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Future of Supersonic Planes


Kyprianos Biris

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Kyprianos Biris

 

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Konstantin

Ever since Concorde retired, I have been hearing about this or that new supersonic airliner project, but it has been nothing but talk so far. I will believe in a new generation of SST airplanes only when I see them flying in air!

And I would never fly on the windowless version. The magnificence of flying Concorde was to see the dark-blue sky at close to 60000 feet and perceive subsonic airplanes below you flying backwards. If I can't see that with my own eyes from the window, then supersonic travel loses fascination.

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AdrianSmith

I'm afraid that it'd headline put me off straight away

"This time they might work"

Concorde DID work, almost flawlessly, for decades until the French pulled the plug.

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Fraser Gale

Supersonic aircraft may come but they won't be on the scale of Concorde for a while yet (if ever) in my opinion.  

Smaller, lighter jets could be made more economical and might be commercially viable but a full blown airliner would be a commercial blind alley.   As soon as the weight/size increases, the boom becomes problematic and so does fuel burn.  To do a Concorde now you would need to increase the size to carry at least 200 people, increase the range to be at least trans-pacific and decrease the boom to a whimper or there is simply no point.  The engines as usual would be the main issue. 

The technology may exist to do all this but will airlines/passengers have the money/resources/want to do it...I'm not sure. 

Just my thoughts, not facts and I'd like to be proved wrong!

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Vimal Anandharaman

I do also doubt if there is ever gonna be a large supersonic jet. Small jets are just going to be more efficient. 
 

I do believe that Boom Supersonic has built a test plane already which will help them with collecting data and testing out certain things before starting on the actual prototype. They seem to be the closest to realizing the "rebirth" of supersonic transport. 

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Fraser Gale

Yes, Boom seem to be doing well with their scale model/prototype venture but after everything that has happened recently in the world, who is going to pay for it I wonder. 

Even if you talk to those that were involved with Concorde, privately the realistic ones will admit that it was commercially very hard work to balance the books, especially after 9/11.  It is a very sad fact that the technological age in some quarters has turned on itself and though supersonic travel is a huge advantage to the human being, with the technology being around from the 1960s to enable it, other technology has reduced the requirement for it and it just cost far too much for it to be viable on a large scale.

Concorde was a prestige project, a technical marvel ahead in many ways to this day, coming from the brains of people the like of which will never be seen again, loved by thousands and loathed by thousands in equal measure, slippery to fly on all but a perfect day and she was made successful on a commercial basis for many years by a small group of people within BA.  It couldn't be done in the same way in the modern era. 

Even from a health and safety perspective, a modern supersonic airliner couldn't get away with relying on an above average crew to make the difficult decisions that had to be made on many occasions, yet some of the problems would remain.  To quote a retired training captain from his book: "One could say that we in BA got away with it for 25 years...".

In fact I would recommend "A Concorde In My Toy Box" by Michael Riley to anyone who hasn't read it.  The book is perhaps the most honest when it comes to the realities of operating a Concorde, although fans of the great machine might find parts of it a difficult read.  Some of the issues (in my unqualified opinion) might still be so even with a modern vehicle though many will be eliminated by technology.  There's just the eternal question - what happens when the technology fails...........??

Anyway, I've rambled on long enough!    

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Søren Dissing
1 hour ago, Fraser Gale said:

In fact I would recommend "A Concorde In My Toy Box" by Michael Riley to anyone who hasn't read it. 

Thanks Fraser, just bought the Kindle edition.

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