Future of aviation

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  • #51
Ryan_m_b
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My prediction for the future is small pilotless aircraft with point to point travel into tiny airports.

What are you basing this on? The economics of flight would seem to favour fewer larger aircraft over more numerous smaller ones.

ATC speed limits would probably be relaxed with the advent of more automation and high speeds could be carried into the approach. Also the approaches could be greatly abbreviated since there would be little or no human involvement. Basically drop in like a rock and throw out some high drag devices for a short landing. A stabilized approach for safety would be pointless.

The speed that modern jets travel at are more to do with fuel efficiency than regulation. As for rapid, short landings this sounds like it would put considerable strain on the passengers and vehicle. What is the justification for this?

The VTOL efficiency issues might be solved, but much later I would imagine. The aircraft could drop into an air cushion generated by equipment installed on the ground.

For takeoff IDK, an aircraft carrier on land? Maybe.

Is there any research you could point to that suggest that these would be both possible and commercially viable? Have there ever been pilot studies? It seems that you throwing out ideas at random on that basis that they sound futuristic. If so I'd like to remind you, and all members, that all claims should be backed up with good evidence and reasoned argument. Otherwise the thread will just be locked.
 
  • #52
Doug Huffman
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Keep in mind predictions of the future are usually wrong... [ ... ]For takeoff IDK, an aircraft carrier on land? Maybe.
Catapults require huge power. While CVN reactor plant sizes were still catching up, anecdotally the operators would anticipate launch operations with higher stored heat and power. The stresses on the AC are significant and require special construction considerations.
 
  • #53
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Catapults are also unpleasant, and the launches still require very powerful engines on the airplanes.
Really small (and many) airports won't happen with the current length requirements of runways, however.

For long distances, I don't see changes in the near future. For short distances, you have trains, buses and cars as option.
 
  • #54
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What are you basing this on? The economics of flight would seem to favour fewer larger aircraft over more numerous smaller ones.

People are often willing to pay for convenience. Business jets operating from smaller airports being the proof. Also single pilot IFR operations are now possible/legal in some small jets due to cockpit automation.
FAR 135
http://virtualskies.arc.nasa.gov/navigation/9.html

The speed that modern jets travel at are more to do with fuel efficiency than regulation..

Speed limits at cruise and other than cruise are regulated. FAR 91.117. OP originally addressed the inefficiency of the takeoff and landing phase of flight.

As for rapid, short landings this sounds like it would put considerable strain on the passengers and vehicle. What is the justification for this?.
Sounds like? Considerable? I'm not sure what you are asking here. How rapid and how much strain needs justification? Reductio ad absurdum?


Is there any research you could point to that suggest that these would be both possible and commercially viable? Have there ever been pilot studies? It seems that you throwing out ideas at random on that basis that they sound futuristic. If so I'd like to remind you, and all members, that all claims should be backed up with good evidence and reasoned argument. Otherwise the thread will just be locked.

Everything I mentioned is either existing technology or an extension of existing technology. Whether something is commercially viable is up to the consumer.
 
  • #55
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The VTOL efficiency issues might be solved, but much later I would imagine. The aircraft could drop into an air cushion generated by equipment installed on the ground.

For takeoff IDK, an aircraft carrier on land? Maybe.

I'll admit this is quite a stretch.
 
  • #56
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People are often willing to pay for convenience. Business jets operating from smaller airports being the proof.
The fraction of the population that wants to afford business jets is very small.
Speed limits at cruise and other than cruise are regulated. FAR 91.117. OP originally addressed the inefficiency of the takeoff and landing phase of flight.
Yes they are regulated, to the speeds the airlines consider as convenient, taking safety and the environment into account of course. Without regulations, airplanes would not suddenly fly faster as this would be very inefficient, dangerous or simply impossible. They would just have more chaos in their speed distribution.
How rapid and how much strain needs justification?
Rapid accelerations are unpleasant for both passengers and machines.
Everything I mentioned is either existing technology or an extension of existing technology.
That is true for many things that do not exist because they are way too expensive.
 
