“United Goes Supersonic” - time will tell?

SYD

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Saw this on Insta:


Ironically, it was the lack of take up of Concorde by US airlines that crippled it all those years ago. If the new tech lives up to the hype, then perhaps this could become a future reality?
 

TheRealTMA

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Saw this on Insta:


Ironically, it was the lack of take up of Concorde by US airlines that crippled it all those years ago. If the new tech lives up to the hype, then perhaps this could become a future reality?
And pigs might fly… I note one of the leading actors in the supersonic plane development in the US has gone broke recently. Can’t remember the compamy.
 

SYD

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And pigs might fly… I note one of the leading actors in the supersonic plane development in the US has gone broke recently. Can’t remember the compamy.

Aerion.

Yes, but there’s quite a few scrambling to restart SS travel. IMHO, I can’t see the logic in having “Boom” in your name if one of the killers of SS flight is the sonic boom! The new tech is supposed to make them boom less (so they say)….
 

jb747

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Ironically, it was the lack of take up of Concorde by US airlines that crippled it all those years ago. If the new tech lives up to the hype, then perhaps this could become a future reality?
And if the Concorde had been taken up by more airlines, we’d have realised just how dangerous it was, much earlier.
Yes, but there’s quite a few scrambling to restart SS travel.
Or is the reality that there are quite a few scrambling to grab investor money.
 

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Certainly a bold move for a mainstream carrier. I can’t help but think that this is a marketing ploy designed to capture our hearts in an attempt to reposition United’s ailing legacy brand and experience. Proof in the pudding when remote start key fobs are taken and Bitcoin payments are made in full.
 

moa999

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Still so far from launch its not funny.
If there even is any commitment (which I suspect there isn't) there will be so many out clauses.
 

SYD

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And if the Concorde had been taken up by more airlines, we’d have realised just how dangerous it was, much earlier.
Another view would have been improvements in efficiency, reliability and safety if there was a greater user base and ongoing investment in R&D etc? Similar to what we all enjoy from far greater general aviation improvements over the last 100 years.
 

nathrek

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This guy has lots of good videos about transportation but his latest on supersonic flight covers off all the important stuff really well. He steps out the successes and failures of Concorde and how the current developers of supersonic planes have learned from that.

Ultimately, Concorde was financially viable towards the end and there are a range of contributing factors other than profitability that led to its demise.

I would gladly pay a business class prices to get to my destination in half the time, even if that means giving up the lay flat bed for a seat.

 

2infinity

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And if the Concorde had been taken up by more airlines, we’d have realised just how dangerous it was, much earlier.
Exactly how dangerous was it? In 31 years of operation, it had 1 crash! Boeing 747 - 28, Boeing 737 - 83, DC9 - 45, A318-321 family - 14, the list goes on and on. Plane crash rates by model

Concorde was a miraculous piece of engineering, many many years ahead of its time and despite what a lot of people think, it was profitable, making on average £30-50 Million a year profit. More than profit, the Concorde was a symbol of beauty and everything that people can achieve if they set their minds to it. People loved Concorde even if they were never going to be able to fly it themselves. This is why it was the flagship for BA. I remember Concorde coming to Cairns in October 1999. It was amazing. 30,000 people from Cairns and surrounds, some travelling hundreds of kilometres, came to see it. The city was abuzz with excitement. It was due to come back to Cairns again 1 year later, something I eagerly awaited, but......

Air France flight 4590 crashed in France on 25 July 2000. Some say this was the same plane that visited Cairns. I think the world was shocked and saddened when it happened, the same sort of feeling as when we heard about Princess Diana's crash. But this isn't what killed Concorde. The plane was grounded and upgrades made and it was brought back into service, which much fanfare, on 11st September 2001..........It never flew commercially again.

