the congested airport either end or climb and decent in busy ATC environments so the total travel time advantage is even smaller on shorter flights.
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Mortyman
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RE: Sonic Cruiser Today

Sat Jan 30, 2016 7:49 pm

The oil price will increase considerably, long before a possible roll out of a Sonic cruiser. The oil price will proabably not get back to what it used to be, but it will increase.
 
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lightsaber
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RE: Sonic Cruiser Today

Sat Jan 30, 2016 8:09 pm

The sonic cruiser was based on efficiencies not possible at the speeds quoted. Just realize the plane was going to burn 15% to 20% more fuel than promise.

What it did is let Boeing know the true state of the art. The issue with everything state of the art is all the initial delays.

Passengers willing to pay for speed already have a business jet. No Y cabin will pay the needed premium.

With the upcoming business jets, the market will be too small to justify the investment.

The reality is those willing to pay for speed will pay more for privacy of a business jet.

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DocLightning
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RE: Sonic Cruiser Today

Sat Jan 30, 2016 8:16 pm

Quoting VC10er (Thread starter):

With oil prices at a crazy, unpredictable low, would the Sonic Cruiser had a chance today? I realize that it's size is basically covered now by the 787/777, (and Airbus 330, 350) but if the Sonic Cruiser could fly with great economics today, would something a bit faster be desirable?

The idea was doomed from the get-go. You want me to pay 20% more in fares to shorten a trip by maybe 10%? No, thanks.

You want me to pay 20% more in fares to shorten a trip by 50%? Now I'm listening. Unfortunately, that would violate a few laws of physics.
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RE: Sonic Cruiser Today

Sat Jan 30, 2016 9:02 pm

Was it really just 10% faster? Meaning a 10 hour flight would be 9 on the SC?

I never was asking if it should be reconsidered, I was wondering HAD they built it, how would it have performed today?

I know I wont live long enough to see NYC to RIO in 3 hours!
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WIederling
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RE: Sonic Cruiser Today

Sat Jan 30, 2016 9:16 pm

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 8):

IMHO the Sonic precursor was instrumental to form the path to dreamliner sales.
The same sexy product only that bit of overspeed converted to gobs of efficiency increases.
This made it into a standalone product far away from that "Chinese A330 copy"
it was alleded to be.
A perfectly crafted PR campaign.
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Clipper101
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RE: Sonic Cruiser Today

Sat Jan 30, 2016 9:48 pm

Indeed, ULH routes are becoming more & more widespread in the market nowadays & may be to the future. Yes Y-class would be painful for segments +10 - 11 (based on my personal endurance & body tolerance) especially when IFE content is less than overwhelming, but still in premium class at segments of +15 hours it could be very much tolerated. If you go Y-class on an ULH trip then your body may tolerate a one-off trip or you could choose a multiple point trip (it even may be cheaper). If you are a frequent traveller on direct ULH routes then you may consider premium class somehow (may be through frequent flyer programmes), otherwise if you continue in Y-class then God bless you.

Going back to the Sonic Cruiser topic, given the history of all things innovations (albeit in aerospace, cars, energy or even hand watches) there always need to be a party spoiler in order to shake things up, otherwise everybody will be content on current norm that is going on thinking it is the best for everybody. If computational fluid dynamics advancements produce a body low enough in drag & engine technologies generate efficiencies more than those engines envisaged for the initial try of the Sonic Cruiser then there could be a case after 2020, at that time OEM’s would have started to recoup part of their investments in current models they are producing & could be ready for investing in the next big thing. Most importantly they would have had enough time to amass good knowledge & expertise in composite constructions (design, manufacturing & in-service behaviour). The world always going forward, so at the time when OEM’s are ready to take that strategic decision for a sonic cruiser type of a plane there may plenty of technologies that makes it worthwhile other than those which were available at its first try.
 
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RE: Sonic Cruiser Today

Sat Jan 30, 2016 10:15 pm

Assuming some energy revolution (say liquid hydrogen derived from solar power) I would think an enhanced Concorde is not at all hard to imagine. Would it be cost competitive, probably not but people should not act as if it can't be done. Mach 2-3 transport has been proven to work fine. Is it going to happen soon, no.
 
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RE: Sonic Cruiser Today

Sat Jan 30, 2016 10:42 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 9):

The idea was doomed from the get-go. You want me to pay 20% more in fares to shorten a trip by maybe 10%? No, thanks.

