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canyonblue17
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Could The Starship Come Back As A Jet?

Mon Sep 08, 2014 9:47 pm

The Starship has always been one of my favorite aircraft. I understand for several reasons it was a failure and did not sell well. I wondered if they kept a similar frame but replaced the old pusher props with some of the smaller modern jet engines, could the aircraft be reborn. Could the performance be improved enough to make up for the mechanical difficulties that plagued the original production. Pipe dream maybe - but isn't it fun to dream about that aircraft?
negative ghostrider the pattern is full
 
citationjet
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RE: Could The Starship Come Back As A Jet?

Tue Sep 09, 2014 3:23 am

Beech was purchased earlier this year by Textron. Textron has merged Cessna and Beech under newly formed Textron Aviation. Cessna is not historically keen on composites. Also, of the 14 Textron Aviation Sr. VPs, 11 are from Cessna, while 3 are from Beech. Also, Cessna (thru Textron Aviation) would not be interested in investing in a product that would compete with their existing Part 23 jet products.
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HAL
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RE: Could The Starship Come Back As A Jet?

Tue Sep 09, 2014 3:34 am

I don't believe it would be a good candidate for a comeback. Being the first composite corporate turboprop meant that Beech was in uncharted territory when it designed the plane. Not sure of what the FAA would ask of them during testing, it was way over engineered for its job.

If they wanted to make it into a jet, they would either have to do an enormous redesign to make it equal in efficiency to today's biz jets, or accept higher operating costs with the current design. I doubt either option is attractive to Cessna, so a reborn Starship is rather unlikely.

HAL
One smooth landing is skill. Two in a row is luck. Three in a row and someone is lying.
 
strfyr51
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RE: Could The Starship Come Back As A Jet?

Tue Sep 09, 2014 4:29 am

the beech starship wasn't successful NOT because it wasn't a great airplane, It was a general aviation "Bridge too FAR"
Composite repairs were just being implemented at the MAJOR airlines, the B2 wasn't even in operation Nor the F22..
Doing a fiber glass wet layup repair for a composite fuselage or flight control was going to require vacum Bagging and "at temperature" curinng. It wasn't going to happen, It CAN happen NOW because the tech has caught up to the airplane.
Were they to put up the airplane again? I think it might really be a winner/ Especitally with a Williams turbofan installed..
 
pjc747
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RE: Could The Starship Come Back As A Jet?

Tue Sep 09, 2014 4:59 am

Quoting citationjet (Reply 1):
Textron has merged Cessna and Beech under newly formed Textron Aviation

They care two seperate, distinct brands, they haven't been merged. Yes, they are both now owned by Textron Aviation, but are in no means merged like McDonnell Douglas and Boeing.

The problem is that for the same price (or perhaps cheaper) one could have a Citation CJ3+, which would hold the same amount of passengers as the Beech 2000, and do so at increased speed and range. With a Citation CJ3+, for instance, one has commonality with many of the other Citation models offered by Cessna, thus a corporation wishing to owns its planes has better operating efficiency, and the same goes for a partial ownership company or an operator like NetJets. The other thing is that the Citation series is a proven for nearly 50 years.

The other thing about the Starship is that its interesting design isn't completely gone. There is also the Piaggio P.180 Avanti, which carriers similar passengers (9 vs. 6 for the BE2000) and cruises at a reasonably high altitude and speed for a turboprop.


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cloudboy
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RE: Could The Starship Come Back As A Jet?

Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:59 pm

But from a technical standpoint, would it be possible? Or would there be too many structural issues to contend with? i am not asking about market feasibility.
"Six becoming three doesn't create more Americans that want to fly." -Adam Pilarski
 
citationjet
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RE: Could The Starship Come Back As A Jet?

Tue Sep 09, 2014 1:19 pm

Quoting pjc747 (Reply 4):
They care two seperate, distinct brands, they haven't been merged.

I can tell you the two companies have indeed merged. Common IT, payroll, organizational structure, etc. Some Cessna people have moved to the Beech facility, and Beech people have moved to Cessna. They are maintaining separate brand names for the Beech, Cessna and Hawker products. New products may be a different story......
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rwessel
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RE: Could The Starship Come Back As A Jet?

