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comment by kleinbl00
kleinbl00  ·  746 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Flying V first successful flight

I dunno, man. I think fuel economy is about to start mattering a lot more, which is likely to be disruptive to the "shove the sausage through the sky" paradigm of air travel. Picture a scenario in which Airbus brings this to First Flight and then the EU announces they'll be taxing emissions on passenger aircraft because global warming. Protectionist? Debatable. Effective? If it becomes say $30 a ticket cheaper to fly an Airbus into de Gaulle because it's shaped like a boomerang, there's gonna be a lot of boomerangs at de Gaulle. Especially if COMAC, Mitsubishi and Bombardier can pull it off but Boeing can't.

uhsguy  ·  746 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The trend is smaller aircraft longer flights, say 737 size planes Seattle to Tokyo, not practical now but with better engines and lighter fuselages that’s where things are going. Hub and spoke model is dead for the most part. Also you can’t put passengers in the outer V, it would be a nauseating experience, and you typically can’t stack engines like that as they would take each other out If there was an event. And even without that is this configuration controllable with a single engine out? I bet not. The delta wings want 1 or 3 engine configurations or an in-line 2. Maybe the v solves the egress issue with aft doors on a typical delta wing but it’s a really costly way to do things - lots of extra weight due to structural inefficiency.

Realistically this airplane would cost 3-5x more than a typical banana body to build and certify, I don’t actually think anybody wants to invest that much in R&D right now. Why innovate when incremental changes suffice and there is no competition. Now if you could make a single engine reliable enough to replace 2, now we’re talking game changers

kleinbl00  ·  746 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Sure but hear me out:

1) put lithium-ion batteries in the outer wings

2) Put two or three electric turbofans in each wing

3) slather the upper surfaces in solar

4) Aim for for 40k feet cruise, pressurize for rigidity

Let's say that by doing that, you can decrease your energy burn by 50% over conventional travel. Let's further say that doing so at 250kts instead of 500 knocks you down by another 50%. My flight cost is now 1/4 what it is otherwise - If I give people three times the space and double the creature comfort but I charge them the same amount, what do the economics look like? Does 5 hours above the weather in a barcalounger with internet and a Starbuck's kiosk in the middle look more attractive than 2 1/2 hours in a sardine can?

Ask anybody if they could (safely) travel by Zeppelin and watch their eyes light up. The idea of not spending a day in a crowded subway car in the sky is super-appealing. The only outfit that really made the 380 work was Emirates, who basically turned the damn things into airborne cruise ships.

This here k-shaped recovery is kicking a lot of money at the rich. the rich are already diving hard into charter and fractional. Try and tell me that people wouldn't pay double to take Virgin Sail NY-London in 12 hours instead of 6 if it's gonna be comfy and luxe.

uhsguy  ·  746 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Item 1-4 all add a lot of weight. Item 2 adds a shit ton of recurring maintenance costs.

Reducing fuel costs by half only reduced operating costs by 10-15-%. But you also decrease utilization by 50% so you actually increase total costs.

There is a market for luxury but it’s small and it has the same hub spoke problem where you have to take a shitty puddle jumper and wait at the airport for hours to get to the main airport and then to the destination airport. Why not just fly everett to Vegas in 3 hrs door to door instead of Everett-SeaTac-Vegas in 7.

kleinbl00  ·  746 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Yeah... once I discovered that 25kg of LIons is worth 1kg of Jet-A (and you get to land with all 25kgs) the flight of fancy became more of a hop.