Yeah, I think it was more than 20% too actually. Remember this wouldn't be sold in large numbers so the production costs would be high. It was more of a fuel guzzler with less passenger capacity too. I think realistically, tickets would be 30% more. You could try and compensate with less baggage, smaller seats and building it overseas to lower acquisition costs (i.e. China) but its a very hard sell IMO.

Would have been great as AF1 one though. Imagine how cool that would have been. It'd make a good BBJ too. Maybe if they had secured 20-40 government and VIP orders it could have been a breakeven project?
 
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Devilfish
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RE: Sonic Cruiser Today

Sun Jan 31, 2016 12:13 am

Quoting solarflyer22 (Reply 14):
Would have been great as AF1 one though. Imagine how cool that would have been.

   Yesss...the Air Force would just have to overcome their aversion to twin-jet design...    ...

http://www.aerospaceweb.org/aircraft...sonic_cruiser/sonic_cruiser_04.jpg

.....and work hard to avoid scope creep.

Quoting solarflyer22 (Reply 14):
It'd make a good BBJ too. Maybe if they had secured 20-40 government and VIP orders it could have been a breakeven project?

Alas, not sure the Government would allow its export. And very few countries or conglomerates could afford the certain astronomical price tag. It will have to be more broadly based to be viable.   

[Edited 2016-01-30 16:26:58]
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LAX772LR
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RE: Sonic Cruiser Today

Sun Jan 31, 2016 12:35 am

Quoting Stitch (Reply 2):
Efficiency does (because it translates into lower fares).

Does it though....

Quoting MasseyBrown (Reply 5):
Enough speed will sell

What evidence is there to support that, for anything other than the private aircraft already mentioned?
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
14ccKemiskt
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RE: Sonic Cruiser Today

Sun Jan 31, 2016 12:39 am

My take on the reasons behind the Sonic cruiser and later the all new 787 came from a stress from Boeing on taking back initiative after being outprestiged by the A380. The superjumbo programme and the fact that the 747 was to be pushed into second place cannot be underestimated.
 
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Stitch
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RE: Sonic Cruiser Today

Sun Jan 31, 2016 12:53 am

Quoting Stitch (Reply 2):
Speed does not sell to the general public. Efficiency does (because it translates into lower fares).
Quoting LAX772LR (Reply 16):
Does it though....

The A330, A350, 777 and 787 should all be proof enough I would think...



Quoting MasseyBrown (Reply 5):
Enough speed will sell; alas, the sonic cruiser didn't provide that.
Quoting LAX772LR (Reply 16):
What evidence is there to support that, for anything other than the private aircraft already mentioned?
Concorde?
 
XT6Wagon
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RE: Sonic Cruiser Today

Sun Jan 31, 2016 12:54 am

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 8):
The sonic cruiser was based on efficiencies not possible at the speeds quoted. Just realize the plane was going to burn 15% to 20% more fuel than promise.

The killer IMO would have been passenger capacity not fuel burn. Its trip fuel would have been the same as a 767 which wasn't bad, and would have had massively lower labor costs for most missions.

But the market has found that 9Y 787 does a great job at reducing both on a per-passenger basis. Its also much faster than a 767. So if the Sonic Cruiser was rebooted, I'd say it would have to be 787 sized to have a hope of competing even today with fuel being cheap again.
 
bunumuring
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RE: Sonic Cruiser Today

Sun Jan 31, 2016 1:01 am

My understanding is that Qantas seriously looked at what Boeing proposed for the Sonic Cruiser. However, I seem to remember issues with it's speed in that it wouldn't have comfortably fitted a flight between Sydney and London within curfew limitations both ends, or something like that. To work SYD-LHR effectively, I seem to remember the suggestion was that it would have had to fly a fraction faster, or even supersonic, to make it viable for QF's premium route. Back then, Singapore was QF's Euro stopover point. I don't know if switching to Dubai would've helped the Sonic Cruiser to London in terms of curfew limitations.
I even remember seeing an artist's impression of a QF SC...
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RE: Sonic Cruiser Today

Sun Jan 31, 2016 1:42 am

Quoting glbltrvlr (Reply 4):
Boeing was never going to launch the Sonic Cruiser. It was intended to be a distraction for the employees and take their minds of the fact that Boeing HQ was moving away from Seattle.

