Re: End of airliner evolution?

From:         Jean-Francois Mezei <jfmezei@videotron.ca>
Organization: Vaxination Informatique
Date:         12 Oct 96 22:13:10 
References:   1 2
Followups:    1
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I do not know if and when this will apply to commercial airliners, but
looking at the design of the proposed new shuttle and new fighter jets,
they have been able to compromise mechanical flight stability with the
use of sophisticated flight management systems.

The new shuttle (if built) basically will not have conventional wings
but flight stability will be acheived with carefully controlled small
control surfaces that will compensate for the otherwise unstable design.

In other words, with computers, you can use a design which would have
otherwise been too difficult to fly with a conventional mechanical
cockpit. Whether advantages from such designs would benefit the
commercial airliner market is another question.

I beleive that in the short/medium term, advancements will be driven by
economics (eg: more fuel efficient, easier to maintain etc) and that it
will take a while before we get a pride-driven design (eg: Concorde, or
a shuttle-for-passengers-doing<JFK-SYD>-in-45-minutes)