Re: End of airliner evolution?

From: (Aleksander Solum)
Organization: Mango Software
Date:         11 Oct 96 19:44:51 
References:   1
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In article <airliners.1996.1989@ohare.Chicago.COM>,
(IMacduff) 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?

well, I _do_ agree with you in that in the 34 (!) years from the DC-9 we
have developed a 747 ( well, Boeing ) and in the next years to now...a
Boeing 747 with electronic controls and a bigger upper deck! but there are
other things, really, to keep in mind. first, World War II. at the
beginning of WW2 the military air forces of a lot of countries ( I know-
I'm Norwegian ) were based on things like the Gloster Gladiator ( yes, we
had a lot of these Fokker VII's I think they're called! ). and in these
five years, Germany developed a jet fighter ( ME 262 ) with two jet
engines, retractable undercarriage, streamlined-modern design, swept looks like it's from 20 years later. say we had a 10-year WWII.
I'm sure we'd do the same technical advancements, but a nuclear war is not
worth it. then, we now use computers to design our planes. what you&me are
_really_ talking about is that from the _outside_ planes look like in the
'70s, but now the wings & engines ( well, the whole plane as in the 777 )
are designed to get max results on 3D computer workstations, all the
controls in the plane are digital ( these are of course only the most
modern airliners ), and boy, I do say we've progressed.

so I don't know...I suppose that on the _inside_ we've had a REAL
revolution, but keep in mind that the Concorde project, which is one of
the most advanced airliners to date, even if it's not fly-by-wire or
anything ) was started before 1960.

so I suppose I'm both pro and anti to this. what do you other guys think?


K.Aleksander Solum