I always thought it was a distraction to develop the technologies for the 787, because no rival would take the sonic cruiser seriously and Boeing would have a head start on the next gen of conventional airliner.

I really dont see any airline being willing to risk buying an unconventional wing and tube aircraft. It will be incremental upgrades to materials and engines for a looooooooong time.
 
rg787
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RE: Sonic Cruiser Today

Sun Jan 31, 2016 1:59 am

Quoting Stitch (Reply 2):
Speed does not sell to the general public. Efficiency does (because it translates into lower fares).

More speed translates into shorter flight times which translate into more segments in a specific amount of time. So, you could fly more payload (be it passenger or cargo) in this same amount of time which means more revenue, and you would have lower labor costs per trip and maximize aircraft utilization.

If someone could build it with similar efficiency or at least not a lot worse than the planes available today, that plane could very well mean lower fares because of the higher payloads for the same amount of time, which would generate more revenue. Add to that the fact that you could elevate the prices because of speed, and well... It is not too bad of a business case.
 
Gasman
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RE: Sonic Cruiser Today

Sun Jan 31, 2016 2:41 am

Quoting Oroka (Reply 21):
I really dont see any airline being willing to risk buying an unconventional wing and tube aircraft. It will be incremental upgrades to materials and engines for a looooooooong time.

With existing technology, yes. The key word being existing.

As others have pointed out, the Sonic Cruiser was never going to be viable because that small increment in speed came at the expense of everything else. Billions in R&D, production costs, higher seat mile costs all to shave 2-3 hours off a 12 hour flight? Hardly.

But shave 6-7 hours off a 12 hour flight, and now you're talking. It'll never happen with an aluminum tube & wing design. The Concorde tried but it was fraught with problems and compromises. To be properly viable it'll require the development of a new, heat resistant lightweight but incredibly strong fuselage material and a propulsion system that will operate efficiently both at low and high altitudes across a range of speeds. It'll happen, maybe in the lifetime of the very younger members here, but not mine.
 
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RE: Sonic Cruiser Today

Sun Jan 31, 2016 3:40 am

Quoting Stitch (Reply 18):
The A330, A350, 777 and 787 should all be proof enough I would think...

...to say that those alone are the reason for lower fares is rather anecdotal IMO, and certainly not "proof."




Quoting Stitch (Reply 18):
Concorde?

Perhaps the most spectacular economic failure in all of aviation history, whose market was only sustainable on two (out of the entirety of the world's) routings for the majority of its service life?

....come now, that's evidence of everything that one WOULDN'T want to prove, when assessing market potential.  
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
WIederling
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RE: Sonic Cruiser Today

Sun Jan 31, 2016 10:27 am

Quoting Oroka (Reply 21):
I always thought it was a distraction to develop the technologies for the 787, because no rival would take the sonic cruiser seriously and Boeing would have a head start on the next gen of conventional airliner.

"head start".
That did not really work out as you describe it. ( observation, not critique )

IMU a lot of stuff seems to have been decided on during the Sonic Cruiser phase of development ( like forex the volatile battery chemistry ?) leading to "overaged" decissions for the Dreamliner "final Edition".

Boeing potentially learned a lot about fixing problems that the next generation tech in that domain would not have anyway. Barrel winding would have been a potentially good idea for the more area ruled conical fuselage of the sonic cruiser but less so for the tube type fuselage of the Dreamliner.

an "Own Goal".
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packsonflight
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RE: Sonic Cruiser Today

Sun Jan 31, 2016 11:47 am

SC was going to save one hour of 3000 nm flight as I recall, and Boeing said it would save 20%, but only if the time savings allowed the operator to turn the aircraft around on the same day for 2x 10 hour flights instead of one 11-12 hour flight and let the aircraft stand for the rest of the day, and return the day after.

Branson quickly called the bluff and said he would take the first 10 aircrafts, and in return he got free ride on the Boeing PR wagon.

Everybody on this forum seems to agree that the SC was doomed from the start, so why did they do it?

glbltrvlr is saying it was a diversion tactics for the personnel in Seattle, could be

Oroka says he "always thought it was a distraction to develop the technologies for the 787, because no rival would take the sonic cruiser seriously and Boeing would have a head start on the next gen of conventional airliner."

