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Why was there an innovation drought during the 1990's and 2000's?

Posted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 5:38 am
by 1989worstyear
The A320-200 (1988) and A330 (1994) reigned supreme during this time, and it wasn't until the 787 EIS in 2011 that innovation started again.

Why was this period lacking the innovation in civil aviation that the preceding decades were known for?

Re: Why was there an innovation drought during the 1990's and 2000's?

Posted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 6:24 am
by VHMHS
Eh? I’m a huge Boeing guy but...

A380

Maybe the biggest innovation in a while.

Re: Why was there an innovation drought during the 1990's and 2000's?

Posted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 6:35 am
by VirginFlyer
1989worstyear wrote:
Why was this period lacking the innovation in civil aviation that the preceding decades were known for?

It wasn’t.

For a start, you have neglected (in no particular order):

  • Boeing 777
  • Airbus A380 (commercial disaster, a series of execution cock-ups, yes, but you can’t accuse it of not being innovative)
  • Cessna Citation X
  • CRJ family
  • ERJ family
  • E-Jets
  • Fairchild Dornier 728 (great innovation even if it was a commercial failure, and it pioneered the nose profile which many more recent types have adopted)
  • A330 (which as you helpfully pointed out was primarily developed in the 1990s, especially its derivatives)
  • Q400
  • Guftstream V
  • Bombardier Globa Express
  • MD-95/Boeing 717

Then there are the multitude of improvements in the fields of avionics, materials, aerodynamics, and propulsion, not to mention innovations which positively impacted passenger experience and air traffic management, among other areas.

1989worstyear wrote:
Stuck at age 15 thanks to the certification date of the A320-200 and my parents' decision to postpone having a kid by 3 years. At least there's Dignitas...

Not the best taste really - terminal illnesses and suicide aren’t joking matters. That said, maybe you could do us all a favour and “dignitas” your A.net account - it is terminally flawed in the logic department with a severe self-reinforcing delusion.

V/F

Re: Why was there an innovation drought during the 1990's and 2000's?

Posted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 7:38 am
by rigo
There was no innovation drought during the 1990s. We saw the first deployment of cockpit commonality across entire families of aircraft - I believe the A320/A330/A340 commonality was a milestone in that regard. There was gradual increase in the use of composite materials culminating with over 20% of the gross weight being composites on the A380. Digital FBW became the norm. Flight engineers were eliminated. Very high bypass ratio engines became available and gained mainstream use. The first point-to-point transatlantic routes started operating. For what it's worth, that era also saw the downfall of MDD and conversely the rise of Airbus. Not sure if that counts as an innovation by itself, but it is definitely a factor that has shaped the industry in a big way.

Re: Why was there an innovation drought during the 1990's and 2000's?

Posted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 9:40 am
by RawSushi
The 1990s and the 2000s saw massive advances in ETOPs and performance of jet engines, which led to twin-engined widebodies dominating the market for widebody airliners and started the decline of quads.

That's a game-changing innovation.

Re: Why was there an innovation drought during the 1990's and 2000's?

Posted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 10:03 am
by 32andBelow
Jet engine innovation tho

Re: Why was there an innovation drought during the 1990's and 2000's?

Posted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 10:22 am
by Faro
32andBelow wrote:
Jet engine innovation tho



:checkmark: :checkmark:


Since the advent of the widebody, advances in airliner technology are largely advances in fuel efficiency...and advances in fuel efficiency are 80% advances in engine technology...

So long as you are stuck with wing-and-tube, don't expect anything revolutionary...even supercritical wings and CFRP pale in comparison with the cumulative efficiency gains of engine technology over the last 50 years...


Faro

Re: Why was there an innovation drought during the 1990's and 2000's?

Posted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 10:41 am
by flipdewaf
I don’t think innovation has stopped but the places where it is happening is not noticeable to a consumer or making changes to performance that could be easily predicted. There’s lots of impressive tech advances but from my perspective ( I work in R&D but not the aviation industry) I can see lots of candles getting brighter but no light bulbs.

The last great light bulb? Probably the jet engine.

We always talk about something improving or changing, more composites, hotter cores, higher bypass, lighter structures, more commonality, longer TBO, more electric etc. This list is long and we get “better” when a defined metric goes up or down.

When real innovation happens we’ll see a whole load of those drop off the list of what matters and new ones added.

Fred


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Re: Why was there an innovation drought during the 1990's and 2000's?

