Date: 16 Jun 97 21:35:40 From: "P. Wezeman" <email@example.com> Organization: The University of Iowa Followups: 1
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As several people have pointed out, the new large turbofans used on the Boeing 777 and Airbus A330 would allow the construction of a three engine airliner with as much thrust as present B747s. From what I read, three large engines cost less to operate and maintain than four smaller engines of the same total thrust. Would a 747 sized tri-jet in fact cost less to operate, or would the savings from the engines be offset by other factors such as a heavier wing structure to carry the weight of one engine at the center of the span? Has either McDonnell Douglas, Boeing, or Airbus looked at such a plane? From artists' conceptions, it looked like the proposed MD-12 did not use the larger engines. Would airlines or air cargo haulers find such a plane attractive? Presuming there was a market for it, could a large tri-jet be derived from the Boeing 777 by extending the fuselage forward enough to balance the weight of the third engine and increasing the size of the vertical tail to compensate for the increased fuselage area forward? Of course, this would be in addition to the changes needed for the increased weight and payload allowed by the third engine. Peter Wezeman, anti-social Darwinist "Carpe Cyprinidae"