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(BBC-US)   Airbus wants to make future airline flights more exciting with catapult takeoffs and steep-dive landings   (bbc.com) divider line 90
    More: Spiffy, Smarter Skies, Airbus, Airbus A380, Dreamliner  
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10243 clicks; posted to Main » on 07 Sep 2012 at 3:35 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-09-07 10:48:53 AM  
I used to work for FedEx, and you could fly "jumpseat" in the cockpit for free. Almost all the pilots were ex military, which sometimes made for some interesting take offs and landings. You see, these pilots didn't have to worry about the cargo making a complaint about a steep or rough landing/take off.

So, as a person who now frequently flies for buisness, and has experienced airframe max descent in a 727-200, if they make steep takeoffs/landings the norm, there will be far more screaming and barfing on flights.

/The average airline passenger does NOT welcome or appreciate scary, sudden movements from the aluminum can they are riding in.
 
2012-09-07 10:52:27 AM  

Oldiron_79: Does anyone have a diagram of that the future seating patterns will be?


Hopefully:
s3.amazonaws.com
s3.amazonaws.com
 
2012-09-07 11:03:02 AM  

natazha: markie_farkie: Sounds like flying into/out of John Wayne airport..

Big deal.

This and San Diego.


Anyone here fly into the old Hong Kong airport? That one was a doozy.
 
2012-09-07 11:09:55 AM  

fo_sho!: old Hong Kong airport?


Kai Tak

Loosely translated, Kai Tak means "Puke your farking guts out". At least that's what I've heard..
 
2012-09-07 11:41:17 AM  
i111.photobucket.com
 
2012-09-07 12:01:39 PM  

Generation_D: Boeing wants the pilot to have the final say, while Airbus thinks it should be the plane's computer. I disagree fundamentally with that.


Humans are error-prone - probably moreso than computers. Hell, AF447 wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for the fact that the computer handed the aircraft (almost) completely over to the humans, one of whom lost no time in doing the wrong thing and not just stalled it, but kept it stalled.

Not that it really, really matters, the cases where design philosophies come into play are such outliers, they're basically statistical noise. Crew training, procedure and maintenance matters thousands of times more than A v. B.
 
2012-09-07 12:21:10 PM  

way south: Where Airbus is going to stop at some CGI and a press release, NASA has continued to work on the BWB (if only at a meandering pace) to try and resolve these problems.


Yep, they've made a few fun radio controlled models and a couple of absolutely tiny wind tunnel models.

Nobody's going to be going for a ride in the X-48C any time soon, not even a pilot:

img856.imageshack.us
 
2012-09-07 12:24:42 PM  

Erik_Emune: Generation_D: Boeing wants the pilot to have the final say, while Airbus thinks it should be the plane's computer. I disagree fundamentally with that.

Humans are error-prone - probably moreso than computers. Hell, AF447 wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for the fact that the computer handed the aircraft (almost) completely over to the humans, one of whom lost no time in doing the wrong thing and not just stalled it, but kept it stalled.

Not that it really, really matters, the cases where design philosophies come into play are such outliers, they're basically statistical noise. Crew training, procedure and maintenance matters thousands of times more than A v. B.


The catch is that the pilot, unlike the computer, can see out the window. His opinion is often more useful.
If the pilot wants to do a maneuver that would stall the plane (for example) the computer should take priority.
But if the pilot is saying "I don't want to land here" or "I want to go up, NOW!", I'd prefer it if the computer deferred to his opinion.
 
2012-09-07 12:26:26 PM  

fo_sho!: natazha: markie_farkie: Sounds like flying into/out of John Wayne airport..

Big deal.

This and San Diego.

Anyone here fly into the old Hong Kong airport? That one was a doozy.


Depends who you ask, really. Ask the typical long-haul airline pilot and it was like threading a needle while hopping on one foot in a pit full of angry vipers.

Ask the folks at Dragonair--had a few contacts there myself--and it was far and away the easiest airport they flew into.

markie_farkie: Loosely translated, Kai Tak means "Puke your farking guts out". At least that's what I've heard..


Light constitution much?

/actually, it was named for Sir Kai Ho Kai, and Mr. Au Tak, on whose land the beginning of the airport was built (most of it was actually on reclaimed land).
 
