When will large commercial aircraft finally change shape?

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KamenRiderBlade

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Unread post22 Feb 2015, 22:52

When do you think the big two (Boeing & Airbus) will start producing aircraft for airlines that aren't basically a tube + 2 swept wings + 1x vertical stabilizer and 2x horizontal stabilizers?

They always have these fancy drawings and concept aircraft of the future, but since the 50's / 60's to now, it's basically been the same general mold line with updates here and there.

A lot of the improvements have been underneath the hood in terms of avionics, electronics, engines, materials, minor improvements here and there that added up has made a huge difference.

But the overall mold line hasn't really changed drastically.

When do you think we'll see big change, if ever?
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Unread post23 Feb 2015, 01:22

They are working on it. There are a number of manufacturing, ergonomic, structural, and logistical issues to deal with.
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mrigdon

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Unread post23 Feb 2015, 10:11

KamenRiderBlade wrote:
But the overall mold line hasn't really changed drastically.


Well, until there's a revolutionary advancement in the design of jet bridges, the current airplane design will probably stay about the same.

A few years back, there was that joke article about a blended wing 797 http://www.snopes.com/photos/airplane/boeing797.asp. An article (that I can't find) pointed out that no existing airport could accept such a plane, since you'd have to completely redesign the jet bridge in order to get to the doors over the wing. And while the A380 required airports to make adjustments before they could accept flights from that airplane, it was mainly about size. The same old jet bridges that have always been used will still work with that plane, you just need more space.

It's a little bit like the ATM. Usability experts claim its one of the worst interfaces ever developed, however we've all gotten so used to working the god-forsaken things so that IMPROVING them would actually be worse at this point. Or the QWERTY keyboard. The Dvorak keyboard is supposedly better, but everyone knows the older one (there's no REASON for the QWERTY keyboard in the computer age, it's a quirk of old, slow manual typewriters).

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