'Next Concorde' takes off

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earth_bound_misfit

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Full story here: News.com.au<br /><br />JAPANESE scientists have successfully tested a revolutionary design for a supersonic airliner to replace Concorde, three years after the first attempt ended in a fiery crash in the Australian desert.<br />A scale model of an airliner that would carry 300 passengers at twice the speed of sound was launched from the Woomera test site in the outback with the aid of a rocket shortly after dawn, Japan's Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) said.<br /><br />"It went well, it was successful," JAXA spokeswoman Mayuni Onodera said.<br /><br />In the test, the 11.5m scale model of the 104m airliner separated from the rocket at around 18,000m and glided at Mach 2 (2450km/h) for about 15 minutes.<br /><br />The multi-million dollar test aircraft landed safely, Ms Onodera said. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p> </p><p>----------------------------------------------------------------- </p><p>Wanna see this site looking like the old SDC uplink?</p><p>Go here to see how: <strong>SDC Eye saver </strong>  </p> </div>
 
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n_kitson

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This is great news. I am glad the Japanese have perservered following the initial failure. This project is exciting on a number of levels:<br /><br />1. It helps Japan to re-develop an aircraft manufacturing capacity<br />2. The realistic timeframe indicates a measured, scientific approach to development which has a higher probability of success<br />3. The involvement of the French is sure to attract US attention. If the project still looks feasible in a few years' time, expect a flurry of resources being thrown at US aircraft manufacturers to cobble together a patriotic entry.<br /><br />All in all, good news for travelers, or at least for our unborn children.
 
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vt_hokie

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Now this is the type of research that I find exciting. This is what we should be doing! Unlike NASA's porkbarrel program to re-create Apollo using 1970's vintage shuttle hardware and 1960's style capsules, this is the kind of thing that will advance technology and benefit society as a whole!
 
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n_kitson

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Agreed. Therefore I really like it that the research is not US in origin. It creates a more competitive atmosphere.<br /><br />It is also an argument in favor of multiple economic super-powers. If, for instance, NASA decides to abandon aeronautical research and useful unmanned science missions for the next 30 years to go plant a flag on Mars and the moon, then we will require other nations to step up to the plate with useful, beneficial research. That can only happen if there are enough powerful, healthy economies out there.
 
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vt_hokie

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Didn't the Japanese build their own version of the F-4 Phantom (under license from McDonnell Douglas, I assume)? And aren't they building F-16's now?
 
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n_kitson

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I know they build an F-16 derivative, the Mitsubishi F-2. (And of course, the Japanese government is building the 787 <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" /> )
 
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CalliArcale

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I'm not sure it's really fair to call that thing the "Next Concorde". It's no more the next Concorde than the Hyper-X was. (Hyper-X was the larger and more robust expendable scramjet testbed NASA's been working on. I think they've flown all of them, so we'll have to see where the program goes next.) It's not a working aircraft suitable for commercial use, and it's decades (at least) away from serious use in any production aircraft, let alone in airliners. That's not just because the market for supersonic airliners is virtually nonexistent. (It wasn't the crash that killed Concorde; it was the enormous operating expense.) It's because this is really cutting edge technology, a totally new type of engine that the technology is just barely able to get to operate at all, let alone operate in a way that is useful and practical for commercial applications. Even ramjets are pretty uncommon, and those have been around for many decades. (The first ramjet was actually built in France in the late '30s, believe it or not, although WWII kept it from actually flying until the 50s.)<br /><br />It's cool to see this scramjet picking back up. Hypersonics is a little-studied and highly dynamic field of aerospace research. Until now, only returning spacecraft and reentering warheads had any chance of studying the unique requirements of this field. Space Shuttle gets a lot of criticism, but one thing it has done for aerospace is to provide the best testbed for hypersonic research that has ever flown. Columbia carried unique instrumentation to facilitate that research, right up until the end. But it's time to move on. Scramjets will open up entirely new avenues of research, but only if projects like this one can succeed. As someone else said in this thread, it is magnificent to see the research happening independently in different countries. That's what keeps things stimulating! <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#666699"><em>"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly . . . timey wimey . . . stuff."</em>  -- The Tenth Doctor, "Blink"</font></p> </div>
 
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rocketwatcher2001

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<font color="yellow">"......if teh Zero was ordinary at the time, what the US had to throw against it was utter crap by comparison...." <br /><br />You got it! </font><br /><br />Belly up to the bar folks, this pitcher's on me. The Zero was always said to be really nimble, and could fly circles around our F4F Wildcats, but that's only half the story.......<br /><br />They were nimble at low speeds, but the stick would practically set in concrete for rolls in a high-speed dive. The best way for a single F4F to kill a Zero was to get it to follow the Wildcat in a diving turn, then the Wildcat would eat it's lunch. When the F6F Hellcat came out, the Zeros were toast.<br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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rocketwatcher2001

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<font color="yellow">A manhole cover will beat a kite going straight down any day!"</font><br /><br />It's not just that they dropped like a rock, but our fighters were designed to be *FAR* more controlable at higher speeds, even our pre-war fighters. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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frodo1008