Nothing stopped Boeing from developing technology silently in-house for the Dreamliner.

So why in hell did they do it?
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Sonic Cruiser Today

Sun Jan 31, 2016 12:05 pm

Quoting VC10er (Reply 10):
Was it really just 10% faster? Meaning a 10 hour flight would be 9 on the SC?

Yup. Something like M=0.95.

Quoting solarflyer22 (Reply 14):

Would have been great as AF1 one though. Imagine how cool that would have been. It'd make a good BBJ too. Maybe if they had secured 20-40 government and VIP orders it could have been a breakeven project?

It would have required as much research and development as the 787 did, and we all know how that went.
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RIX
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RE: Sonic Cruiser Today

Sun Jan 31, 2016 4:57 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 27):

Something like M=0.95.

0.98 actually. Clearly not fast enough, and too big to fill all-premium (speed wise) cabin on regular basis. 30+ seats version of Aerion has much better chance for scheduled service.
 
N1120A
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RE: Sonic Cruiser Today

Sun Jan 31, 2016 7:06 pm

The only airlines that showed real interest were NH and JL. The SC was really just a design study that led to the 787's efficiency gains.

Quoting glbltrvlr (Reply 4):
It was intended to be a distraction for the employees and take their minds of the fact that Boeing HQ was moving away from Seattle.

No it wasn't. The Boeing HQ move was irrelevant, and any person with half a brain knew that. The real issue with Boeing was and is putting a plant at CHS.
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Stitch
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RE: Sonic Cruiser Today

Sun Jan 31, 2016 7:28 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 29):
The only airlines that showed real interest were NH and JL.

The CEO of American stated he was interested in buying the first three years of production to keep it out of competitor's hands.
 
Gasman
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RE: Sonic Cruiser Today

Sun Jan 31, 2016 8:45 pm

Quoting packsonflight (Reply 26):
So why in hell did they do it?

For marketing purposes.

At the time, Boeing had lost its mojo. Airbus was steaming ahead, the 744 and 737 were looking decidedly tired and the 777 had not yet declared itself as the A340 killer it turned out to be. The A380 had been announced and Boeing were left flapping their hands trying to write it off as "too big"; a ploy that was as pathetic as it was untrue.

On this forum, there were some who were even questioning the long term viability of a company.

And really, what did they actually "do" with the SC? It was nothing more than a paper aeroplane and I strongly believe was never intended to be more than such. A couple of engineers and a graphic designer could have generated what we witnessed in its entireity within a week. Trivial capital outlay for Boeing, maximum publicity.
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Sonic Cruiser Today

Sun Jan 31, 2016 9:03 pm

Quoting gasman (Reply 31):

At the time, Boeing had lost its mojo. Airbus was steaming ahead, the 744 and 737 were looking decidedly tired and the 777 had not yet declared itself as the A340 killer it turned out to be. The A380 had been announced and Boeing were left flapping their hands trying to write it off as "too big"; a ploy that was as pathetic as it was untrue.

Except it was true. The A388 has been a commercial failure. Not bad enough to kill Airbus, but it will never pay for its development costs, especially with all the overruns.

Around the turn of the century, Boeing had introduced the 777-200ER and the 737-NG. The 744 was falling off in sales, but was as common among major airlines as the 77W today. The A340 was flopping and the A330 was picking up. The A320 was going strong.

More importantly, Concorde was still in service until 25 July 2000 when AF4590 crashed. But the writing had been on the wall that Concorde service, like all good things, would be over by 2010 at the latest.

I think Boeing honestly floated this idea to see how it would go over with customers. There had been a push among the public to make air travel faster, especially in an era before in-flight WiFi and when PTVs were still relatively new and crude (and far from ubiquitous on long-haul flights). Laptops existed, but not tablets (in the modern sense) or smartphones. Passengers wanted the flight to be over faster. Boeing knew that an SST was off the table so they figured maybe they could leverage new technology to increase speed a bit while not completely killing efficiency.