Flying Concorde was high on my bucket list. I've now gotten to a point in my life where I could afford it, at least one-way. That dream died 20 years ago, but with renewed interest in supersonic planes, that dream has re-sparked. The Boom Overture will not be Concorde, nothing can replace that, but it may be a close second, a second chance at a dream. I for one hope with all my heart that it becomes a reality so that my dream can be realised. I wish the program all the success in the world and hope beyond hope it becomes a reality, which one day may see me jetting across the skies at mach 1.7. She'll be slower than Concorde by 400km/h, but it's better than nothing.

The only problem I have about supersonic travel, and in true AFF style, the flight will be too short and too direct :D.

Fun Facts: For many years Corcorde was the only aircraft in the world to be able to supercruise, which is sustained supersonic flight without using afterburners. Only the most modern fighter jets are now capable of doing this, like the F22.

The Royal Airforce once tried to practice an intercept of the Concorde and sent a Panavia Tornado after it. The Tornado gave up.
1623031208133.png

There is only 1 photo of the Concorde at supersonic speed. The Concorde had to slow down to mach 1.5/1.6 so the fighter jet could snap the shot.
1623031312351.png
 
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jb747

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Another view would have been improvements in efficiency, reliability and safety if there was a greater user base and ongoing investment in R&D etc? Similar to what we all enjoy from far greater general aviation improvements over the last 100 years.
That may have been the case if the Concorde was the first of a series of airliners, but given the tiny installed base (which never would have been more than a fraction of the subsonic base), changes simply were not going to happen in a hurry. But, nothing changes the fact that 60,000' and mach 1.9 are extremely unfriendly places to be...much more so than the altitudes and speed that we use now. Aerodynamically, the aircraft are on a knife edge, and something that might be considered a small excursion down low would be much more serious at altitude. A simple thing, like an engine failure in the cruise, may well put you in serious jeopardy with regard to lateral control. Margins are your friends, and they aren't wide here. A QF30-like incident would be unsurvivable.
Exactly how dangerous was it? In 31 years of operation, it had 1 crash! Boeing 747 - 28, Boeing 737 - 83, DC9 - 45, A318-321 family - 14, the list goes on and on. Plane crash rates by model.
Yes, and using your own data, it was 11 times more dangerous than the 747 Classic, 35 times worse than the 767. Picking something from approximately it's own era, it was only about 22 times worse than the Tristar.

There was the one very famous, and nasty, crash. But, there were any number of near misses. The accident report is enlightening reading.
Fun Facts: For many years Corcorde was the only aircraft in the world to be able to supercruise, which is sustained supersonic flight without using afterburners. Only the most modern fighter jets are now capable of doing this, like the F22.
Fighters generally aren't interested in going fast for long. The ability to supercruise is traded off for manoeuverability. As a general rule, fighters are quite 'draggy'. It's interesting, but not a relevant comparision.
The Royal Airforce once tried to practice an intercept of the Concorde and sent a Panavia Tornado after it. The Tornado gave up.

There is only 1 photo of the Concorde at supersonic speed. The Concorde had to slow down to mach 1.5/1.6 so the fighter jet could snap the shot.
Given that the shot of the Concorde at speed was taken by a Tornado, they didn't always give up. Getting into formation requires a performance excess over the aircraft you're trying to rejoin. Margins for almost all aircraft are tiny at those extremes of performance...but for a fighter, you don't have to get into formation, just into the weapon release window. I know that the RN tried to set up some intercepts on Concorde, using the very subsonic Sea Harrier. It took them a couple of goes, but they got there.... Only within the window for seconds, but that's all you need.
 