2012-09-07 12:29:22 PM  

PsychoPhil: I think I got one or two of those flying out of EWR. All I remember was we were rolling, then in the air, then in the clouds, and man did we get up there FAST.


i.imgur.com
Kids these days...loud as heck but could almost climb like a fighter.

markie_farkie: fo_sho!: old Hong Kong airport?

Kai Tak

Loosely translated, Kai Tak means "Puke your farking guts out". At least that's what I've heard..


I've tried the IGS 13 approach (the one where you could look into people's windows while flying between buildings) in MS Flight Simulator. It's bananas, particularly in bad weather with a jet.
 
2012-09-07 01:03:30 PM  
So they're going to be flying in and out of Denver?
 
2012-09-07 01:18:35 PM  

Gleeman: Combat landings in an A380? Nice! (Go to 6:30)


Combat landings, although spectacular to watch, aren't designed to land an aircraft at a slower ground speed. They are used to reduce the amount of ground fire an aircraft is exposed to by minimizing the amount of ground the aircraft travels over in the threat zone. Essentially, you start above the level ground fire can reach while approaching the airport, then pitch over sharply. That way, instead of flying through the AA envelope for eight to ten miles, you only do so for one or two... thus, fewer guns that get the chance to shoot at you. You still cross the runway threshold at the same speed as a normal approach.

Now, if you want some real funny C-130 tricks that would be great to see in an A-380, LAPES the passengers. 
 
2012-09-07 02:10:11 PM  

Click Click D'oh: Steep takeoffs are the future? I guess I'm one of the few people that remembers what a full performance 757 takeoff is like.

Also, stupid Airbus... Approach angle has nothing to do with roll out distance. You can't make a plane stop more quickly by diving at the ground faster... well, unless you forget to flare. If you are flying a 3 degree glideslope or a 45 degree glideslope, eventually you have to orient the plane to the runway, at which time you damn well better be going just above stall speed or bad things happen. Since stall speed at landing attitude will always be the same given similar aircraft weights, it doesn't matter what angle you were flying at shortly beforehand. Same stall speed means same aircraft speed means same stopping distance.


I think the logic here may be that if they can stay higher until 10nm out from the airport, as opposed to having to start stepping down at 50nm then they'll end up saving fuel by operating longer at a higher, more effcient altitude.
 
2012-09-07 02:29:13 PM  

danielscissorhands: Makh: Do whatever cheapens it to a bus ride or commuter train. Or make them SST. Or don't bother.

Make them SST? Will they be playing the whole Black Flag catalogue then?


I'd go on a plane if they were playing that.
 
2012-09-07 02:42:24 PM  

Click Click D'oh: Gleeman: Combat landings in an A380? Nice! (Go to 6:30)

Combat landings, although spectacular to watch, aren't designed to land an aircraft at a slower ground speed. They are used to reduce the amount of ground fire an aircraft is exposed to by minimizing the amount of ground the aircraft travels over in the threat zone. Essentially, you start above the level ground fire can reach while approaching the airport, then pitch over sharply. That way, instead of flying through the AA envelope for eight to ten miles, you only do so for one or two... thus, fewer guns that get the chance to shoot at you. You still cross the runway threshold at the same speed as a normal approach.

Now, if you want some real funny C-130 tricks that would be great to see in an A-380, LAPES the passengers.


That would be awesome. You could build the cabins separately from the planes, and load and unload the passengers at a leisurely, unhurried pace. The planes, on the other hand, would just drop one cabin off and pick another one up. You could build cabins that don't have to conform to the assumption that you have to unload all the passengers quickly, which would allow things like stacked sleeper bunks.
 
2012-09-07 02:56:02 PM  

Gyrfalcon: danielscissorhands: Makh: Do whatever cheapens it to a bus ride or commuter train. Or make them SST. Or don't bother.

Make them SST? Will they be playing the whole Black Flag catalogue then?

I'd go on a plane if they were playing that.


Me too. ;)
 
2012-09-07 03:06:31 PM  
I like the idea of a launch system. Even if it doesn't really accelerate the plane quicker it would be a fuel savings. I would imagine the problem with a wheeled cart pulling it is the power needed would likely offset any fuel savings by the plane. A toned down system like what's on a carrier would be an interesting idea.

As far as steep takeoff I would think they're trying to get high quickly to reduce noise. But, the engines pushing hard and being pointed towards the ground produces a lot of noise.
 
