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The world's largest passenger jet!

Raghav Sam
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Joined: Apr 12, 2001
Posts: 412
A380
Big and beautiful. Dont know how much bigger these aircrafts will get to.


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Helen Thomas
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Joined: Jan 13, 2004
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Much vaunted European effort. I wish they didn't use the word Titanic to describe it.
[ January 18, 2005: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]

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Bacon
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Joined: Jul 14, 2004
Posts: 305
Boeing has stated that they have no intentions of coming out with a replacement jumbo jet for the 747.

They may change their mind, depending on how this new plane impacts the industry.
Steve Wink
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Joined: May 13, 2002
Posts: 223
Originally posted by Ray Marsh:
They may change their mind, depending on how this new plane impacts the industry.


Don't use the word impact!
Ellen Zhao
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Joined: Sep 17, 2002
Posts: 581
Elegant!

Originally posted by Raghav Sam:
Dont know how much bigger these aircrafts will get to.

Once I heard from a physics lecture that there's limit for the size of the passenger jet - To lift more people the wings have to be biger, however they cannot be arbitrarily big, according to some engineering math, no existing material can stand the internal force during the flight if the wings are too big. - And I guess Airbus A380 is pretty close to that physical limit already. Just my guess.
Mark Spritzler
ranger
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Joined: Feb 05, 2001
Posts: 17249
    
    6

The super jumbo is gigantic, like a Titanic in the sky.


Not an analogy that I like.

Mark


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Mark Fletcher
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Joined: Dec 08, 2001
Posts: 897
Do you think the seats will have more leg room, or will they cram us all in like sardines?


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I had some Java certs, but they're too old now...
Bert Bates
author
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Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 8764
    
    5
Wow - beautiful...

interesting stat: per passenger, this baby gets about 60-70 mpg!


Spot false dilemmas now, ask me how!
(If you're not on the edge, you're taking up too much room.)
Bacon
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Joined: Jul 14, 2004
Posts: 305
Originally posted by Steve Wink:
Don't use the word impact!


Uh... yeah, good point!

Originally posted by Mark Fletcher:
Do you think the seats will have more leg room, or will they cram us all in like sardines?


800 sardines in 1 can, that sounds cozy.
Bacon
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Joined: Jul 14, 2004
Posts: 305
Originally posted by Ellen Zhao:
Once I heard from a physics lecture that there's limit for the size of the passenger jet...


There are tons of variables that go into that. Assuming the standard design for passenger jets, there is obviously a limit to the size plane that can be built with currently available matierials. Well... there is always an upper limit with any matierial or technology. What I'm getting at is, with radically different designs, propulsion, technologies, planes could be made a great deal larger. Whether that will be practical or not is a different question.

Its interesting that Airbus is coming out with this when many US airlines are using smaller jets, not larger. Mostly due to the flight plan re-works. Many smaller cities cannot get long direct flights, (like my home town) you have to make a connection at a major hub. Almost all domestic carriers are doing that these days. You can only get flights on "regional jets", which means small.

Perhaps it will be used for international flights, mostly.
Alan Wanwierd
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Joined: Jun 30, 2004
Posts: 624
Originally posted by Ray Marsh:
..Its interesting that Airbus is coming out with this when many US airlines are using smaller jets, not larger. ...


There are 2 conflicting opinions on how the air travel industry will develop, with Boeing betting heavily on one side and airbus on the other.

Airbus say (paraphrased): More and more people are travelling by air and travelling longer distances. The best way to get more people up and around cost effectively is to have more passengers per plane so by developing the A380 and cramming it with 800 passengers we have twice the capacity than the 747s...

Boeing say (paraphrased):More and more people wnat to travel, but are sick of hub-spoke networks and want point to point travel, therefore we need more planes to service more routes, but these planes need improved range so people dont have to keep stopping.

I'm sure we'll end up somewhere in between with very popular routes using big planes (i.e. London-Sydney, LA-Singapore, JFK-HongKong) but with an increased number of point ot point services being offered on smaller planes to more regional areas i.e. (Manchester-Brisbane, Calgary-Madrid, CapeTown-Cuzco)

I thought the engineering challenge to Airbus was not so much getting a plane that big to fly - but designing one that could still fit within existing airport infrastructure. This meant working withing restrictions on wing length so the plane can fit at existing gates, and using existing runway length and no more (since a plane that requires a longer runway can use fewer airports)

The challenge as I see it is going to be managing the vast numbers of people at boarding gates for these mega-planes! Its bad enough when you have 400 people queueing up at the gate for boarding - The thought of sharing existing gate facilities with 800 people is quite horrendous... the age of airport toilet queues has _really_ arrived!!