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  • #57
anorlunda
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I think the future of air travel will be greatly influenced by pressure on people to reduce their fossil fuel footprint.

I live frugally. A single airplane leg of 300 miles once a year would double my footprint.

Rumor has it that environmentalists will make meat versus veggies a big issue this year. Air travel is roughly at the same level of wastefulness.

I'm not talking about flying versus alternative transportation means, I mean abstaining from business or pleasure travel. Ditto for driving to the store as compared to package delivery.
 
  • #58
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The fraction of the population that wants to afford business jets is very small.

No. But the number of people willing to fly out of smaller airports on smaller airliners is not small. And in some cases it is not the consumer who pays. http://www.dot.gov/policy/aviation-policy/small-community-rural-air-service/essential-air-service
Pilot pay is shrinking at regional airlines and the reality is public perception and regulation is the only reason airlines continue to need/pay pilots. The technology exists and is cost effective to eliminate the (or one of the) pilots. While pilot pay is a small portion of the cost it is a portion. Also a look at accident statistics will show that eliminating the pilot (and pilot error) should improve safety and associated costs. Here is a good website for info http://www.planecrashinfo.com/cause.htm

The point I tried to make was there will be more operations by smaller aircraft into smaller airports providing more point to point service. And those operations will be conducted with increasingly advanced aircraft which could fly without pilots. I can see I didn't do it well.


Yes they are regulated, to the speeds the airlines consider as convenient, taking safety and the environment into account of course.

Did you read 91.117? Convenience and environment is not mentioned. http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-id...ext&node=14:2.0.1.3.10&idno=14#se14.2.91_1117

The safety mentioned is mainly due to ATC and their ability to route aircraft into and out of busy airspace as well as safely separate VFR and IFR aircraft. This is why the speeds are different for different airspace.

Noise abatement can also be complied with by the use of smaller airports in lower density areas and smaller aircraft. I agree, not the fuel efficient solution. But noise abatement policy doesn't mention aircraft efficiency (and only briefly operational efficiency). https://www.faa.gov/about/office_or...oise_emissions/airport_aircraft_noise_issues/

Without regulations, airplanes would not suddenly fly faster as this would be very inefficient, dangerous or simply impossible.

Staying high longer is more efficient. The extended operation at lower altitudes to accomodate an outdated ATC system is not. But staying higher and fast means there is more energy to dissipate and less time to do it. Pilots often get called out by ATC for busting speed limits, usually it is a gentle "aircraft XXX say speed" followed by a sheepish "ummm 250 Kts." as the pilot quickly slows the aircraft to 250 kts. The reality is human pilots need the added response time to stabilize the decent and approach. And ATC needs time to route and sequence traffic safely. However as time goes on less and less of the landing is flown by the airline pilots. Automation can be and often is used all the way to the ground. Because it is safer and would be even with a higher and steeper approach. The technology exists. Regulation and procedures will eventually catch up.

They would just have more chaos in their speed distribution.

True. But ATC already routes aircraft from as slow as or slower than 50kts to as fast as 250kts for takeoff and landing. An automated aircraft is more predictable and precise.

Rapid accelerations are unpleasant for both passengers and machines..

Also true but the current system of gradual reduce power, letdown, level, slow, add power, repeat of the aircraft for separation and sequencing has much room for improvement. One smooth higher speed decent would be more comfortable and there is no reason a higher rate of acceleration would even be neccesary as the rate could be continuous with no level off or holds. As an added benefit the steeper angle would simplify noise abatement because the engines would be at lower power longer and the footprint of the approach would be smaller.

Take a few minutes and watch traffic. You can click individual flights and watch altitude and airspeed. I think you will see what I mean by room for much improvement.
http://flightaware.com/live/airport/KATL
Imagine if each flight could depart and arrive "on course".
Take a look at TCAS and consider the possibilities with further integration. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traffic_collision_avoidance_system

Just to clarify, by high drag device I didn't mean a parachute. I meant spoilers and speedbrakes.

