Re: End of airliner evolution?

From:         "McElravy" <cpa1@penn.com>
Date:         05 Nov 96 04:14:00 
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> 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.

Engines may have changed massively, but the point was about what the BASIC
appearance of airliners is compared with then. The 707 and 777 are really
very similar: they are long, round, have a low, moderately swept wing with
engines mounted on the bottom of it, the cockpit in the front, holes
drilled in the side for passengers to look out of, a cruising speed of
roughly 0.80 mach etc., etc. If you compare the aeronautical progress made
in the roughly 30 years from Kitty Hawk to the DC-3 to the progress made in
the roughly 30 years from the Dash 80 to the 777, you're talking about
quite a difference.

It must be said, however, that over the years there HAVE been small
revolutions that WERE radically different looking that seem normal now: the
T-tail, winglets (which seem to be going the way of the dodo), the #2
engine mounting in the DC-10, widebodies, double decker cabins, engines on
the body instead of the wings, slats, spoilers, thrust reversers, etc.,
etc.

To sum all my ramblings up, the rate of aviation progress has slowed down,
but may pick up if some amazing new technology pops up.


							Evan McElravy
							cpa1@penn.com