2012-09-07 03:07:06 PM  

way south: I embrace all kinds of technology, not just the ones that will benefit me personally.


But you don't. You embrace the IDEA. It's not actual technology until it's BUILT.

way south: /Its an argument that I doubt will last very long when Bio fuels become the standard.


And how, precisely, will that happen? The infrastructure you take for granted under cheap energy/oil will DISAPPEAR. We'll be lucky to have a flight per week by then. CGI be damned.
 
2012-09-07 03:34:20 PM  

way south: gweilo8888: PR guff, nothing more.

This.

Airlines could be saving fuel and making less noise within the next few years.

[dl.dropbox.com image 800x548]

...But when offered actual solutions neither they nor the government decided they were interested.
So these projects linger on at NASA, waiting for forward thinking people to come to power.


Wait, they actually built those things? I thought that was a concept test and nothing more. Holy crap.

Once again, politics and greed edge out the totally farking cool shiat that NASA and the rest of those crazy geeks come up with.
 
2012-09-07 04:18:15 PM  

Quantum Apostrophe: But you don't. You embrace the IDEA. It's not actual technology until it's BUILT.


Flying wings and lifting bodies have been built as models, as computer tests, and as full scale vehicles. The technology is real. What you are splitting hairs over is a specific type of lifting body being investigated by Boeing and NASA over the last decade.
Particularly, a flight test article.

Most new designs begin as models, so the hop to full scale isn't far fetched.
What Boeing needs is more customer interest and its generating data for the sales pitch.

Quantum Apostrophe: The infrastructure you take for granted under cheap energy/oil will DISAPPEAR. We'll be lucky to have a flight per week by then. CGI be damned.


That's an incredibly pessimistic view from someone who claims they want to live in that future.
I more think the world will continue to spin while we learn to be more efficient with what's left.

Turbines are fiercely ambivalent over what they eat. Between bio-fuels, synthetics, liquefied gas and other sources, I'm sure they airlines will find a way to stay in business long after we're gone.
 
2012-09-07 04:52:10 PM  

Kahabut: Wait, they actually built those things?


They've built scale models for testing the concept.
What's in that particular photo is CGI.

A few decade back, they built these:

dl.dropbox.com

/As you might have guessed tho, they were done in by politics.
 
2012-09-07 05:51:31 PM  

markie_farkie: fo_sho!: old Hong Kong airport?

Kai Tak

Loosely translated, Kai Tak means "Puke your farking guts out". At least that's what I've heard..


Gah, they probably had to pull it off of the line after that to clean all of the seat cushions afterward. Best comment on the video: "Asians can drift anything."

/I ror'd
 
2012-09-07 05:55:09 PM  

way south: That's an incredibly pessimistic view from someone who claims they want to live in that future.


Only if you think life is only worth living like it is now. The changes that will come will be fascinating to live through. The coward's way out is to die.

way south: Turbines are fiercely ambivalent over what they eat.


Yes, who said the opposite? You won't be able to make enough biofuels to support how we live now. We have to MAKE these fuels. How? With what? 

Pointing to one tiny lab example is fine, now multiply by a million and toss in shareholders and customers.

We couldn't even maintain Concorde, and that's '60s tech.
 
2012-09-07 06:28:42 PM  

Quantum Apostrophe: way south: That's an incredibly pessimistic view from someone who claims they want to live in that future.

Only if you think life is only worth living like it is now. The changes that will come will be fascinating to live through. The coward's way out is to die.

way south: Turbines are fiercely ambivalent over what they eat.

Yes, who said the opposite? You won't be able to make enough biofuels to support how we live now. We have to MAKE these fuels. How? With what? 

Pointing to one tiny lab example is fine, now multiply by a million and toss in shareholders and customers.

We couldn't even maintain Concorde, and that's '60s tech.


Concorde was a commercial failure because it had thirsty engines, made too much noise, and carried too few passengers for what was considered a nice benefit (flying supersonic) that wasn't nice enough to justify the higher ticket price.
The 747 killed it by giving airlines what they wanted, capacity and economy.

What you are proposing is that the cost of fuel will shut down air travel.
Which would leave people to do what... Cross oceans by boat?

Some routes may change, but people will still pay the price to fly. Liquid fuel can still be made. So the challenge becomes delivering passengers on less fuel.
Right now saving fuel is considered a nice feature, but not nice enough to take on the burden of a new aircraft design.