That is true for many things that do not exist because they are way too expensive.

Currently I can't board a 19 seat pilotless aircraft from a small airport near my home and land with a steep expeditious decent at a small airport near Disneyworld. Pilotless aircraft do exist and small convenient airports do exist. Steep expeditious approaches are possible and even performed on occasion.
But this is not a case of don't exist. This is a case of not being used. Mostly because of regulation and public perception.
Except for the land based carrier takeoff or air cushion landing of course. I agree those would be expensive and are as yet completely unnecessary and impractical.
 
  • #59
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No. But the number of people willing to fly out of smaller airports on smaller airliners is not small. And in some cases it is not the consumer who pays. http://www.dot.gov/policy/aviation-policy/small-community-rural-air-service/essential-air-service
It is always someone who pays.

Did you read 91.117? Convenience and environment is not mentioned. http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-id...ext&node=14:2.0.1.3.10&idno=14#se14.2.91_1117
Where is your point? Do you really think the lack of supersonic passenger aircrafts or very fast very small planes comes from regulations?
Also, the US is not the whole world.

Noise abatement can also be complied with by the use of smaller airports in lower density areas and smaller aircraft.
Who wants to start in low density areas? Long-distance flights (where the airport location is less important) will need fast airplanes, and that means large airplanes and runways. And for short-distance flights, the airports in the middle of nowhere look less attractive.

Staying high longer is more efficient. The extended operation at lower altitudes to accomodate an outdated ATC system is not. But staying higher and fast means there is more energy to dissipate and less time to do it. Pilots often get called out by ATC for busting speed limits, usually it is a gentle "aircraft XXX say speed" followed by a sheepish "ummm 250 Kts." as the pilot quickly slows the aircraft to 250 kts. The reality is human pilots need the added response time to stabilize the decent and approach. And ATC needs time to route and sequence traffic safely. However as time goes on less and less of the landing is flown by the airline pilots. Automation can be and often is used all the way to the ground. Because it is safer and would be even with a higher and steeper approach. The technology exists. Regulation and procedures will eventually catch up.
I agree.

An automated aircraft is more predictable and precise.
It would also be more regulation (from an automatic system this time).

Also true but the current system of gradual reduce power, letdown, level, slow, add power, repeat of the aircraft for separation and sequencing has much room for improvement. One smooth higher speed decent would be more comfortable and there is no reason a higher rate of acceleration would even be neccesary as the rate could be continuous with no level off or holds.
I was referring to the idea of shorter runways here. If you want shorter runways, accelerations have to increase.
As an added benefit the steeper angle would simplify noise abatement because the engines would be at lower power longer
Only for descent.

I think you will see what I mean by room for much improvement.
No one disagrees with that. And free flight or something similar will come.
 
  • #60
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My experience has shown parking, check-in, security/TSA, baggage handling, rental cars and delays or cancellations to be the inefficiencies of commercial airline travel.

My prediction for the future is small pilotless aircraft with point to point travel into tiny airports.


It is always someone who pays.
True. But the point is someone is paying for it. It happens. And many small operations are profitable without government subsidy.

Where is your point? Do you really think the lack of supersonic passenger aircrafts or very fast very small planes comes from regulations?
Also, the US is not the whole world.

I think you have my post confused with someone elses. While supersonic flight over land is regulated, I never mentioned faster aircraft as a means to improved effeciency. You are correct, the U.S. is not the whole world. But the ICAO gets most of it. U.S. airspace designations have been changed to conform to ICAO standards (for the most part). The 250kt rule is pretty common world wide, enough for a reasonable discussion -I hope. FAR 91.817-821 covers supersonic flight restrictions over the U.S. by the way. And yes, ICAO has similar rules.

