747 ain't supersonic. But on a dollar/gallon per passenger mile basis,
it is a whole lot cheaper to run, when anywhere near fully loaded. In
recent years, due to passenger volume being so reduced, a whole lotta
747s and other jumbos were parked in the desert, in 'preservation pack'
status. Airlines switched to the itty-bitty jets for many routes. Now
that volume is picking up again, some jumbos are being brought back out
of storage. At one point, they were gonna modernize the 747 fleet, but
it will probably never happen, because Boeing would rather sell new
planes, and Airbus is nipping at their heels. But the long delays in the
Boeing Dreamliner rampup can be at least partially blamed on the
airlines getting gun-shy. It costs a lot of money to keep airplanes with
a lot of lifespan left sitting in the desert. Another air disaster or
major fuel cost spike, and there will be multiple airlines going belly-up.
Supersonics only made sense for civilian use for a very tiny niche
market of rich people and businessmen who had to have face time
someplace far away in a hurry. That niche market got even smaller with
the rise of cheap easily available hi-rez video-conferencing services. A
lot of execs don't travel near as much as they used to. Plus, of course,
with the general economic downturn, there are a lot fewer executives.
Either retired or flipping burgers for somebody else.
Absent some technological leap that allows cheap suborbital flights for
the masses, world travel will be slower and more expensive from here on out.
Plus the externalities, such as having your windows rattle twice a day
(waking the baby, of course) just because some rich nitwit couldn't wait
another couple of hours to get to LA. Anyway, rich nitwits save more
time than that by buying or renting their own subsonic jet, which goes
wherever they want, whenever they want. It's a far more rational
solution (if you can call it that).
There was also a big outcry at the time about the pollution--apparently
folks were worried about damage to the ozone layer or something, due to
inefficient engines spewing crap in the stratosphere. I'm not sure
whether there was anything to that (there so often isn't, in the
environmentalist cosmos), but that and the sonic booms were what got
supersonic flight banned.
Uh, that was only partially to avoid the bad PR (and damage claims) from
sonic booms. It was mainly to avoid conflict with civil air traffic, and
collateral damage on the ground when one occasionally falls out of the
sky, sometimes at full power.
They would have had a lot of damage claims. I have an aunt that
lived near Wright-Patterson AFB, and the early flights broke windows and
cracked concrete block walls. I was there a couple times when the SS
Air Force jets went over. Her house and her neighbors always had
something happen. Broken dishes, windows, things knocked off shelves
and out of cabinets.
There is a big difference between a SS plane at 50 feet and one at 75000
In case you hadn't noticed the shuttle flies supersonic over much of America
when its landing and doesn't cause any damage (apart from when it hits the
ground which isn't often).
The entire you can't fly SS over land was just an excuse to keep Concorde
from flying across the US faster than the old planes.
As for cracking block walls I don't believe it.
I have seen an attempt to damage a house using a SS plane and it had to fly
ludicrously low (about 50 feet) and close (directly above) to even pop a
I notice that the US military now has a plane with supercruise just like
Concorde used to do (F22).
At 50 feet, it would have hit a tree, and you don't land at 75,000
feet, which is 14.2 miles AAT. They have to descend to land, and gain
altitude to leave any airfield. Airports balked at longer runways for
747s, and many would have had to move to have anything longer. it would
take decades to use 'Eminent Domain' to take homes and businesses for
the extra land at current sites.
Are you sure they have never caused any damage? Have you ever been
in Florida when one loops over the state before landing? That
distinctive double boom has a lot of energy when it's close. I've heard
plenty of them over the last 20 years. I also built some of the
communications equipment and telemetry equipment used to track them.
prove it. No commercial SS was allowed, and military SS has limited
flight paths at lower altitudes which limits the bases they can operate
Sigh. Do you ever study anything, or just type bullshit?
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.