General Aviation Thread

Sandhi Yudha

Well-Known Member


It will be indeed not a smart move to offer this 4-engine widebody airliner to the world market and expecting it will become a best-seller. Even without this Covid-19 madness, the chance on success is just zero.

The plan is to just build two Il-96-400M, with delivery expected in 2023. With the production of the A340 already ended, the production of the A380 ending this year, and 747 ending in 2022 or 2023, these two Il-96s can be the last quad-engined airliners ever constructed.
 

Sandhi Yudha

Well-Known Member
Recently Dassault Aviation presented the new Falcon 10X.
It looks stylish, futuristic and spacy, and it has a long range and high fuel efficiency.


Here we can find the presentation video (the first minute you just can skip).
 

Ananda

The Bunker Group

I put this as part of information switching trend in Airline Industry from Hub and Spoke business model toward point to point business model. In outside seems this is due to COVID situation. Howewer with the trend also now moving toward Domestics and not only International, I do see this is going to be more than due to Covid.

With increasing range of smaller singgle aisle, with the regional jets now posses range that can match early wide bodies in 80's and 90's. This shown market trend movement going to stay even if situation of Industry after Covid stabilise. Market now seems demanding more direct flights.

We have already seen the demise of A380 and 747, however even now the big double engine double aisle like A350-1000 and 777X market demand are slowing down. Many of previous order being switch to smaller A350 variance, A330-Neo and 787. Those smaller variance can provids similar range and more economical for thiner routes.

Not that the Hub function will be gone, but I suspect the intensity of the hub will be reduce. Reducing overlay times seems what the market wants.
 
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Sandhi Yudha

Well-Known Member
Serious ideas, studies and concept designs of flying wings already existed in the '80s. So predicting that in 2030 we will fly in electric powered aircrafts and huge flying wings is just totally unrealistic, even if passengers are willing to pay a tenfold for the tickets.

 

spoz

The Bunker Group
It might eventually be the way civil aviation goes - but in 10 years? Really? If that was a serious possibility there would need to be a near production ready example of the type flying now; but all they have is concepts. Even if they actually are a practical proposition it's likely to be, what, 20 years or so before we start to see any large number in service and probably 50 before they replace the current fleets completely. After all, there are still a few Daks in commercial service after 80+ years!
 

Ananda

The Bunker Group
Talking to some Airlines people, when we in Financial Industry try to gauge the future trend in Travel Industry, there're two things that according to them will hamper radical changes in Airliners design:
  1. Airport facilities; The design like wing blended/flying wing potentially will create significant changes on parking bay and gate configuration. Airports doesn't like to do that. Even with relative conventional design A380, the Airport must invest on double decker aero gate for example. That's additional cost, and this with the parking bay still can be share with 777 and 747. With the demise of A380, those double deck aero gates in several years will be useless. Imagine with an unconventional design like Flying wings. That's something that many Airports doesn't want to repeat.
  2. Maintenance facilities; The MRO's need to invest different facilities set up for flying wings. If the concept can only attract some customers, means there'll be limited MRO's willing to invest in order to do MRO service on them. Consequently maintenance costs will be higher.
These COVID condition already shown close to two third of Airlines globally in dire financial situation. Some of them actually are healthy Airlines before COVID. This shown how today Airlines Industry work under tight margin already, even in best of time. Thus if conventional design can still be stretched for fuel saving. The attraction for new radical design will not be attractive enough, considering added costs they can potentially add outside fuel consumption.
 
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Terran

Active Member
I doubt outside of specialized markets a full blended wing body would work for civilian aircraft. If we are talking a non terminal based class perhaps. Biz jets or next gen personal aircraft. The Military I think would be a potential adopter mostly as for them aircraft with a blended wing is already cleared the hurdles in the form of UAS, Stealth bombers. Potential as a cargo plane though the requirements would probably push into the 2040s. For large scale passenger transport the issues of passenger comfort, evacuation and trying to park in an efficient manner for loading and unloading are huge of a 737 sized BWB. Rather I suspect that when the Next generation airliner emerges it will likely be more of a semi conventional type. More like AMELIA. AMELIA Climbs High
The conventional cabin and fuselage blended into a wing body with over mounted nacelles.
 