But it turned out that the speed bump wasn't enough to justify the loss of efficiency (as I said, I'm not willing to pay more to shorten a flight by 10%; gotta do way better than that) and it turned out that the same technology could be leveraged to make an airplane with similar speed to current airliners that burned far less fuel, so the SC turned into the 787.
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DfwRevolution
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RE: Sonic Cruiser Today

Sun Jan 31, 2016 9:14 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 32):
I think Boeing honestly floated this idea to see how it would go over with customers. There had been a push among the public to make air travel faster, especially in an era before in-flight WiFi and when PTVs were still relatively new and crude (and far from ubiquitous on long-haul flights). Laptops existed, but not tablets (in the modern sense) or smartphones. Passengers wanted the flight to be over faster. Boeing knew that an SST was off the table so they figured maybe they could leverage new technology to increase speed a bit while not completely killing efficiency.

I'm inclined to agree.

1. There are several technical white papers floating around that show the Sonic Cruiser's performance claims were ambitious but not impossible.

2. Boeing invested non-trivial dollars in mockups and test articles, which they would not have done for a simple PR stunt.

3. Boeing was indeed doing some soul searching at the end of the 90s and early 2000s with the "Yellowstone" review of all commercial product lines, but it was also an era of general exuberance and increased consumption of luxury goods. Anyone remember AA's "More Room Throughout Coach?" In a time when the world decided to quadruple the price of coffee in a few short years, it wasn't unreasonable that people would spend a few more bucks to take hours off their trip.


Quoting DocLightning (Reply 32):
as I said, I'm not willing to pay more to shorten a flight by 10%; gotta do way better than that

I think people are definitely willing to pay more for a reduced travel time. The rub is that they're only willing to pay the extra money once their 14 hours into the flight.  
I have a three post per topic limit. You're welcome to have the last word.
 
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Stitch
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RE: Sonic Cruiser Today

Sun Jan 31, 2016 11:26 pm

Quoting gasman (Reply 31):
And really, what did they actually "do" with the SC?

Tested the materials and construction techniques that would be used to manufacture the 787, for one.
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Sonic Cruiser Today

Sun Jan 31, 2016 11:50 pm

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 33):

I think people are definitely willing to pay more for a reduced travel time. The rub is that they're only willing to pay the extra money once their 14 hours into the flight.

People might be willing to pay 5-10% more for a 10% reduced travel time, but that's about it.

And honestly, you want to tell me that you can make SFO-SYD take 12:30 instead of 14:00? I'm just not that impressed.
-Doc Lightning-

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cpd
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RE: Sonic Cruiser Today

Mon Feb 01, 2016 1:31 am

Faster flying times do sell, otherwise we'd all be flying around in Zeppelin airships or piston powered airliners instead of high speed Boeing 747s, 777s and 787s.

The current jet airliners of today should be made slower in order to better serve the market preferences highlighted by airliners.net forum users.  

The ideal is to drastically reduce travel times, it gives people more time to spend at their destination doing production/worthwhile things. I don't mind flying, but I do mind spending 15 hours on a plane. Even at the moment, the fastest civil aircraft still do very little to reduce the flying time.

The Sonic Cruiser was really fairly pointless, it didn't go fast enough to deliver a reasonable benefit. Do a M2.0 aircraft to take 200-250 passengers over 14,000km range, then you have something to talk about. Especially with quiet sonic boom derived technology.
 
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kanban
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RE: Sonic Cruiser Today

Mon Feb 01, 2016 3:25 am

Quoting glbltrvlr (Reply 4):
Boeing was never going to launch the Sonic Cruiser. It was intended to be a distraction for the employees and take their minds of the fact that Boeing HQ was moving away from Seattle.

pure poppy cock.. we didn't really care that corporate moved since we had so little interface. The comment is typical of those who see ulterior motives in everything.
 
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Clipper101
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RE: Sonic Cruiser Today

Mon Feb 01, 2016 5:57 am

Talking a Sonic Cruiser with 0.98M then true you will be able to cut out about only 2 hours from an ULH of around 16 hours. But hay … I am assuming we are talking true airspeed all along & unless I am missing something, we already have sonic cruiser speeds with B777/B787/A380 everyday now given nice tail winds when the ground speeds of these machines jump over 1000Km/h, an area where TAS of a sonic cruiser is expected to be !! Again looking into the future, if market trend keeps going into more & more +14,000Km route segments, then a Sonic Cruiser-type of an aeroplane may find itself a niche role to play if its performance is optimised to shave another 2 hours bringing current 16-hour trips down to 12 on such ULH sectors. By then you certainly would need to be rich to go supersonic with an Aerion, but you can still be a Y-class passenger & go sonic.
 
