Re: T-Tailed aircraft

From: (C. Marin Faure)
Organization: Northwest Nexus Inc.
Date:         01 May 96 11:19:59 
References:   1
Followups:    1
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In article <airliners.1996.547@ohare.Chicago.COM>, "John O'Brien"
<> wrote:

> I find it difficult to distinguish at a glance an A330
> from a 767 / 777, a 737-400 from an A320, an A310 from a 757
> or TU-204.  Will there ever be another T-Tailed airliner
> after the current ones become obsolete ? I know its all
> economics now but I liked the days when VC10s, Tridents,
> DC-8s,707s all looked distinctive and had...
> well a bit of character !

There are some definite identifying characteristics I use to tell one from
the other, but then I'm around them a lot.  Things like flap track
fairings and the flight deck window line are two things I use to tell a
Boeing from an Airbus if all I see is part of the plane.

The name of the game in airliner design is efficiency, and we're all
playing in the same sandbox.  Our air is the same as Aibus' air, so our
designs tend to end up being fairly similar.  The big difference is in the
refinements.  The 777 wing is somewhat superior to the A/330/340 wing in
that it will allow quite a family of future airplanes to be based on it,
from high gross weight to stretched, to short range, etc.  Airbus is
pretty much at the limit now of what they can do with their wing.  If they
want to increase gross weight a lot, they'll have to come up with a new
wing, not an inexpensive proposition.

I suspect the only time you'll see a radical change in the current design
of commerical airplanes is if and when a new fuel is developed to enable
planes to fly a lot faster and/or a lot higher.  This will require
different aerodynamic shapes than we use now.

C. Marin Faure
author, Flying A Floatplane