Terran

Active Member
Double header.
United is putting in for 15 supersonic jets
And the USAF is laying money for R&D on the same Supersonic pulling cash from the AF2 recap.
Interesting stuff but as the past track record isn’t exactly shiny. Concord was the the closest to a success but that’s like calling the Edsel a great car.
As we all know right now the future of wide body airliner seem increasingly deemed as freighters. Increasingly we see the Airlines moving backwards in terms of size back to narrow aisle aircraft but longer range yet the same if not slower speeds than there forerunners. Modern airliners are very very efficient in fuel and maintenance but have traded off speed even compared to no super sonic class.
So longer stays in smaller aircraft for longer trips. But then we get hit with one more aspect the increasingly reduced need for business travelers. Let’s face it 2020 was proof that Business travel isn’t a major need anymore thanks to zoom and the like. Less suit and Ties more loud kids for vacation. With increasingly availability of private Aircraft options for corporate travel
So where supersonic fits is more logical of course it has the three killers of the past to solve.
Fuel, Boom and price.
Fuel and economy of Upkeep. Boom Supersonic the prime suspect of both reports claims to be working those out with alternative fuels. The Boom Overture concept is smaller than a 737 only a 75 seater.
Price point they claim will be comparable to widebody. Focused on long haul routes with objective ticket price equal to Buisness class on those routes.
of course all of this would fall flat if they don’t get though the regulations. Boom aims for a Mach 2.2 top speed with a boom. So these would if successful be a restricted in the US to subsonic flight only able to open the throttle over the ocean or in areas friendly to sonic booms.
 

Ananda

The Bunker Group
The Boom Overture concept is smaller than a 737 only a 75 seater.
Price point they claim will be comparable to widebody. Focused on long haul routes with objective ticket price equal to Buisness class on those routes.
The capacity of Boom Overture to be equip by all business seats around 40+. That's about same business class on A330 or 787. Airlines make more margin in premium class whether First, Business or Premium Economy. Coach with smallest margin sometimes on break even.


Condition in COVID shown that some private/business jets charter even shown good results. The trend of business jet sharing in fact gain traction for companies including some Fortune 500 that see them more efficient rather than maintain your own fleet or getting business in regular Airlines.

Thus if this Boom Overture can perform as it's promise, the attraction to Airlines will be there. It small enough to land in London City Airport for example. Will attract corporate businesses that try to have one day meeting across Atlantic.

I can see the attraction say for business in Asia Pacific. That same range similar between Sydney to Singapore, or Jakarta to Shanghai for example. Make one day meeting possible. Even with the advance of video conferencing during COVID, it's not enough for face to face lobbying.

Concorde business model not working on the matter of Economics and Environment. However even then up to the closures of the last Concorde flight by Air France, it's shown abilities to fill the flights with business people and the haves.

Supersonic flight is to attract Corporate business and the Rich Travellers. It's never intended for the masses/coach travelers. Thus the intended segment are those whom flight premium classes or used Business Jets charters.
Even say across US or Euro continents, there are still restrictions that hinder supersonic airliners to fly on full power, but most important business cities connection are through ocean routes. So there's business model for that, as long as it perform as promised.
 
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Sandhi Yudha

Well-Known Member
For decades people are fantasizing about new supersonic airliners, so i am not that optimistic about the Boom Overture project.
United Airlines plan to order 15 of those supersonic aircrafts, with maybe later 35 more.

Environmental groups rejects United's plan, but the company promises that the aircrafts will use environmental friendly fuels. The aircrafts should be in operation in 2029, which is of course totally impossible if they even not have yet developed the propulsion system.