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LAX772LR
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RE: Sonic Cruiser Today

Mon Feb 01, 2016 6:26 am

Quoting RIX (Reply 28):
0.98 actually. Clearly not fast enough, and too big to fill all-premium (speed wise) cabin on regular basis.

Not to mention the physics elephant in the room: 0.98M is well within the high drag trans-sonic zone.

It's such a performance hindrance that Concorde brought in its afterburners, because it was more efficient to dump fuel into reheat in order to hurry out of the drag zone, than it was to reserve throttle and spend any amount of time in there!

.......yet this thing was designed to STAY within that stage of flight.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
hz747300
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RE: Sonic Cruiser Today

Mon Feb 01, 2016 6:48 am

Quoting glbltrvlr (Reply 4):
Boeing was never going to launch the Sonic Cruiser. It was intended to be a distraction for the employees and take their minds of the fact that Boeing HQ was moving away from Seattle.

Thinking of how this plays out. Some guy is in his office all excited working on plans he's just received from the big cheeses and thinking to himself that this company is going places. After he's done drafting up some plans or carving a foam copy for the wind tunnel test, he comes out of his office, wondering where everyone is. "Those M***er F***ers", he chuckles to himself as stomps the SC model into the bin thinking that's not what he meant when he thought this company was going places.

For an idea like this to work, it's going to have to have some form of supersonic flight, otherwise why bother. If on a Sydney - LAX/SFO flight you could shorten the time by half over water, is that something that interests you?

What happened to the scramjet? Or was that a distraction to the people at NASA so they didn't realize they were not doing anything space related anymore?
Keep on truckin'...
 
Pihero
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RE: Sonic Cruiser Today

Mon Feb 01, 2016 10:45 am

Quoting LAX772LR (Reply 39):

Not to mention the physics elephant in the room: 0.98M is well within the high drag trans-sonic zone.

As a matter of fact, for most shapes it is the worst Mach Number one would think of.

Quoting LAX772LR (Reply 39):

.......yet this thing was designed to STAY within that stage of flight.

Yep !
It's funny hoiw in our time there are so many people who saw the SC as what it was : a good PR ops and nothing more. There were very few of us, actually, and we 'd been rubbished more than a few times by some fans who would get into orgasmic fits everytime SC was mentioned.
In my opinion, history could have changed *if* Boeing had been more ambitious : aim for a cruise Mach of some 1.25 or so and the extra drag would heve been brought to some 10-15 % but with a speed improvement of around 50%... that means 20 minutes saved on every hour : 12 hour trip shortened to 8... etc...
Of course, it would have been restricted to subsonic over land.... ( again shooting one's foot as supersonicflights were ba,,ed 30 years earlier because of that blooming French Concorde !)... but at a very low extra cost, càontrary to Concorde which was even more a fuel guzzler at low speeds.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 34):

Tested the materials and construction techniques that would be used to manufacture the 787, for one.

I would love to see just one of these techniques then being implemented for the SC.
Another A.net myth, I'm afraid.
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XT6Wagon
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RE: Sonic Cruiser Today

Mon Feb 01, 2016 1:15 pm

Quoting Clipper101 (Reply 38):
Talking a Sonic Cruiser with 0.98M then true you will be able to cut out about only 2 hours from an ULH of around 16 hours

The big selling point was taking a route that was just over 8 hrs with a 767 or A330 to sub 8 hours with the sonic cruiser. Most places that means you can save 50% on labor due to crew requirements. I'm not sure it would have had the range to bring the over 12hr routes to under 12 for that break point in crewing. My guess is they were also trying to get the trans atlantic market by upping utilization and more flexiblity in slot times.

The 767 is really slow for a widebody and the A330 while better was still behind the rocket that was the 747. Which is why this generation M.85 to M.86 is the standard (for listed cruise speed). Don't want to lose a sale because your plane misses the slot that the old 747 made with ease. Don't want to break 8/12hr crew time. Seems like a small thing, but its pretty important if you ever did hit those edge cases.
 
glbltrvlr
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RE: Sonic Cruiser Today

Mon Feb 01, 2016 3:32 pm

Quoting hz747300 (Reply 40):
Thinking of how this plays out. Some guy is in his office all excited working on plans he's just received from the big cheeses and thinking to himself that this company is going places. After he's done drafting up some plans or carving a foam copy for the wind tunnel test, he comes out of his office, wondering where everyone is. "Those M***er F***ers", he chuckles to himself as stomps the SC model into the bin thinking that's not what he meant when he thought this company was going places.

