Date: 04 Jun 99 00:59:10 From: email@example.com (Stephen H. Westin) Organization: Cornell University Program of Computer Graphics References: 1
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"greg" <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes: > He bought a former quantas 707-138..Last -100 series off he lot..N707JT I read this some time ago, and immediately thought "What overkill! That much airplane for one person!". But that set me thinking: what old airliner would I like to adapt for my personal transport, given the money? Some criteria I keep in mind are: o Uniqueness and imagination o Availability (obviously somewhat at issue with the first criterion) o Speed o Range (after all, what good is having your own airplane if you wind up on JAL for that weekend trip to Bangkok?) o Economy (both operating and purchase price: no new A340s need apply) (this just to satisfy the engineer's drive for optimization) Some candidates: o 707: + Readily available + Proven airframe + Service no problem + Good cruising speed (a bit faster than many later planes) + Range - Fuel consumption - Old avionics Of course, if one could persuade Boeing to upgrade to E-6 specs and get the necessary certification for the CFM56's etc., that would reduce fuel consumption and update the avionics a bit; the Navy even talks of upgrading to a cockpit adapted from the 737NG. The CFM56's would also have performance ramifications: the claim for the E-6 is not that it's faster or has longer range, but that its *altitude ceiling* is increased. o 720 + 707-like, so service, etc. should work + Higher altitude capability through reduced weight + Higher cruising speed. I know the 720 has wing-root fairings to increase Mach number compared to the 707-100, but did the 707-300 surpass this? + Reduced payload not a problem, as we only are taking along a few close friends, right? - Rarity: might be hard to find a flyable one o Convair 990 + Uniqueness + Range + Possibly cruising speed + Engine commonality with the J-79 might help maintenance - Uniqueness: there seems to be only one 990 left in flying condition (at most). o DC-8 + Range + Available with CFM56 engines for better fuel economy + Still widely used, so service no problem o Vickers VC10 + Short runway performance (after all, we want to fly *anywhere*, right?) + Looks. I have long considered the VC-10 to be the most graceful of airliners. Well, at least until I saw the unpainted Comet prototype on Marc Schaeffer's Web site... + Uniqueness + Possibility of retrofitting with 2 more modern engines? The RB211 started its flight testing on the modified left pylon of a VC10, replacing two of its original engines - Fuel consumption (worse than the 707 in its day, I believe) - Rarity: I think all the flyable VC10s are owned by the RAF. Maintenance would probably be a real challenge o Various newer/smaller aircraft. The 727, DC-9, 737 would all fit in here. I suppose Caravelle also would. Range probably wouldn't be a problem, as payload would be light and there would be room to fit extra tanks. But then, most of these have already been used as personal aircraft. o Bigger aircraft (DC-10, Tristar, MD-11). Well, that really *would* be wasteful, wouldn't it :)? P.S. I also read that Travolta is qualified to fly the thing himself! What fun! -- -Stephen H. Westin Any information or opinions in this message are mine: they do not represent the position of Cornell University or any of its sponsors.