If fuel becomes the end all and be all of operations, conserving it will take priority. The cost of a new plane will be an easier pill to swallow than the prospect of not being in business.
 
2012-09-07 07:43:36 PM  
No no no no no FARK no.

I already hate flying. Don't turn it into a damn rollercoaster.
 
2012-09-07 08:45:30 PM  

Kahabut: Wait, they actually built those things? I thought that was a concept test and nothing more. Holy crap.


Once again, no. They built some radio controlled models, none of which is big enough to fit a single person in, and some wind tunnel models that are even smaller.

The first picture way south posted is a 1990s artist's rendition from PopSci, the other is a picture of an R/C model with stickers for windows.
 
2012-09-07 08:55:29 PM  

gweilo8888: Kahabut: Wait, they actually built those things? I thought that was a concept test and nothing more. Holy crap.

Once again, no. They built some radio controlled models, none of which is big enough to fit a single person in, and some wind tunnel models that are even smaller.

The first picture way south posted is a 1990s artist's rendition from PopSci, the other is a picture of an R/C model with stickers for windows.


Oh

/kicks sand

:(
 
2012-09-07 09:13:49 PM  

way south: /As you might have guessed tho, they were done in by politics.


Not so much, unless you mean inter-company politics. They were done in largely by being overly complex, overly fragile, there being insufficient manpower to design and make them, Northrop and Martin bickering with each other, Martin not wanting to build something they didn't design, there being near-perpetual reliability problems (prop governor, gear box, landing gear door), failure to meet performance targets, and wing failure (killing all five onboard one of the handful of test planes that reached flyable status, including the pilots for whom Forbes and Edwards Air Force Bases were eventually named). Oh, and there was rumored industrial sabotage, too.

Edwards' assessment of the plane in its jet-powered variant, by the way? "The darndest airplane I've ever tried to do anything with. Quite uncontrollable at times."

http://www.fiddlersgreen.net/models/aircraft/Northrop-XB35.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northrop_YB-35#XB-35
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northrop_YB-35#YB-35
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northrop_YB-49
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Forbes
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glen_Edwards_(pilot)
 
2012-09-07 10:30:52 PM  
A320 steep takeoff: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtkHLBkkWMo&playnext=1&list=PL3CAEBD796 355F4FA&feature=results_main
 
2012-09-07 10:31:53 PM  
I am more than willing to pay extra to ride on the plane that does not hurtle towards the ground and then pull up at the last moment, thank you very much...
 
2012-09-07 10:34:21 PM  
ahh, I should have read the article first... it slowly hurtles towards the ground...
 
2012-09-08 01:35:10 AM  
Sounds like Heinlines Balistics are not far off.
 
2012-09-08 07:43:41 AM  

Generation_D: Airbus does some scary stuff. Like change the joystick into a little mousepad like control. Stuff that changes 50, 60 years of aviation in the name of a sales gimmick. Boeing wants the pilot to have the final say, while Airbus thinks it should be the plane's computer. I disagree fundamentally with that.

I'll stick with American built, thanks.


It appears that you are completely oblivious to the fact that Boeing's newest offering, Boeing 777, is also, just like Airbus, a fly-by-wire plane. To put it in terms that you can understand, Boeing is now copying the very same features that you are criticising Airbus for being the pioneer in implementing them.

Your unfounded criticism may lead you to "stick with american built", but that only leads you to stick with an inferior product which is catching up with what Airbus has been pumping out for a decade now.
 
2012-09-08 08:46:02 AM  

gweilo8888: way south: /As you might have guessed tho, they were done in by politics.

Not so much, unless you mean inter-company politics. They were done in largely by being overly complex, overly fragile, there being insufficient manpower to design and make them, Northrop and Martin bickering with each other, Martin not wanting to build something they didn't design, there being near-perpetual reliability problems (prop governor, gear box, landing gear door), failure to meet performance targets, and wing failure (killing all five onboard one of the handful of test planes that reached flyable status, including the pilots for whom Forbes and Edwards Air Force Bases were eventually named). Oh, and there was rumored industrial sabotage, too.

Edwards' assessment of the plane in its jet-powered variant, by the way? "The darndest airplane I've ever tried to do anything with. Quite uncontrollable at times."

http://www.fiddlersgreen.net/models/aircraft/Northrop-XB35.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northrop_YB-35#XB-35
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northrop_YB-35#YB-35
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northrop_YB-49
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Forbes
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glen_Edwards_(pilot)


Yeah, but they were there when we needed them in the war against the Martians...