Companies like Boeing, Airbus and others have teams who do nothing but advanced concept design. Just like auto manufacturer design teams, the people on those teams know that their planes aren't going to get built. If they are lucky, a particular bit or component might show up on a production design 5 years later. The drawings usually get hung up in hallways and occasionally are used to illustrate the covers of annual reports or other documents. In the case of the SC, Boeing decided to give the SC a lot of very public promotion. We can argue about the motivation for doing that...
 
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Stitch
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RE: Sonic Cruiser Today

Mon Feb 01, 2016 3:33 pm

Quoting Pihero (Reply 41):
I would love to see just one of these techniques then being implemented for the SC.
Another A.net myth, I'm afraid.

Boeing did release media pictures of a Sonic Cruiser CFRP fuselage barrel test section being produced using the layup mandrill process currently used to produce 787 fuselage barrels.
 
Pihero
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RE: Sonic Cruiser Today

Mon Feb 01, 2016 5:42 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 44):

Boeing did release media pictures of a Sonic Cruiser CFRP fuselage barrel test section

Sorry, Stitch ; it doesn't mean the technologyu came from the SC, as Airbus was already working on CRFP construction for the A380, as this demonstrates that in the year 2000, studies were well advanced for different ways of CFRP uses
It also shows that contrarily to sdoùme ideas from the B fans, the Airbus solution of plate laying vs barrel had been considered before the A380 was even buit.
See :Composites
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morrisond
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RE: Sonic Cruiser Today

Mon Feb 01, 2016 7:17 pm

I recall from the SC times that the rumor was the SC was actually capable of over M1. Somewhere in the region of 1.2-1.3 and something about once you got past the transonic zone drag fell with the right shape.

Supposedly the SC had enough Dry Thrust to get over M1 without the need for afterburners and Supercruise just like the F22.

That would have given it enough performance over water to make a big difference.
 
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Stitch
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RE: Sonic Cruiser Today

Mon Feb 01, 2016 8:22 pm

Quoting Pihero (Reply 45):
Sorry, Stitch ; it doesn't mean the technologyu came from the SC, as Airbus was already working on CRFP construction for the A380, as this demonstrates that in the year 2000, studies were well advanced for different ways of CFRP uses.

And Boeing has been using CFRP since the 1990s on the 777 (and before that on the B-2 and F-22 programs).

Anyone who frequents this forum should know that the 787 and A350 are not the first commercial airliners to use CFRP by Boeing and Airbus, respectively.

If Sonic Cruiser had gone into production, it would have had it's fuselage barrels manufactured using the same general process as the fuselage barrels of the 787 are manufactured. And Boeing issued press releases with photos of in-process and completed test barrels showing that process. So at the very least, Sonic Cruiser was a "proof of concept" for 787 CFRP production, at least as it applied to the fuselage sections.
 
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lightsaber
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RE: Sonic Cruiser Today

Mon Feb 01, 2016 8:38 pm

Quoting morrisond (Reply 46):
Supposedly the SC had enough Dry Thrust to get over M1 without the need for afterburners and Supercruise just like the F22.

The engines were being optimized for M=0.98, not super cruise.

Boeing took the proposed efficient engines and told RR and GE they had to beat the efficiencies of their SC proposals.

Lightsaber
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Devilfish
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RE: Sonic Cruiser Today

Mon Feb 01, 2016 9:19 pm

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 48):

Boeing took the proposed efficient engines and told RR and GE they had to beat the efficiencies of their SC proposals.

That makes me wonder when a 748i AF1 will have to be replaced in the not-so-distant future if advance materials, propulsion or non-fossil fuel would have been at a stage of development to enable the construction of a dedicated fleet of slightly supersonic cruisers for that mission without necessarily bankrupting the Air Force and the POTUS' office?

.
http://www.mh-aerotools.de/company/paper_7/image006.jpg

The limited capacity would be alright if they let the hangers-on and freeloaders take the lumbering BWBs separately and use the unallocated space in the cruiser for necessary systems.   

[Edited 2016-02-01 13:55:17]
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