Date: 17 Mar 99 01:24:40 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joe Castleman) Organization: Gyrofrog Communications References: 1 2 3 4 5 6 Followups: 1 2
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RampRat <email@example.com> wrote: >As an industry employee and childhood enthusiast, has anyone else >experienced that sadness that aircraft no longer seem to posess their >distinctive features? After all a 767, 777, A330 and even (for us myopic >types) A300/310 all look much the same[...] Also, an A320 is pretty similar to a 737. Maybe not as similar, though, as those other models are to each other. Or, how about an A321 vs. a 757? >[...]whereas a 727 or DC8-63 were instantly recognisable even from some >distance! Technology may be evolving towards ideal configurations but that >magical quality has lately been lost to those of us who loved the classic ships >of the 60s to the 80s. I've wondered about that. I guess that maybe there are only so many designs that are practical. There were some radical ideas introduced between, say, 1945 and 1975, but everything since 1975 seems to be a variation of designs from 1960 to 1975. What's left? Maybe a high-mounted wing on an airliner, like a Bae146 but larger? I suspect that they haven't tried that for a reason. Also, the 757 originally had a T-tail like the 727, and I suppose this was redesigned for some specific reason, as well. Another design I've wondered about would be a widebody airliner with a T-tail and rear-mounted engines (in fact I think there was such a plane proposed as a successor to the BAC-111). You did mention "ideal configurations," and I'll speculate that they narrowed those down to just a few. At least the similarity in designs gives us a fun challenge (well, for me anyway). For instance, an A300 has some sort of "pylons" on the underside of its wings, and the tail slopes up at a fairly straight angle (something I've noticed with other Airbuses). On the other hand, a 767 is more cone-shaped aft of the wing. A BAC-111 has a stockier tail than a DC-9, and its engines are mounted lower; an F100 has less sweep on its wing, and its engines are more forward-mounted, than a DC-9's. Also, a DC-9 doesn't have oval windows like the other two. A DC-8 I can distinguish by sound! I don't know why, as they don't seem any louder than any other plane that old, and they even have different types of engines. Yet the sound is very distinctive; high-pitched. Personally, I think it's those nostrils! ;-) Some planes you can rule out just because they aren't around anymore. That Airborne Express freighter is probably a DC-8, and not a 707, 720, CV880 nor CV990. Other planes seemingly have to be distinguished by airline: if it's British Airways, it's a Super VC10; if it's Cubana, it's an IL-62. ---- Joe Castleman -- firstname.lastname@example.org Gyrofrog Communications -- http://www.eden.com/~jcastle Austin, Texas U.S.A.