I actually can not believe that Overture become a success the next decade, also 50 aircrafts are not enough to reach break even point.
 
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Terran

Active Member
Boom claims they want to target Buisness class fair equivalent. That it seems to me is the only way to make this a justifiable development.
Right now round trip NY to London is about $1,800-$3,000 depending on airline Business class .
Expensive but Concord I found a price estimate of $10,500 but that was in 1999 adjusted for inflation thats $16,900. Cheaper than a private charter today but that’s one seat. If you were traveling with a group of about 4 price point would match a private charter.
I get what you @Ananda are saying here about it being targeted to the upper classes, yet let’s be realistic. The price point is such that it’s almost impossible to justify save for the CEO class given the reduced need for in person meetings. Such a super premium model is suicidal. Trying for the middle buisness equivalent might be justified if they push concord pricing game over.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
Time will tell if face to face travel expense can be justified post COVID. I suspect mostly not and plane manufactures and airliness are going to have to carefully consider future jets. Smaller and optimized for point to point tourist routes is likely. Supersonic, one day trans-Atlantic meetings, maybe but I personally wouldn’t be interested. A pool of business jets offering companies direct point to point for major destinations on a semi regular basis albeit more than current business/ first class rates, might work.
 

Terran

Active Member
When Airion folded last month the leading bet on SSBJs. The Supersonic flight regime is being attacked for the next decade. COVID is a short term. Longer term trends have been longer range smaller aircraft. With the real limiting factor on the need being that you can have a meeting with someone across the globe who never left there home. Of course this doesn’t eliminate the need for the old fashioned face to face, it likely shifts it from hamming out the deal to the signing the deal. Which pushes more to the day trip.
Though private business jets are getting more use, it’s still pricey for smaller passenger load trips. Especially if the Bulk of the business being done has been done and all that’s is happening is smiles sign and champagne. A round trip from NYC to London by Charter is about $100,000.
I also think that as the tourist side is pushed for longer range trips people mayfavor spending more for less time getting to the destination.
As for trying to break the Spoke and hub system this has been a bit of a trend yet it’s not quite their yet. Were it then I think we would more be seeing higher demand for Short take off and increase in smaller than regional airports.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
There is talk here in NZ amongst the epidemiological community that COVID-19 will be with us for another 3 - 5 years, so that will still be putting a damper on flying. Until the whole world is vaccinated we will be in what is now the new norm. The problem is this virus is mutating quickly growing more virulent with each mutation. This will change people's behaviour.

We have a quarantine free bubble between NZ and Australia, stand fast Victoria, but there aren't heaps of Aussie tourists in NZ nor Kiwi tourists in Australia. Most are travelling either for business or to visit family and friends. People are still somewhat wary and wisely so. We've just had a group of Kiwis stranded in Victoria due to the latest COVID-19 lockdown there. Travel insurance doesn’t cover it, so it can be an expensive add on.
 

Ananda

The Bunker Group
get what you @@Ananda are saying here about it being targeted to the upper classes, yet let’s be realistic
@Terran if you look again to my post, you can see what I mean on the target segment are those who are using Premium Class (Airlines definition for Premium classes are First, Business and sometimes Premium Economy) and those who use Business Charters.

As my link shown business charters model are growing even during COVID, compared to overall global Airlines Industry that are depressed significantly. Perhaps we got different perception in whose Upper Class. For me Upper Class is not the Elites. Upper class definition (in Economics/Finance Industry) are those segment belong to Upper Middle Class above (including the Elites), so it's broader that the Elites that represents mostly the top 1% of population. Even it's broader, however it's not for the average Joe's or the Mass that flying with coaches.