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Wait just a minute here people. I don't want to be a negative killjoy here, but from what I can see this will not be a hypersonic craft at all. Speed wise it will be no better that the Conocrde itself! At least that is what flying twice the speed of sound (Mach 2) means to me. The Concorde itself flew at twice the speed of sound!<br /><br />So unless you have a craft that will truly fly in the hypersonic region (which I believe doesn't even start until about Mach 3) then you haven't got anything here but an extra large Concorde. However, as the press usually get things fouled up in one way or the other! I am more than willing to find out that this craft is going to be truly designed to fly in the hypersonic region. <br /><br />Heck, Boeing itself in the 1970's and 1980's came up with a viable 300+ passenger supersonic aircraft! They eventually determened that there would be too few passengers for an aircraft that would gobble so much fuel that even with a 300 passenger capacity it would cost far too much for the airlines to handle! Look at what is happening to the airlines today. Their biggest problem IS the cost of such items as fuel! What Boeing has seen as the real selling point of future aircraft is ECONOMY of operation, hense the design of the 7E7, which is designed to run at least some 20 % cheaper than even the latest of either Boeing's or Airbus's aircraft. The airlines are buying this up like crazy!<br /><br />Now, as I said if you could fly some 300 people at a velocity that was truly in the hypersonic range, and even if this cost at least twice as much a conventional jets (even those traveling a twice the speed of sound) and fly at, say 6X the speed of sound, thus taking only as long to cross the Pacific Ocean to Japan and other Asian major cities (some 4 hours as opposed to 12-14 hours) as it takes to cross the far smaller distance of either the Atlantic Ocean or crossing the contenental US, then you would indeed have a winner! And incedently be a
 
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propforce

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<font color="yellow"><i>"...The Concorde itself flew at twice the speed of sound! ..."</i></font><br /><br />The Concorde flies at Mach 1.2, IIRC, barely just over the transonic range.<br /><br /><br /><font color="yellow"><i>"... hypersonic region (which I believe doesn't even start until about Mach 3)......"</i></font><br /><br />Hypersonic typically starts at Mach 4 which, at the nomially Q, is at the air stagnation temperature around 1,200 deg. F<br /><br /><font color="yellow"><i>"... Now, as I said if you could fly some 300 people at a velocity that was truly in the hypersonic range, and even if this cost at least twice as much a conventional jets (even those traveling a twice the speed of sound) and fly at, say 6X the speed of sound, thus taking only as long to cross the Pacific Ocean to Japan and other Asian major cities (some 4 hours as opposed to 12-14 hours) ..... ..."</i></font><br /><br />This can be a real problem. You see, by the time you get to, say Tokoyo, in 4 hours and landed, the airframe will be glowing RED HOT !!! <br /><br />Granpa and grandma may have trouble walking down the gateway with smoking hot aircraft nose and leading edges. Also what good is it to get there in 4 hours, then sitting there for another 2 hours waiting for the aircraft skin to cool down !! <img src="/images/icons/laugh.gif" /><br /><br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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propforce

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Thanks for the correction <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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nacnud

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Yep concorde crused at Mach 2.2<br /><br />As for this new plane, where is the market?
 
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chriscdc

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The fuel costs are going to be a nightmare. Are there really 300 people on this planet who have to cross the pacific in 4 hours?<br /><br />I'll bet that we will be using massive airships rather than these jets in the next few decades.
 
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spacefire

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<font color="yellow">They were nimble at low speeds, but the stick would practically set in concrete for rolls in a high-speed dive. The best way for a single F4F to kill a Zero was to get it to follow the Wildcat in a diving turn, then the Wildcat would eat it's lunch. When the F6F Hellcat came out, the Zeros were toast</font><br /><br />It's a matter of skill. US pilots were generally better than Japanese pilots...I think it was because they were more encouraged to show initiative and individuality in combat.<br />The Zero, however, had higher ceiling than the P40 and was all around a lot better than the F4F....only way you could beat the Zero in those two planes was by being very very smart. <br />Compared to early-war Spits and Me109s, the Zero wasn't that great, except in range.<br />We can say that the Zero and the Mustang were very similar as fighters in different eras of the war. Neither was the best in combat, but both had the advantage that they could carry the fight to the enemy because of their long legs. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>http://asteroid-invasion.blogspot.com</p><p>http://www.solvengineer.com/asteroid-invasion.html </p><p> </p> </div>
 
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holmec

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>the market for supersonic airliners is virtually nonexistent<<br /><br />Yes the market. Supersonic and commercial airliners have not come to terms. That is that people do not want the sonic boom over their heads, and that means over any land. How will they deal with the sonic boom? That is the question.<br /><br />Because of the sonic boom, I hear that small business jets that approach the speed of sound are very commercially viable. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#0000ff"><em>"SCE to AUX" - John Aaron, curiosity pays off</em></font></p> </div>
 
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CalliArcale

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Whoa, I just reread the article. I totally had this confused with the hypersonic test demonstrator! My bad. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#666699"><em>"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly . . . timey wimey . . . stuff."</em>  -- The Tenth Doctor, "Blink"</font></p> </div>
 
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nacnud

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The sonic boom isn't than much of the problem, the real stumbleing block is how much is a couple of hours of your time worth?
 
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davf

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Exactly. And with soaring fuel prices, it's a non-starter economically. <br /><br /><br />Edit: BTW, did anyone notice the SIZE of the full scale aircraft? 104m!!! Maneuvering A380s around an airport will be a cakewalk by comparison.
 
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davf

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Don't forget the Shin Meiwa PS2 / US2. I love that thing! And they are gearing up to make more.
 
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