Does anybody know when and where these planes are going service? I know that Qantas and Air Malaysia have signed up to by a few but I dont know who's going to start using them first!
Kishore Dandu
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Joined: Jul 10, 2001
Posts: 1934
I feel irrespective of the new planes, airlines like British airways will continue allocating their worst planes to routes like london-bombay and Lufthansa will continue less leg room at the expense of them making more out of a plane.

Go Emirates & Singapore Airlines


Kishore
SCJP, blog
Kishore Dandu
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Joined: Jul 10, 2001
Posts: 1934
One interesting observation from a aviation expert:

"Irrespective of many airports upgrading their landing runways etc to accomodate the Airbus jet, how about a emergency landing situation where you need to land in a airport that is not designed for this kind of behemoth???"

I have a feeling Boeing is better off in this specific bet(and they do have the 777 on their side)
Warren Dew
blacksmith
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Joined: Mar 04, 2004
Posts: 1332
    
    1
Ellen Zhao:

Once I heard from a physics lecture that there's limit for the size of the passenger jet - To lift more people the wings have to be biger, however they cannot be arbitrarily big, according to some engineering math, no existing material can stand the internal force during the flight if the wings are too big. - And I guess Airbus A380 is pretty close to that physical limit already. Just my guess.

Pretty much true, at least with the aluminum based materials that most airliners presently use. That's why the maximum takeoff weight of the A380 isn't any more than the 747, freight versions of which have taken off with a gross weight of 800 tons. The A380 carries more passengers primarily because it's designed from the start to have two full passenger decks.

Boeing is actually exploring heavy use of new materials - composites - that could potentially increase these limits. However, it is first using these materials in the 7E7 to make a lighter airplane and to improve fuel efficiency, rather than to increase the maximum plane size.
Nick George
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Joined: Apr 04, 2004
Posts: 815
800 people? I wouldn't want to be at baggage claim when 4 of them land.


I've heard it takes forever to grow a woman from the ground
ammu vasanth
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Joined: Sep 04, 2004
Posts: 47
Do you think the seats will have more leg room, or will they cram us all in like sardines?

keeping the number of passengers and the spec of the flight in mind..guess it'll be the same case.

800 people? I wouldn't want to be at baggage claim when 4 of them land

That's a good foresight..will sure take up 5-6 hours, right?
Jeroen Wenting
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Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
Originally posted by Mark Fletcher:
Do you think the seats will have more leg room, or will they cram us all in like sardines?


The 747 was originally marketed to the public as offering more legroom, couches, bars, etc.
And indeed the first few were delivered like that.
Within 3 years all were converted to the configuration we see today: densepacked cattle cars.

Strangely those same features are hailed as "new capabilities" for the A380.

I leave you to make up your own mind as to how long that will last, adding only that Airbus is certifying the aircraft to carry up to 800 passengers despite officially selling it for 550 or so at the moment...


42
Jeroen Wenting
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Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
Originally posted by Nick George:
800 people? I wouldn't want to be at baggage claim when 4 of them land.


I've spoken to luggage handlers at Schiphol. They say they'll be completely incapable of loading and unloading the aircraft in any decent amount of time.
Indeed think several hours waiting for your luggage, plus several hours to board and several hours more to deplane.

This increases the time on the ground from about 3-4 hours for a 747 to 6-8 hours for an A380 (minimum times between route segments).
Airbus of course does not take those extra hours on the ground (and the associated parking and handling fees) into their calculations when showing how cheap the aircraft will be to operate in comparison to the 747.
Jeroen Wenting
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Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
Originally posted by Warren Dew:
Ellen Zhao:

Once I heard from a physics lecture that there's limit for the size of the passenger jet - To lift more people the wings have to be biger, however they cannot be arbitrarily big, according to some engineering math, no existing material can stand the internal force during the flight if the wings are too big. - And I guess Airbus A380 is pretty close to that physical limit already. Just my guess.

Pretty much true, at least with the aluminum based materials that most airliners presently use. That's why the maximum takeoff weight of the A380 isn't any more than the 747, freight versions of which have taken off with a gross weight of 800 tons. The A380 carries more passengers primarily because it's designed from the start to have two full passenger decks.

