Re: End of airliner evolution?

From:         nak@lucent.com (Neil A Kirby x5304)
Organization: Lucent Technologies, Columbus, Ohio
Date:         11 Oct 96 19:44:50 
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In article <airliners.1996.1989@ohare.chicago.com>,
IMacduff <imacduff@aol.com> wrote:
>
>I would like to hear others views on where advances in aeronautics will
>take us and how far away is the end.  I find it curious that the basic
>design of airliners hasn't changed that much ( nothing revolutionary
>anyway) since the 707.  How efficient can you make jet engines?  Do higher
>speeds (supersonic) come free or will they always require compromise (ie
>fuel efficiency, safety, approach speeds)?  Are there any revolutionary
>aerodynamic designs still untried in the wind tunnels or computer
>simulations?

It depends on where you draw the line between evolution and revolution.
Comparing the turbo jets of the 707 to the 100 inch fans of the 777 is a
bit of a stretch.  I would probably call it evolutionary, but it's long
path from one to the other.

In the revolution class, NASA just reported data from the F16 XL test jet
about laminar flow over swept wings at supersonic speeds.  The article
mentioned words like "Holy Grail" in terms of the last big advance in
aerodynamics.  I read it on sci.space.news just a few minutes ago.  That
one has the 300 passenger mach 2.4 class aircraft in mind.


Neil Kirby	DoD #0783	nak@lucent.com
Lucent Technologies - Home of Bell Labs Innovations
(Formerly AT&T) Bell Labs  Columbus OH     USA +1 (614) 860-5304