Tue Sep 09, 2014 2:31 pm

Quoting cloudboy (Reply 5):
But from a technical standpoint, would it be possible? Or would there be too many structural issues to contend with? i am not asking about market feasibility.

You're suggesting a straight-re-engine of the turboprops with 'fans? Sure it's technically possible, and some aircraft have been converted from props to jets (YB-35 to YB-49 and BD-5 to BD-5J, for example, although the modifications are likely non-trivial). But jets tend to be a fair bit more fuel hungry. Given that the rest of the Starship is designed for turboprop speeds, you likely end up with a moderately higher airspeed, but a considerably worse range.

OTOH, if you want to do a aft-wing/canard jet aircraft from scratch, sure, why not, but it would have very little commonality with the Starship. And it's been done several times. Even Boeing's Sonic Cruiser is roughly on that planform.
 
tp1040
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RE: Could The Starship Come Back As A Jet?

Tue Sep 09, 2014 2:34 pm

I don't think it will happen. The radical design was rejected by the market. The corporate aviation guys that I know, loved the plane, but could not justify it on looks alone.

Until a similar concept makes it into commercial aviation, the general market will continue to ignore it.
 
canyonblue17
Topic Author
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RE: Could The Starship Come Back As A Jet?

Wed Sep 10, 2014 2:45 am

Quoting HAL (Reply 2):
Being the first composite corporate turboprop meant that Beech was in uncharted territory when it designed the plane

But composite technology has advanced in many ways since then making it easier and more commonly used.

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 3):
It CAN happen NOW because the tech has caught up to the airplane.

Exactly my thought and why I brought up the idea in the first place - maybe its time has come.

Quoting tp1040 (Reply 8):
Until a similar concept makes it into commercial aviation, the general market will continue to ignore it.

Does everything about aircraft have to be successful in commercial aviation before the general market takes interest?

Quoting pjc747 (Reply 4):
The other thing about the Starship is that its interesting design isn't completely gone

Another good point - people are still interested in flying aircraft like the Starship.
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FrmrKSEngr
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RE: Could The Starship Come Back As A Jet?

Wed Sep 10, 2014 4:02 am

If you want to dust off the basic Starship design and just replace the engines with turbofans, make the required changes to the wings to mount the engines, and do a systems (e.g avionics) upgrade, you will do no better than the original.

If you want to take the external shape, and totally redesign it from the outside-in for current manufacturing techniques, you will get a lighter plane with better performance that looks cool.

Take it a bit further and run the shape through some high-end aerodynamic/CFD analysis that was not available in the late 1980s early 90s, then you might be able to build a real competitor. Beech had Rutan build a sub-scale aerodynamic prototype to predict performance. I heard that after the first few Starships were flown, the performance was so far off the mark that Beech was really pissed at Rutan, and the the Beech CEO ordered the Rutan built plane destroyed.
 
citationjet
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RE: Could The Starship Come Back As A Jet?

Thu Sep 11, 2014 1:54 am

Quoting pjc747 (Reply 4):
They care two seperate, distinct brands, they haven't been merged. Yes, they are both now owned by Textron Aviation, but are in no means merged like McDonnell Douglas and Boeing.

The brands have not merged, but the merger of the two companies is nearly complete.
Scott Ernest, President and CEO of Textron Aviation told an audience of about 100 people at a Wichita Independent Business Association luncheon on Tuesday that the integration of Beechcraft into his company is nearly complete.

http://www.kansas.com/news/business/aviation/article2022202.html
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aeroweanie
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RE: Could The Starship Come Back As A Jet?

Sat Sep 13, 2014 4:29 am

I worked on the Starship and saw concept drawings of a Starship 2 with turbofans. The problem was, the basic Starship design had serious aerodynamic shortcomings. To minimize drag on a canard aircraft, the sum of the canard and wing loading needs to be elliptical. The canard is heavily loaded and its loading is more or less elliptical. As a result, the aft wing can not carry much load inboard. The fuel needs to go near the CG, so you end up with really big strakes on the rear wing, that carry no load and add a lot of wetted area (drag). And, the aft wing has high wing root bending moments, due to all the outboard loading. Beech tried to increase the inboard loading on the 85% POC and the aircraft promptly got slower. The configuration looks pretty, but just doesn't work.

