What's old is new again (the HSCT/"superjumbo")

From:         ckd@eff.org (Christopher Davis)
Organization: Electronic Frontier Foundation Tech Central
Date:         11 Sep 93 13:45:48 PDT
References:   1 2
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KS> == Karl Swartz <kls@ohare.Chicago.COM>

 KS> [I]t's not unreasonable to expect an HSCT within twenty years.  That
 KS> appears to put a rather quick cap on the life of the 650-seat
 KS> behemoth(s), though the rapidly growly airfreight business may offer a
 KS> continued market for these beasts while passenger traffic migrates to
 KS> HSCT.

This is, of course, the exact same scenario envisioned for the 747, in the
days when the American SST was still a going project.  Both _Legend and
Legacy_ and Clive Irving's _Wide Body_ point out that the upper-deck
cockpit was designed to allow easy freight loading through the nose, and
that freighter conversion was explicitly planned into the 747 design.

I'm less sure that this scenario will happen between the superjumbo and the
HSCT.  Deregulation has passed, and the goal for many airlines is now to
cut seat-mile costs as low as possible and pack 'em in.  The HSCT will have
to be noticably more economical than the Concorde, which is of course one
of the many claims made for the HSCT, but the Concorde's original claims
were also for somewhat better monetary gain than it has shown.

(Note that I'm unconvinced about the need for the superjumbo, as well, but
did want to note the interesting historical parallel involved.)
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