Boeing is actually exploring heavy use of new materials - composites - that could potentially increase these limits. However, it is first using these materials in the 7E7 to make a lighter airplane and to improve fuel efficiency, rather than to increase the maximum plane size.


The A380 is quite severely overweight. Airports around the world are strengthening runways and taxiways and building entire new terminals to handle them.
The aircraft is right up to the limits international agencies have agreed upon for airliner size (this is a box into which an airliner must fit in order to fit on an airport ramp) and the wingspan is actually large enough that on many airports 2 of them won't be able to pass one another or park next to another...

Actual weight is actually less of a problem than you think.
It's ground pressure which in the A380 is lowered to within (barely) acceptable limits by increasing the number and size of the wheels in the main landing gear.

Structural limits are such that pretty much all modern airliners are quite close to them.
Using a structure which gives more strength almost always means more weight as well so the structures of civilian airliners are typically kept to just over the minimum strength required in order to minimise weight.

The A380 indeed has exceeded (during design) the maximum available design strength of the materials available.
They had to wait for a new lightweight ultrastrong composite to become available before they could build it.
They also had to increase the amount of material used (adding weight, thus decreasing performance and increasing operational cost) in order to overcome these problems.

As to size capabilities: larger aircraft than the A380 have been built, but they could not carry the same payload by far.
These aircraft were made of plywood and linen...
Jeroen Wenting
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Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
Originally posted by Kishore Dandu:
One interesting observation from a aviation expert:

"Irrespective of many airports upgrading their landing runways etc to accomodate the Airbus jet, how about a emergency landing situation where you need to land in a airport that is not designed for this kind of behemoth???"


Airbus claims it won't need more runway to land than does a 747 (though that remains to be seen, especially at heavy load).
If so, the 380 will have no real problems finding an emergency landing site (at least no more so than does a 747).
It may of course rip up the runway with that weight, something that could mean a heavy price for the operator. Or it might be incapable of taking off again (at least loaded), again more of an inconvenience than a lifethreatening problem.
Jeroen Wenting
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Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
Originally posted by Steve Wink:


Don't use the word impact!


I find it a rather down to earth analogy

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The super jumbo is gigantic, like a Titanic in the sky.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Not an analogy that I like.


why not? Afraid of icebergs up there? Or do you think it's a project that'll never fly
Angela Poynton
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Joined: Mar 02, 2000
Posts: 3143
Working in the airline industry I've bee told a few things.

Work is going on right at London, Heathrow to prepare for this plane to come into service next year.

That work includes modifying some ramps, so people will be able to board at three different points on the plane (lower deck front and rear and upper deck front) So people could be loaded on quite quickly.

Also luggage carousels will be made bigger to accomodate, I'm assuming provisions will be made to make sure luggage is loaded / unloaded quickly.

I actually think this plane will work. My airline disagrees though, and we haven't ordered any.


Pounding at a thick stone wall won't move it, sometimes, you need to step back to see the way around.
Kishore Dandu
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Joined: Jul 10, 2001
Posts: 1934
Originally posted by Jeroen Wenting:


Airbus claims it won't need more runway to land than does a 747 (though that remains to be seen, especially at heavy load).
If so, the 380 will have no real problems finding an emergency landing site (at least no more so than does a 747).
It may of course rip up the runway with that weight, something that could mean a heavy price for the operator. Or it might be incapable of taking off again (at least loaded), again more of an inconvenience than a lifethreatening problem.


If your logic is true, why are airports like LHR, LAX are preparing or making changes to their runways to accomodate 380(if it is similar to landing a 747); looks like there is some problem in your logic.
Eric Pascarello
author
Rancher

Joined: Nov 08, 2001
Posts: 15376
    
    6
Boeing is coming out with the 7E7. You can more here:

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/208458_air19.html

Eric
Madhav Lakkapragada
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Joined: Jun 03, 2000
Posts: 5040
(I didn't read the entire thread, so maybe this point was already discussed)

During lunch someone pointed out that there's even a gym onboard.
That made me wonder, what the hell are these folks thinking -
Here we are on ground and can't make it to the gym twice/thrice a week, but somehow boy that "workout" on say an 8 hour (or 10) flight would dramatically :roll: change your life. Huh! I mean I definetly needed THAT! I don't know how I survived 30 years without that, can you imagine?