Who wants to start in low density areas? Long-distance flights (where the airport location is less important) will need fast airplanes, and that means large airplanes and runways. And for short-distance flights, the airports in the middle of nowhere look less attractive.

People who live in low density areas want to start in low density areas and people going to low density areas want to end in low density areas. But maybe we do need to agree on "low density". I wasn't speaking of the middle of nowhere. Consider KPDK airport as an example. It is near Atlanta and certainly convenient to many people but at the same time much less dense than KATL. There are many other similar airports around ATL.
The current spoke and hub system brings small and medium sized aircraft from smaller airports in lesser density areas into large airports in greater density areas. Some people and baggage are shuffled onto large aircraft for long distance flights into other greater density areas. Some people however get right back on other small and medium aircraft for a flight to lesser density areas. The benefit of point to point is in allowing some, or even most, to skip the hub and fly direct from small airport to small airport on an even smaller plane than the planes used in spoke and hub. Less traffic through the hub expedites operations there as well.


It would also be more regulation (from an automatic system this time).
So true! What do we have to do to get less regulation?


I was referring to the idea of shorter runways here. If you want shorter runways, accelerations have to increase.
True if landing speed stays the same. But lighter aircraft generally land slower so extra airspeed carried into the descent can be bled off in the air on final (quietly at low power).

Only for descent.

Watch the flights out of KATL and I think you'll realize how much more time is spent in descent to approach and landing than is spent in takeoff and climbout.

No one disagrees with that. And free flight or something similar will come.
I am more excited about self driving cars! Flying (not on an airline) is fun, driving sucks.
 
  • #61
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Future > Next Generation Air Transpiration System
 
  • #62
phinds
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Future > Next Generation Air Transpiration System
That's the future of air traffic control, not the future of aviation. It's a very important thing to get done, but it has little or nothing to do with the design of planes.
 
  • #63
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That's the future of air traffic control, not the future of aviation. It's a very important thing to get done, but it has little or nothing to do with the design of planes.

phinds,you are wrong :) you can not think about future of aviation including one part of it and excluding another one :)

How do you expect to detect clear-air-turbulence CAT ?
 
  • #64
phinds
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phinds,you are wrong :) you can not think about future of aviation including one part of it and excluding another one :)

How do you expect to detect clear-air-turbulence CAT ?
Perhaps we are using different definitions of aviation. As I said, air traffic control is very important, but it is not the design and flying of airplanes, which is what I think of as aviation.
 
  • #65
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Perhaps we are using different definitions of aviation. As I said, air traffic control is very important, but it is not the design and flying of airplanes, which is what I think of as aviation.

I just posted a question: How pilot will be able do detect CAT in the airplane during flight?

Are you familiar with CAT issues? Detecting CAT is an issue very well connected with topic of > internal design of an airplane.

What exactly is your concern about relation among design and flying of airplanes ? thank you :)
 
  • #66
phinds
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I just posted a question: How pilot will be able do detect CAT in the airplane during flight?

Are you familiar with CAT issues? Detecting CAT is an issue very well connected with topic of > internal design of an airplane.

What exactly is your concern about relation among design and flying of airplanes ? thank you :)
I am responding to your original statement that the future of aviation is the proposed Next Generation Air Transpiration [sic] System. I have agreed repeatedly that that is a very important thing to do, I just think of that as air traffic control and aviation to me is more about the design of the airplanes and how they handle for the pilots.

Let's just agree to disagree.
 
  • #67
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I am responding to your original statement that the future of aviation is the proposed Next Generation Air Transpiration [sic] System. I have agreed repeatedly that that is a very important thing to do, I just think of that as air traffic control and aviation to me is more about the design of the airplanes and how they handle for the pilots.

Let's just agree to disagree.

Are you asking also about importance of Human Factors in airplane design ?
 
  • #68
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This thread is old enough to get some rest.
@Jupiter5: feel free to start a new thread, but please make clear what your point is, don't change it with every post.
 

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