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2infinity

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Yes, and using your own data, it was 11 times more dangerous than the 747 Classic, 35 times worse than the 767. Picking something from approximately it's own era, it was only about 22 times worse than the Tristar.
Statistics are interesting things aren't they. We can create different narratives with the same information. :D

But, nothing changes the fact that 60,000' and mach 1.9 are extremely unfriendly places to be...much more so than the altitudes and speed that we use now.
0.8-/0.9 mach and 40,000' is not exactly friendly to human life either. But agree the faster you go and the more extreme in anything you do, the risk increases, but I'm sure Concorde underwent different build requirements than standard subsonic aircraft. Concorde wasn't developed from zero knowledge, supersonic flight was common already in fighter jets. Just remember people die quite regularly doing 60km/h and even less at sea level. Human bodies haven't evolved for mechanical movement.

There was the one very famous, and nasty, crash. But, there were any number of near misses. The accident report is enlightening reading.
Because no other aircraft ever had near misses or minor incidents.

A simple thing, like an engine failure in the cruise, may well put you in serious jeopardy with regard to lateral control. Margins are your friends, and they aren't wide here. A QF30-like incident would be unsurvivable.
Yes. just like any other aircraft.

Concorde did have engine failures and rudder damage at supercruise and survived.

Fighters generally aren't interested in going fast for long. The ability to supercruise is traded off for manoeuverability. As a general rule, fighters are quite 'draggy'. It's interesting, but not a relevant comparision.
It is the only comparison, as no other aricraft goes supersonic. Old style fighters are quite 'draggy' yes due to all the external attachments on the wings (missiles etc), but 4th generation fighters like the F22 are highly manoeuvrable and still able to supercruise. Not saying the Concorde was overly manoeuvrable as it was designed to go in a straight line rather than dogfight. Yes the F22's range will not be that of a Concorde due to fuel capacity.

Given that the shot of the Concorde at speed was taken by a Tornado, they didn't always give up.
As I already said, the Concorde deliberately slowed down to mach 1.5/1.6 just so they could get the photo. The tornado was able to stay with the Concorde for this purpose for 4 minutes. Obviously the intercepts were a practice exercise and they may only need a short window of opportunity to shoot off a missile, but I don't think we are talking about downing a Concorde. Can just use a SAM missile for that, with range of 50miles at mach 6.

I'm sure Boom will take all the lessons learnt from Concorde, maybe not the TU-144, and engineer the Overture accordingly.
 

Mattg

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Saw this on Insta:


Ironically, it was the lack of take up of Concorde by US airlines that crippled it all those years ago. If the new tech lives up to the hype, then perhaps this could become a future reality?

Hmm, so that page advertises that the Boom Overture can fly SFO-NRT in 6 hours, but it only has a range of 4888 miles. SFO-NRT is 5,124 miles. By the time you add a refuelling stop in ANC, and travel from Narita into downtown Tokyo, it's probably taking about the same amount of time to get to Tokyo as SFO-HND on a Boeing 777.

If this actually starts taking passengers in 2029 I'll be very surprised.
 

2infinity

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Hmm, so that page advertises that the Boom Overture can fly SFO-NRT in 6 hours, but it only has a range of 4888 miles. SFO-NRT is 5,124 miles. By the time you add a refuelling stop in ANC, and travel from Narita into downtown Tokyo, it's probably taking about the same amount of time to get to Tokyo as SFO-HND on a Boeing 777.
That was an interesting pick up. Maybe the flight times stated include any necessary stop over, or the 236 mile glide at progressively slower speeds. :D

Also interesting to note was LAX to SYD at 8:30hrs for the 4654 mile journey, 2:30hrs longer than the SFO-NRT journey even though its 470 miles less distance. Why so slow to Australia, especially as its in range and no need for stop over? In fact, why does it take 14:30hrs standard flight to travel 4654 miles from SYD-LAX non stop and only 10hrs of standard flight to travel 5124 miles from SFO-NRT non stop. And I don't see how the curvature of the Earth affects this, as we are talking miles flown versus time. What's going on here?
 

Duncan

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It made laugh so much. The higher up further away you are from a circle the distances increase, the circumference of the globe gets bigger. CNN in conjunction with The Conversation had an excellent article on this and in summary the title of this post says it all.
 
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