Re: End of airliner evolution?

From:         M.J.Jennings@amtp.cam.ac.uk (Michael Jennings)
Organization: University of Cambridge DAMTP
Date:         11 Oct 96 19:44:51 
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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?
>
>I believe that fifty years from now we will be flying airliners very
>similar to todays, with only minor enhancements.  They will still be
>almost entirely subsonic and have very similar overall performance.

	Mature technologies can be overthrown, however. I doubt that
manual typewriters changed all that much between 1900 and 1980,
aprt from incremental improvements. However, technology then produced
something better and they were then superceded completely. I believe
that something similar will at some point happen with commercial air
travel. Do I think we will be still flying in subsonic aircraft
similar to what we have now in 20 years time? Yes. Do I think we will
e still flying in subsonic aircraft similar to what we have now in 50
years time? Maybe. Do I think we will be still flying in subsonic
aircraft similar to what we have now in 100 years time. No.

	Michael.
--
Michael Jennings
Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics
The University of Cambridge.
http://www.damtp.cam.ac.uk/user/mjj12   mjj12@amtp.cam.ac.uk

"A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial
appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in
defence of custom. But tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts
than reason" --  Tom Paine.