View Full Version : It seemed like a good idea at the time

Windy Militant
5th Nov 2002, 14:36
Have you seen what the Boeing boffins are up to these days. Boeing Pelican (http://www.boeing.com/news/frontiers/archive/2002/september/i_pw.html)
Well in light of this what would you lads and lassies like to see making a come back, airships perhaps? or monorails? Anyone got any weird concepts fron the past that we should be dusting off and firing up. Back in the days of Flash Gordon and Dan Dare the future seemed to be so much more exciting than it's turned out to be!;)

Flip Flop Flyer
5th Nov 2002, 14:46
Boeing is in a rather poor state. They need something to make Wall Street feel good about them. When the B747-400XXLER or whatever they called it stranded on A380 competition, they launched the still-born Sonic Cruiser. It took Wall Street analysts some time to catch on to what it was all about; hot air. Since a modern 767 is not "sexy" enough for Wall Street to go uh-ah, and since all the money in US aviation these days are in military hardware, they needed something else. Enter the Pelican and BWB, two more still-born ideas from Boeing Dreamworks.

Say what you want, this is what you get when bean counters run the show, reacting to the fact that share holders can't see further than the next quarterly forecast.

5th Nov 2002, 14:59
I think (well actually I know) that the Russians have already built an aircraft somewhat like Boeing is talking about. I can’t remember the name of the aircraft but I have seen it on the Wings Discovery channel on the “Wings of the Red Star’ series.

Jet II
5th Nov 2002, 15:11
Th Russians built a 'ground effect' plane similar to the Boeing years ago - It was called the Ekranoplan or Caspian Sea Monster.

I believe that the Ruskies stopped work because the USSR went bust and the money ran out - I also seem to remember that there was something on this site a while ago about all this.

5th Nov 2002, 15:39
I read a thing in Flight International, a few years ago, on a Russian plane that was powered by water. I forget how the thing worked and if it just ran on hydrogen, or some mix of elements. It seemed like a good idea. The aircraft was a Tu-154.

The problem with it however, was the water tank. This tank filled over three quarters of the fuselage. The tank filled with water brought the plane close to its MTOW and I think it only could fly for about 45 mins before having to refuel again. I suppose it was a good idea, and possibly one step closer to a new jet fuel, however if there is no way of reducing the size of the water tank and the weight of the plane, that idea isn't going anywhere.

There doesnt seem like much point in an airline flying an aircraft that has no room for passengers or cargo and can barely stay in the air an hour!


5th Nov 2002, 16:11
The Caspian Sea Monster (http://www.se-technology.com/wig/html/main.php?open=showcraft&code=0&craft=24)

5th Nov 2002, 20:18
Did someone else notice this on the Boeing site: 'Boeing Phantom Works'? It's not too hard to think of where they stole the idea for the name: the Lockheed Skunk Works department is well known of course. And the name is kind of fitting I guess... all they will be thinking up up there will be planes that noone will ever see!