on 12-07-2012 08:29 PM
Its all about the pusher plates!
I have an certain love for anything involving the tech/project Orion, some of it due to the potential problems you can read in the link above.
Also any fiction featuring the tech is always appreciated. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flood_%28Baxter_novel
12-07-2012 08:42 PM - edited 12-07-2012 08:59 PM
To allay fears that current airplane manufacturers will apply politics and stop it, Reaction Engines will licence them out so they can also build them. That is smart, considering what happened with Concorde and USA.
Eh? Can you elaborate?
Ofcourse, America initially banned Concorde from entering US airspace. After much pressure they eventually allowed it in but only to three (maybe four?) airports which were all on the Eastern Seaboard.
The problem was that it would cause sonic booms, but scientific evidence already showed that at cruise altitude Concorde did not exceed noise levels even those set by US regulations. The whole ban was political, America had no competitive answer to Concorde and as the American aerospace industry was already booming there would have been the desired demand to mass produce them in the same numbers as regular passenger planes, cauuing commercial damage to their own aerospace companies. The higher order numbers would have drastically reduced manufacturing prices, Concorde would have been the preferred mode of transport, not Boeing's 7xx series.
America had to ban Concorde or it's own competitors would have struggled and eventually folded, so by eventually relenting the ban to allow a few Eastern Seaboard airports to accept them they made sure that demand was low as they could only operate into America and out of America, not in the ultra popular inter-America flight schedule.
Now, hindsight is brilliant thing and Reaction Engines know that if it's Lapcat project comes to fruition, then there will be a new passenger plane that is faster than Concorde and by orders of magnitude has further travel distance, it also carries more customers. As America still does not have the technological expertise for this type of plane, once again the likes of American aerospace companies (Boeing) would be challenged if Reaction got a foothold in the inter-American schedule which has as many flights as pretty much the rest of the western world combined. Lots of customers, lots of demand, lots of manufacturing, manufacturing costs plummet, Lapcat A2 makes 7xx series redundant.
The solution to get around this is to licence the technology out to aerospace companies like Boeing, so they can manufacture their own and the American aerospace industry can carry on working in profit. That was Concorde's biggest downfall... not allowing America to gain licence rights to produce their own, also stopped British Airways and AirFrance becoming the world's biggest in the business, they would have been very rich off the licence royalities but everything was about national pride back then, today if they designed a super plane they too would licence it out and get very rich in the process. As it was, by the time they may have seen sense and put national pride behind them... the world already had 500 seater planes compared to Concorde's 100 which meant licencing may not have been enough to convince manufacturer so desperately to want that supersonic flight.
But what about a HyperSonic flight that holds 300 people? Now that is totally different ball game all together, in the time it takes that 300 seater to go to one airport, then another and another... the new 800 seater conventional aircraft are still flying to their first destination, but the new HyperSonic plane with it's 300 capacity and Mach 4 speed is already up in customer numbers by quite a lot. It took 300 people to airport A, then another 300 to airport B, then another 300 back to airport A, and it is likely on it's way back to airport B if is hasn't already set off again with yet another 300. Plus, and this is a big plus, Oxygen and Hydrogen are much cheaper for the airliners than aviation fuel so they could cut more costs there because the Sabre Engine runs off those two abundant elements and in RamJet mode it actually doesn't need to use the Oxygen reserve because it takes from the atmosphere, only in Rocket mode will it need the Oxygen tank.
I wouldn't say Lapcat is dead without America because the rest of the world has alot more traffic then in the 60's, 70' and 80's, but it certainly can get a foothold into mass production quicker if inter-American flight schedules are part of the plan and keep everybody from Greedy Fat Cats to tree hugging hippies and dirty politicians happy. The American people would love to get from California to New York in one hour or less, and Lapcat A2 goes higher than Concorde, at cruise altitude it is so high that it won't breach noise levels allowing overland HyperSonic speeds.
on 12-07-2012 09:15 PM
on 12-07-2012 09:51 PM
on 12-07-2012 10:19 PM
I dont think America is that important in todays global market. I know people who work in selling and leasing aeroplanes to carriers and all they talk about is ethiad, qatar, and eastern companies who arrive with cash for anything you can sell them. Compared to American way of doing things on credit these new guys are where everyone is looking.
Im not saying its not important, but its not a deal breaker like it used to be. If concorde was maid today it would be flying rich indian, chinese, russians, saudis around more than Americans and europeans.
I have flown with ethiad, and I have to say they are an absolute joy to deal with.
You also mention that America played some dirty tricks to keep concorde out, we play the same tricks to keep ethiad, and some American airline companies out of Europe. For example Ethiad wanted to start short haul flights in europe but were blocked, they wanted to buy aer lingus but were blocked etc etc. European airports only equipped for short haul planes to keep the big jumbos flying to and from America out etc etc.
on 13-07-2012 01:13 AM
Thanks a lot Project - I dunno if you copy/pasted or typed all that (although I'm suspecting the latter), but it's much appreciated
I guess we'll be a lot happier to just bend over and let America take whatever she wants these days...
What's the take off angle/rate of climb? Will it have enough time to reach altitude on the average American internal?
And I imagine it's maintenance schedule will be a lot more rigid than standard planes? It's gonna cane through those hours... Does it have re-entry tiles like the shuttle?
on 13-07-2012 02:55 AM
Its not that we are letting America take what it wants, its just we are paying our dues to enter the market. America has the Falcon project which is the same, take off and land from any runway in america and be anywhere in the world in an hour or two. They unlike us have already done test flights (they worked but failed). They used a rocket to get aircraft high, but once they did it went at mach 20 for 9 minutes before losing control and crashing on purpose into the sea.
The funding for the project was drastically cut, and no more versions are planned, however if they wanted to, they would probably beat us to making a mach 6 plane. They are spending their budget on other stuff.
anyway to answer some of the questions.
It probably wont be used for people for a long time, Americas version would be better for people tbh. But it will allow us to get stuff in space for practically nothing, and thats who will be using it for a long time, because compared to normal price of putting stuff in space, its nothing.
I mean it will allow google to put live google map sats in space if they wanted to, sky to double or tripple their capcity for 50 grand, europe could ues it in gailileo gps, we could cover europe with broadband for a couple hundred grand etc etc. It could revolutionise the world. BBC weather channel could even have its own weather sat
But it is and will be certified to carry passangers, it just probably wont until its made a good bit of money back and operated without hitch for a while.
on 13-07-2012 08:33 AM
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