Ok, if there's space left on board, why not give a little bit more legroom or arm-rest maybe a seat which is a little bigger. Now, I don't think I am obese, I can still park in a normal airline seat but hey, there's extra room...so why not.

Maybe that's just me.......

- m


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Warren Dew
blacksmith
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Joined: Mar 04, 2004
Posts: 1332
    
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Adrian Wallace:

I'm sure we'll end up somewhere in between with very popular routes using big planes (i.e. London-Sydney, LA-Singapore, JFK-HongKong) but with an increased number of point ot point services being offered on smaller planes to more regional areas i.e. (Manchester-Brisbane, Calgary-Madrid, CapeTown-Cuzco)

It's to be noted that in the U.S., the highest volume routes don't have particularly large planes. Instead, they are served by more flights and more airlines. Here in the Northeast, airlines typically offer flights every hour or even every half hour between the biggest cities; apparently its worth quite a bit to people to be able to leave at a convenient time.

Whether that will hold true for major international routes remains to be seen. Perhaps people will be more willing to wait when the flight is going to be longer anyway; perhaps not.
Alan Wanwierd
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Joined: Jun 30, 2004
Posts: 624
Originally posted by Warren Dew:
...Whether that will hold true for major international routes remains to be seen. Perhaps people will be more willing to wait when the flight is going to be longer anyway; perhaps not.


I dont think anyone (even Airbus' PR department)is suggesting that the A380 will do shorthaul work (such as all the intra-continental flying that is the high volume US domestic market), but for longhaul flights most people tend to follow the cheapest tickets on routes where there may be 1 or 2 flights a day, time of day of the flights doesnt really enter into the equation much when jetlag's gonna knock you out for at least a couple of days anyway - If the A380 brings down the cost of the flying - then passengers will come....

Qnatas are plannign on introducing the A380 on trans-pacific flights and "kangeroo-route" flights from Q3 2006... I'd imagine that the other SE Asian cariers (who also seem to do a LOT of long haul work) will also introduce them into their fleets in the next few years. I guess only time will tell wether or not its a winning strategy for the airlines!
Jeroen Wenting
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Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
Originally posted by Kishore Dandu:


If your logic is true, why are airports like LHR, LAX are preparing or making changes to their runways to accomodate 380(if it is similar to landing a 747); looks like there is some problem in your logic.


There isn't.
Like I said an A380 might rip open runways that can take a 747 if those runways are close to the limit.
Strengthening runways is therefore called for.
Widening may also be needed to allow for regular operations (especially taxiways).
In an emergency landings can be made on runways that are quite a bit more narrow than what you'd want to do in regular operations after all...

At LAX the main changes are to the taxiways, putting them further apart to allow A380s to use parallel taxiways at the same time (which now isn't possible).
Again, in an emergency they could close one of the taxiways and let the aircraft use the other, but in regular operations you don't want to do that.
Jeroen Wenting
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Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
Originally posted by Madhav Lakkapragada:
(I didn't read the entire thread, so maybe this point was already discussed)

During lunch someone pointed out that there's even a gym onboard.
That made me wonder, what the hell are these folks thinking -
Here we are on ground and can't make it to the gym twice/thrice a week, but somehow boy that "workout" on say an 8 hour (or 10) flight would dramatically :roll: change your life. Huh! I mean I definetly needed THAT! I don't know how I survived 30 years without that, can you imagine?

Ok, if there's space left on board, why not give a little bit more legroom or arm-rest maybe a seat which is a little bigger. Now, I don't think I am obese, I can still park in a normal airline seat but hey, there's extra room...so why not.

Maybe that's just me.......

- m


That gym was just a marketing gimmick Airbus put into a mockup and a few computer generated images they used in a TV commercial and on their website.
Noone actually ordered that option installed, all customers went for packing the aircraft solidly with seats.
The extra legroom will likely turn out to be a hoax also, it's more economical to put in more of the same seats... The only reason you'd get more legroom is if the aircraft would get over MTOW with those extra passengers and their luggage.
Virgin did opt for some bedrooms they can rent out to passengers on the middle deck (there's actually a little room in between the upper and lower decks which can be reached) but that's all.
Frank Silbermann
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Joined: Jun 06, 2002
Posts: 1379
Originally posted by Jeroen Wenting:
That gym was just a marketing gimmick Airbus put into a mockup and a few computer generated images they used in a TV commercial and on their website.
Noone actually ordered that option installed, all customers went for packing the aircraft solidly with seats.
Even if they did put in a gym, there would probably be more treadmills than free-weight stations.