I've also seen the drawings of the original design Rutan submitted to Beech. It was a three-surface design, kinda like the Avanti. It go rejected and he was told to design a "big Long EZ".

I also worked on a turbofan-powered P-180 Avanti, but it never went beyond the study stage.
 
nomadd22
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RE: Could The Starship Come Back As A Jet?

Sat Sep 13, 2014 12:38 pm

Composites have a major disadvantage over aluminum in smaller commercial passenger planes. Impact resistance requirements for hail makes it necessary to use thicker material than you need for structural reasons and kills your weight advantage. It's the main reason Boeing decided there would be no weight advantage in making the 737 replacement a CFRP hull. The more advanced aluminum alloys coming out really hurt CFRPs case in smaller commercial passenger planes.

[Edited 2014-09-13 05:39:52]
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wingscrubber
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RE: Could The Starship Come Back As A Jet?

Wed Oct 08, 2014 9:19 pm

A jet powered starship would be a very sexy aeroplane, but sadly the starship's death knell has already been sounded... no more will ever roll off the production line. However, here are the remaining few still flying...
http://rps3.com/Pages/Starship.htm

And here is a jet powered long-EZ to get an idea of what it might be like;
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCrQXmVutdo

And here's a one-off jet powered Piper Aerostar to get an idea of what a jet starship could do...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayoqVJVQm2E

The Adamjet A700 might have been equivalent too. Guess we'll never know.
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KELPkid
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RE: Could The Starship Come Back As A Jet?

Wed Oct 08, 2014 11:09 pm

Most prop airframes are optimized for propellers, like taking advantage of induced lift created by propeller slipstreams...take that away and there's stuff you have to redesign on the plane   I'm sure that the Starship took advantage of the incoming airflow to the pusher props at the back of the wings. At least the tail isn't counting on propwash to help it create lift  
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aeroweanie
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RE: Could The Starship Come Back As A Jet?

Thu Oct 09, 2014 11:28 pm

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 15):

Most prop airframes are optimized for propellers, like taking advantage of induced lift created by propeller slipstreams...take that away and there's stuff you have to redesign on the plane

No, they aren't optimized in this way.

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 15):
I'm sure that the Starship took advantage of the incoming airflow to the pusher props at the back of the wings.

No, the flow coming off the wing was a problem, not an advantage. It really screwed up the flow going into the props.
 
citationjet
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RE: Could The Starship Come Back As A Jet?

Tue Oct 28, 2014 5:56 pm

Cessna built a prototype in the late 1980s to compete with the Beech Starship. Cessna used a Citation S550 (SII) fuselage and wing, a Citation 650 empennage, and PT-6s. Reportedly the handling qualities were not good, and the project was not pursued beyond the prototype stage, and never went into production. I don't think many outside of the local general aviation community knew about this plane.

Cessna's Citation Prop Pusher Prototype
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dlednicer
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RE: Could The Starship Come Back As A Jet?

Wed Oct 29, 2014 11:01 pm

Finally! A picture of the elusive Cessna ATP - thank you!
 
2H4
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RE: Could The Starship Come Back As A Jet?

Thu Oct 30, 2014 2:32 am

Quoting citationjet (Reply 17):
Cessna's Citation Prop Pusher Prototype

Do you have any other photos of it you can share?
Intentionally Left Blank
 
tmu101
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RE: Could The Starship Come Back As A Jet?

Thu Oct 30, 2014 3:38 am

Interesting. I worked at Cessna for 3.5 years and never heard of this. Very cool. Did this airplane get torn up afterwards or is it storage somewhere?

The Starship was still flying around when I worked at Cessna (Mid continent facility). You could always tell when the Starsiphip was airborne just by the distinct sound of its engines. It was very cool.
 
citationjet
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RE: Could The Starship Come Back As A Jet?

Thu Oct 30, 2014 12:55 pm

Quoting tmu101 (Reply 20):
You could always tell when the Starsiphip was airborne just by the distinct sound of its engines

We lived near the airport, and when my son was very young he used to call it the "noisy plane that flew backwards".
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