Posted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 10:49 am
by hOMSaR
VirginFlyer wrote:
Not the best taste really - terminal illnesses and suicide aren’t joking matters. That said, maybe you could do us all a favour and “dignitas” your A.net account - it is terminally flawed in the logic department with a severe self-reinforcing delusion.

V/F


Thank you.

Re: Why was there an innovation drought during the 1990's and 2000's?

Posted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 11:11 am
by 9Patch
VirginFlyer wrote:

For a start, you have neglected (in no particular order):

  • Boeing 777
  • Airbus A380 (commercial disaster, a series of execution cock-ups, yes, but you can’t accuse it of not being innovative)
  • Cessna Citation X
  • CRJ family
  • ERJ family
  • E-Jets
  • Fairchild Dornier 728 (great innovation even if it was a commercial failure, and it pioneered the nose profile which many more recent types have adopted)
  • A330 (which as you helpfully pointed out was primarily developed in the 1990s, especially its derivatives)
  • Q400
  • Guftstream V
  • Bombardier Globa Express
  • MD-95/Boeing 717
[


To which I would add:

Although it didn't EIS until 2011 the 787 was primarily developed in the 2000s.

Re: Why was there an innovation drought during the 1990's and 2000's?

Posted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 12:38 pm
by lightsaber
On the surface, the OPs premise has merit. It was a time of relatively low oil prices. Customers didn't want risk, all they wanted was reliability. Engine service life extended dramatically in cycles between overhauls during this time.

When oil spiked over $100 (remember peak oil?), reducing fuel burn was worth the risk of developing new engine and airframe tech.

Those high oil prices drive the 787 development with far more efficient subsystems and engines. That airframe introduced CFRP wings to the mainstream, there is no going back.

CFRP has dramatically changed the landscape. As much of an engine nut as I am, I still see innovation that is needed.

But singlets came out. That led to research on underside laminar flow wings. That needs longer aspect ratio wings for a perhaps 4% drop in fuel burn. That is enabled by folding wingtips and CFRP (weight vs. aerodynamics trade off with aluminum doesn't allow enough span for underside laminar flow).

Lightsaber

Re: Why was there an innovation drought during the 1990's and 2000's?

Posted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 1:34 pm
by MIflyer12
1989worstyear wrote:
The A320-200 (1988) and A330 (1994) reigned supreme during this time...


If you had better knowledge of facts maybe you wouldn't put forward such a poor thesis. In spite of a two-year head start by A330, the A330 was handily - handily - out-delivered by 777s during the 1990s. (And 2000s.) It was the 777 - not the A330 - that was the basis for the ULH twin that we enjoy in the 787 and A350 today. CRJs and ERJs killed props in North America. Virgin Flyer gives a good list.

Re: Why was there an innovation drought during the 1990's and 2000's?

Posted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 3:21 pm
by aerorobnz
I see the perceived lack of innovation from manufacturers caused by the industry rationalizing down to basically just Airbus and Boeing with longhaul offerings after having so many manufacturers like Lockheed, McDonnell Douglas and others. reduce the companies and reduce the need to be competitive, these monopolies started to get lazy. By comparison, the shorthaul and regional types still had plenty of competition so they were the innovative ones because they needed to be to be competitive.

Re: Why was there an innovation drought during the 1990's and 2000's?

Posted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 3:45 pm
by IADCA
hOMSaR wrote:
VirginFlyer wrote:
Not the best taste really - terminal illnesses and suicide aren’t joking matters. That said, maybe you could do us all a favour and “dignitas” your A.net account - it is terminally flawed in the logic department with a severe self-reinforcing delusion.

V/F


Thank you.


People seem not to understand that this 1989 chap is that rare bird on a.net, a 100% troll account. His posts are solely aimed at getting bites, not at initiating any serious discussion.

Re: Why was there an innovation drought during the 1990's and 2000's?

Posted: Sun Jul 21, 2019 3:22 pm
by SAAFNAV
IADCA wrote:
People seem not to understand that this 1989 chap is that rare bird on a.net, a 100% troll account. His posts are solely aimed at getting bites, not at initiating any serious discussion.


While he sure is a troll, I seem to be getting the ideal that he just doesn't suffer from troll syndrome, but that he truly has a problem

1989worstyear, you need help.
(And being borne in the same year, I can say that. So far the certification of the A320 hasn't affected me.