Virgin did opt for some bedrooms they can rent out to passengers on the middle deck (there's actually a little room in between the upper and lower decks which can be reached) but that's all.
I guess to get maximum benefit flyers could rent it by the hour. Then being a member of the Mile High Club will no longer be such a big deal. But they might have to change the name of their airline ....
Ben Souther
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Joined: Dec 11, 2004
Posts: 13410

Originally posted by Jeroen Wenting:

If so, the 380 will have no real problems finding an emergency landing site (at least no more so than does a 747).
It may of course rip up the runway with that weight, something that could mean a heavy price for the operator. Or it might be incapable of taking off again (at least loaded), again more of an inconvenience than a lifethreatening problem.



Hahaha... They'd have to make condos out of it...
[ January 20, 2005: Message edited by: Ben Souther ]

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Warren Dew
blacksmith
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Joined: Mar 04, 2004
Posts: 1332
    
    1
Adrian Wallace:

I dont think anyone (even Airbus' PR department)is suggesting that the A380 will do shorthaul work (such as all the intra-continental flying that is the high volume US domestic market)

Maybe they aren't now. I would bet that in the 1990s, when they first started designing the plane, they wanted short and medium haul routes as well as the long haul routes. At the time the 747 was extremely popular, and there was even a 747SR (for "short range") version specifically designed to carry extra passengers on routes which didn't need much fuel reserve like Tokyo-Osaka.

but for longhaul flights most people tend to follow the cheapest tickets on routes where there may be 1 or 2 flights a day, time of day of the flights doesnt really enter into the equation much when jetlag's gonna knock you out for at least a couple of days anyway - If the A380 brings down the cost of the flying - then passengers will come....

I think it's very optimistic to believe the A380, or even the 7E7, will bring down operating costs enough to make a noticeable difference in ticket prices. This is a world where a 5% improvement in fuel efficiency is huge. Labor costs are the biggest portion of airline costs these days, anyway - and if they really do use three gangways for the 380, that will increase, rather than decrease, labor costs. More likely they will slightly reduce cut labor costs by trying to load through only one gangway, but again, it won't be a huge savings.

Qnatas are plannign on introducing the A380 on trans-pacific flights and "kangeroo-route" flights from Q3 2006

I do agree that Australian routes are one of the few places where the A380 may make sense. What might make even more sense would be a small plane with a very long range - say, something 717 sized or smaller - but it seems that neither Airbus nor Boeing are interested in planes that small. A couple decades from now, they may both be losing out to Embraer and Bombardier.
Alan Wanwierd
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Joined: Jun 30, 2004
Posts: 624
Originally posted by Warren Dew:
..What might make even more sense would be a small plane with a very long range ..


Absolutely!!! Get me from Brisbane to London direct (16,500km) with no stops and I'll book your airline EVERY time!

Even better would be sub-orbital flights - with vast (like that above) distances being travellable in a mere couple of hours!!!
[ January 20, 2005: Message edited by: Adrian Wallace ]
Jeroen Wenting
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Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
Originally posted by Ben Souther:



Hahaha... They'd have to make condos out of it...


Or (partially) disassemble it in place and reassemble elsewhere.
This already happens with aircraft surviving emergency landings outside airports or at places they can't get out of (which happens once in a while for exactly the same reasons).
Helen Thomas
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Joined: Jan 13, 2004
Posts: 1759
I suspect that like the Titanic and Concorde this also will be a white elephant.

The market that might save it would be the Chinese market. Specially fitted to fly 1000 people.
Warren Dew
blacksmith
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Joined: Mar 04, 2004
Posts: 1332
    
    1
Adrian Wallace:

Even better would be sub-orbital flights - with vast (like that above) distances being travellable in a mere couple of hours!!!

It's really a pity that supersonic commercial transport technology stopped with the Concorde. If that market had stayed competitive for the 30 years since the Concorde was introduced, I think it's likely that supersonic airliners would now be as fuel efficient as subsonic airliners.
Jeroen Wenting
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Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
Originally posted by Helen Thomas:
I suspect that like the Titanic and Concorde this also will be a white elephant.

The market that might save it would be the Chinese market. Specially fitted to fly 1000 people.


The Chinese are coming, the Chinese are coming
Troop transport for an entire infantry brigade in just 2 aircraft you mean?
 
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