From: <IO00656@MAINE.MAINE.EDU> Organization: University of Maine System Date: 10 Nov 93 00:02:50 PST
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What is the greatest passenger load that can be realized for an airliner? In K. Eric Drexler's book, "Unbounding the Future", he states that it may be possible to make materials with a strength-to-density ratio of about 30 to 300 times that of steel (depending on the grade of steel) or more than ten times better than materials used today. I'm not sure that the empty operating capacity of airliners could be reduced by a factor of ten due to necessary equipment. If liquid hydrogen could be used as a fuel then it need not take up more than 20% of take-off weight for even long range craft. It seems to me that large (high cargo capacity) airliners are possible (three decks). Has any aeronautical engineer devised a "dream airliner"?