/but seriously, came to post the above, etc.
 
2012-09-08 08:50:56 AM  

maggoo: Generation_D: Airbus does some scary stuff. Like change the joystick into a little mousepad like control. Stuff that changes 50, 60 years of aviation in the name of a sales gimmick. Boeing wants the pilot to have the final say, while Airbus thinks it should be the plane's computer. I disagree fundamentally with that.

I'll stick with American built, thanks.

It appears that you are completely oblivious to the fact that Boeing's newest offering, Boeing 777, is also, just like Airbus, a fly-by-wire plane. To put it in terms that you can understand, Boeing is now copying the very same features that you are criticising Airbus for being the pioneer in implementing them.

Your unfounded criticism may lead you to "stick with american built", but that only leads you to stick with an inferior product which is catching up with what Airbus has been pumping out for a decade now.


Double posting, but I think he was referring to the fact that Boeing still uses control yokes on their FBW planes, allowing for the force feedback that wold have prevented the crash of Flight 447.

Boeing 777:
www.flightglobal.com

Airbus A380:
i.imgur.com

When the keyboard is more importantly placed than the flight controls....
 
2012-09-08 10:54:01 AM  

Generation_D: I'll stick with American built, thanks.


This works for cars if you want, but it's a pretty ridiculous statement for anyone who's not in airccaft procurement for an airline. If you want to fly from Cedar Rapids to Jacksonville, and the only planes going that way are Airbus built, what do you do? Drive? Or pay extra to fly through Austin?

Nah. You'll buy your ticket and quietly ride the Airbus, like everyone else.

/Cities, routes are pulled out of my ass. I have no idea who flies where on which brand of plane.
 
2012-09-08 05:12:13 PM  

Gleeman:
Boeing 777:
[www.flightglobal.com image 500x332]

Airbus A380:
[i.imgur.com image 640x427]


Holy shiatballs. I've ridden my last Airbus, thank you.
 
2012-09-08 06:47:14 PM  

Miss Stein: Holy shiatballs. I've ridden my last Airbus, thank you.


To be fair to Airbus, side stick is a pretty accepted design in fly-by-wire aircraft, especially military aircraft. The keyboard folds away and is only there when it's actually needed.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/tongho58/6063037386/
 
2012-09-08 08:04:23 PM  

Miss Stein: Gleeman:
Boeing 777:
[www.flightglobal.com image 500x332]

Airbus A380:
[i.imgur.com image 640x427]


Holy shiatballs. I've ridden my last Airbus, thank you.


The location of the stick is a lot less important than the philosophy behind it. Ive flown in cirrus 4 sweaters that use the side stick but are not fly by wire. It felt fine to me. (I'm not a pilot - but the pilot lets me have a go)

The bigger difference in philosophy is that there is no force feedback in current airbus sticks (previous ones had it) but there is position feedback.

Boeing has put force feedback in the 777 but it is still a fly by wire system.

The "final say" is the other big difference. The thinking behind both approachesakes sense. If an airbus is flying at a mountain and the pilot yanks the stick back as far as he can, the plane will pull up as far as possible while avoiding a stall condition. The Boeing will give final judgement to the pilot but this may make sense in some circumstances, such as bad data from sensors...etc.

Personally I can see the value in both systems and I have no problem flying on a modern, proven aircraft from either manufacturer. Of I was qualified to fly both my opinion and everyone in this thread would mean more.
 
2012-09-08 09:02:06 PM  
Considering the vast amount of fuel spent taxiing and taking off, some sort of ground-based taxiing/launch system would make sense. During descent you're pretty much gliding at idle so there's not much purpose for a steeper plummet, other than it would be really cool. Though I've been on an MD80 that came down from FL10 at about a 45 degree descent where we pulled into a flare at the last second before touchdown, my foot was reflexively looking for a brake pedal.

My father is the crustiest old geezer of an old pilot, won't even fly a T-tail due to his inherent distrust of the design. But the time he got to fly a Cirrus he said he was comfortable with the sidestick by mid-taxi and had a good old time flying that bird around. So there's nothing inherently wrong with fly-by-wire, just French pilots.
 
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