Re: Lufthansa Chair sees no superjumbos

From: (Michael T. Palmer)
Organization: NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA  USA
Date:         01 Jul 95 02:24:43 
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rna@status.Stanford.EDU (Robert Ashcroft) wrote:

>Timothy Francis Mcdonough <> wrote:
>>HSCT will no doubt contribute to the demise of the superjumbo.

>The new generation SST?  Don't hold your breath.  The economics of that
>are even more dismal.  Without massive government aid this thing won't
>get beyond the pipe-dream stage.  Governments are broke, and the
>environmentalists will scream bloody murder about the effects on such
>a thing on the ozone layer.
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I kept your legal notice in here to stay, um, legal.

Anyway, the analyses by Boeing, Douglas, Honeywell, and NASA dispute
several of your claims.  Based on the current reference configurations
and associated Boeing marketing analysis, this airplane will make
money.  Enough, in fact, to cover its development cost (which Concorde
never will do -- too small a fleet) and reward those who invest in it.
The current High-Speed Research (HSR) program, of which I am a part,
is just a drop in the bucket in terms of what the airframers will be
(and are already) spending out of their own pockets.  They wouldn't do
this if there wasn't money to be made.

The environmental issues were tackled first, and have been addressed
by new designs for extremely low-emission engines.  Discussions about
the expected real-world performance of some of these designs have been
discussed in the trade press (e.g., Aerospace America, Aviation Week).
A lot of work went into this... don't brush it off without finding out
the facts.

While there are certainly some major technical challenges to be met,
and I agree that holding your breath until product launch might make
Dr. Kevorkian's day, many high-level people at the companies involved
are indeed planning to produce this aircraft.  And they won't do it
with "massive government aid."  The joint NASA/industry HSR program is
all there is in terms of gov't funding, and it's a very small part.


Michael T. Palmer (,
Crew/Vehicle Integration Branch, Flight Dynamics and Control Division
M/S 152, NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia 23681-0001 USA
Voice: +1 804 864-2044, Fax: +1 804 864-7793