What could replace the P-3?

Date:         18 Apr 98 00:49:17 
From:         kls@ohare.Chicago.COM (Karl Swartz)
Organization: Chicago Software Works, Menlo Park, California
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>First thanks to all those in rec.aviation.military who helped me make a
>list of civil-military 'equivalents'.

Sounds interesting!  How 'bout posting it to sci.aeronautics.airliners?

>Now, consider a hypothetical situation where the RAAF had the money to
>replace its venerable P-3C Orion ASW planes with some new model. Say it
>wanted to convert an exisiting but up-to-date airliner to fill the role.
...
>I'm assuming such a plane would need four engines for safety during long
>patrols at sea, not merely because the P-3 has four engines. Is this
>right?

Why make that assumption?  As long as you can get to a safe landing spot
before the other engine fails, it doesn't much matter whether you're
spending your many flying hours over open seas following a great circle
path from point A to point B or doing lazy circles in the vicinity of
point C.  Commercial requirements are, if anything, more stringent than
military, since the military has greater risk-tolerance.

Look at AWACS, which has a similar loiter requirement, albeit not over
wide swaths of water.  The original version was based on the four-engined
707, but the latest rendition, for Japan, is based on a twin, the 767.

>Here's a wild idea: how about a four engined 737-600? Who makes
>turbofans in the 10-12,000lb class needed to replace half of a CFM56?

The aerodynamicists will tell you that you can't do that, at least not
without making a mess of the aerodynamics.  Even the A330/340 wing,
which was designed from the start to have either one or two engines per
wing, gives up some performance in both applications because they could
not optimize for either case without sacrificing too much in the other
case.

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Karl Swartz	|Home	kls@chicago.com
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