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Visualized: Boeing Supersonic Airliner Concept Soars in a Wind Tunnel, Quietly

Posted April 28, 2013 3:23 PM

From Engadget RSS Feed:

No, you're not looking at an early preview of Star Wars Episode VII -- it just might represent the future of air transport, though. Boeing has spent years developing a truly quiet supersonic airliner concept, the Icon II, and what you see is an aerodynamics test of a mockup in a vaguely Death Star-like wind tunnel at NASA's Glenn Research Center. The starfighter design is for more than just show, as you'd suspect. Its V-tail design moves sonic booms further back, reducing the chance that shockwaves will reach the ground (and our ears) intact, while the top-mounted engines isolate engine noise. Boeing and NASA are ultimately hoping for production passenger aircraft discreet enough to fly over land at supersonic speeds, although we can't help but think that the sci-fi look is a convenient bonus.

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#1

Re: Visualized: Boeing Supersonic Airliner Concept Soars in a Wind Tunnel, Quietly

04/28/2013 11:20 PM



"Paris: A French judge ruled on Monday that Continental Airlines and one of its mechanics were guilty of involuntary homicide for their role in the 2000 crash of an Air France Concorde jet that killed 113 people.Judge Dominique Andréassier of the court in Pontoise, northwest of Paris, ordered the American carrier to pay a fine of $265,000...John Taylor, 42, the mechanic, was fined $2,650 and given a suspended 15-month prison sentence."
http://www.ndtv.com/article/world/continental-responsible-for-concorde-crash-in-2000-70900

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Visualized: Boeing Supersonic Airliner Concept Soars in a Wind Tunnel, Quietly

04/29/2013 6:18 AM

...and the relevance of this is....

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#3
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Re: Visualized: Boeing Supersonic Airliner Concept Soars in a Wind Tunnel, Quietly

04/29/2013 10:26 AM

....been there, done that......ended badly.... what has changed ?

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#4
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Re: Visualized: Boeing Supersonic Airliner Concept Soars in a Wind Tunnel, Quietly

04/29/2013 12:18 PM

A failed event shouldn't keep one from learning from the event and continuing to move forward. Most of the things we now enjoy and benefit from probably started out poorly with some negative consequences as well. Telegraph, trains, flight, horseless carriages, computers, FAX Machines, franchising, supersonic flight, etc. were all things that pushed the "envelope" at a particular time and now they are not only accepted but expected.

Some things, possibly the Concord, are ahead of their time in regard to being able to push the "envelope" with the existing technology and skills. That just means it wasn't the proper time, not that they shouldn't be done at all.

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#5
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Re: Visualized: Boeing Supersonic Airliner Concept Soars in a Wind Tunnel, Quietly

04/29/2013 1:30 PM

I'll ask the question again.....What's changed that allows you to think this is now a good idea ? The reasons for the failure of this business venture are well documented....

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#6
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Re: Visualized: Boeing Supersonic Airliner Concept Soars in a Wind Tunnel, Quietly

04/29/2013 6:03 PM

What? Are you trying to say to always expect the unexpected? That human error can always creep in somewhere?

Next thing you'll tell me is that lithium batteries might not be safe enough to use on new aircraft designs.

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#7
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Re: Visualized: Boeing Supersonic Airliner Concept Soars in a Wind Tunnel, Quietly

04/29/2013 7:01 PM

I think I understand what you are saying but you're doing a very poor job of saying it. Assuming that your point is that the business model for a super sonic commercial transport was tried once and failed in a spectacular fashion, I agree with you. Assuming that your point is that since it failed once it should never be attempted again, I say shame on you. Market conditions change over time. Just because it previously failed doesn't mean that it might not have a market now. I also wag a shame finger at you for dismissing private research. It's not your money, what's your problem?

As for your question about what has changed I point to India and China. These two growing market and manufacturing giants do make international commerce very global. The distances to and from these countries to here and Europe greatly promote the advantages of supersonic travel. Will this be enough to make supersonic commercial traffic viable, I don't know. Maybe.

Let me make a preemptive reply here. At first blush, I do not think that a supersonic transport is a good ecological idea. However, it is very premature to say one way or the other.

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#8
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Re: Visualized: Boeing Supersonic Airliner Concept Soars in a Wind Tunnel, Quietly

04/29/2013 9:31 PM

Transatlantic ticket prices would probably start around $20k....would you pay that to save a couple of hours ? when you can get a regular flight for $1k.....

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#9
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Re: Visualized: Boeing Supersonic Airliner Concept Soars in a Wind Tunnel, Quietly

04/29/2013 10:58 PM

If all markets relied on my personal financial preferences, then this would be a much different world. I also suspect that you would be a very unhappy and puzzled camper.

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#10
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Re: Visualized: Boeing Supersonic Airliner Concept Soars in a Wind Tunnel, Quietly

04/29/2013 11:45 PM

I'll take that as a no....

Get your tickets now only $200k for bragging rights....

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#12
In reply to #10

Re: Visualized: Boeing Supersonic Airliner Concept Soars in a Wind Tunnel, Quietly

04/30/2013 9:30 AM

For a personal vacation I would not consider the few hours saved of a trans-Atlantic flight worth the added expense. However, if I could afford this sub-orbital joy ride I would already have a ticket.

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#11
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Re: Visualized: Boeing Supersonic Airliner Concept Soars in a Wind Tunnel, Quietly

04/30/2013 9:19 AM

I didn't say it was a good or bad idea. I was simply stating that just because something doesn't work out at one particular time doesn't mean it will never work.

The technology of composites, engineering, engines, etc. may all have experienced directional innovations within their fields that make new boundries for transportation possible.

Great things are seldom, if ever, achieved on the first try and they are never without risk, financially, emotionally, physically. You can also never take out the fallible human element to the equation. You just engineer as well as you can, train people the best you can, put as much of the proper system in place to support the task.

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