Re: A3XX vs B747-600 (was: Airbus lawsuit coming?)

From:         faurecm@halcyon.com (C. Marin Faure)
Organization: Northwest Nexus Inc.
Date:         17 Sep 96 02:24:40 
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In article <airliners.1996.1872@ohare.Chicago.COM>, jfmezei@videotron.ca wrote:

> Ok, so in the case of the 747,  the old wing design had become a
> "hindrance" to added pax and range, so the use of a totally new wing
> with today's efficient designs is a "must" in order to acheive the
> stated goals (range/pax).
>
> However, in the case of the potential A3XX, since the A340 already has a
> modern wing, is it conceiveable that Airbus might be able to adapt the
> existing 340 wing design instead of design a brand new one from scratch
> ? Would such a "new" wing be all that different from the existing 340
> wing ?

I'm not an aerodynamics engineer, but I would imagine that Airbus might
draw heavily on the wing design of the A-330/340 if they build an A-3XX,
although they would probably like to get rid of the winglet.  However, the
A-3XX would be considerably larger and heavier than the A-330/340, so the
wing would have to be proportionately larger, which would necessitate
designing a new internal structure even if the airfoil shape were similar
or identical.  Also, the A-3XX would require larger and stronger landing
gear, which means the wing spars and other associated components would
have to be stronger.

> And taking this to another plane, if Boeing builds its new 747s, could
> the 777s wings not be adapted to the new 747s ?
> Even if the actual wing cannot be adapted litterally, wouldn't the
> expertise and computer simulation programmes developped for the 777 not
> reduce the costs of the 747s new wings ? Or would this knowledge already
> be considered "old" and no longer state-of-the-art forcing Boeing to
> start from "scratch" ?

The 777 has one of the most advanced wings around, and Boeing has already
stated that the 747 derivatives, if they are built, will use a similar
wing.  However, it would have to be larger and stronger than the wing on
the 777 because the new airplane itself will be larger and heavier.  But
the aerodynamic and manufacturing advances that are incorporated in the
777's wing would be used for the 747 derivative wing.  In that much of the
airfoil and control surface research and development has already been done
for the 777, you are correct in stating that the expertise gained from the
777 program will help hold the costs down on a 747 derivative.

C. Marin Faure
   author, Flying a Floatplane