The trend now even for those Elites that can afford to procure their own Business Jets, put their Business Jets with Rental Companies Pool in order to reduce their Maintenance costs. For large companies it's more efficient for them to get into agreement with rental company. That way those Elites and Large Companies executives can still get access to Business Jets anytime they want however still more efficient than maintainance on your own. The trend working cause the Finance/Investment Companies willing to bank roll those trend.

This happen since those Rental Companies can charge group of 8-12 travelers equivalent of 30% premium over traveling with schedule Airlines Premium Classes on certain routes. In fact you can share the groups with others if you want to. The Rental Companies can arrange that. That's why they can broaden their target market to overall Upper Classes and not just the Elites and Top Executives.

That put competition to Premium Classes in regular Airlines. That's why some of the Airlines begin to convert (or thinking on doing) some of their plane on certain routes for Premiums only as part of Business Jets routes or charters. This already happened even before COVID. Singapore Airlines for example already make their direct Singapore to New York Newark as Premium Class only (with cheapest is Premium Economy that averaging slightly twice than coaches).

So I believe the thinking of United to get into this Supersonic Boom Overture is also to play on Business Jets only routes or charters model. This off course can only workable if the promise by Boom to make average seat costs will not much different with current average premium seat costs achievable.

So yes, the business models that only aim for the Elites will not work. However business models that aim for broader upper class segment can work, and even during this COVID shown can even growing.

. The problem is this virus is mutating quickly growing more virulent with each mutation. This will change people's behaviour.
Some of rhe mutation can be more virulent, but so far the vaccine can cope. I do think by end of this year most of OECD's nation's can already vaccinated 60%-70% of their population. While the middle income countries already reach 40%-50% of their population.

The problem will be Sub Sahara Africa and some islands nations in Pacific and those states still in conflicts like Libya, Syria, Yamen and Palestine, or middle income but failed state like Venezuela. However since most business and travellers are not included them, then the risk of contagious travelling infection can be reduced significantly.

COVID will not go away. Don't forgot that common North America influenza strain kill thousands of people annually. However most of them can be handled by regular annual Influenza shoot. Thus after this first round of vaccination drive, I suspect there will be regular vaccine booster need to be taken for time to time for the travelers. However it actually not much different from current conditions. I remember when I when to US in winter 2019, my doctor told me to take flu shot as winter is seasons for North America flu/influenza strains.

So I do think that's the new normal that will be facing by next year onward.
 

Sandhi Yudha

Well-Known Member
Some surprisingly good news....


So Lufthansa plans to fly to Mallorca with its Airbus A350 and later also the 747-8 on four weekends over the summer starting in mid-July through to early August when demand will be at its peak.
 
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John Fedup

The Bunker Group
An encouraging sign for the commercial aviation but clearly the big turning point will be the opening of intercontinental travel. The other looming issue will the size of the business traveller market in the post- COVID era.
 
An encouraging sign for the commercial aviation but clearly the big turning point will be the opening of intercontinental travel. The other looming issue will the size of the business traveller market in the post- COVID era.
Personal and business travel via personal planes is way up. It will be interesting to see if that increase lasts.

Art
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
We have had problems with Robinson helicopters crashing in NZ and more than a few deaths have resulted. Most appear to be due to main rotor mast bumping. This article is the result of a Coroners inquest into one such crash which resulted in two fatalities.


In the last weekend we had another Robinson Helicopter crash where the passengers were a bride and groom and a wedding photographer flying out to take some wedding photos between the ceremony and the reception. All survived but have been seriously injured.


There are a few of us around who absolutely refuse to fly in Robinson helicopters because of their poor safety record.
 

ASSAIL

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
We have had problems with Robinson helicopters crashing in NZ and more than a few deaths have resulted. Most appear to be due to main rotor mast bumping. This article is the result of a Coroners inquest into one such crash which resulted in two fatalities.


In the last weekend we had another Robinson Helicopter crash where the passengers were a bride and groom and a wedding photographer flying out to take some wedding photos between the ceremony and the reception. All survived but have been seriously injured.


There are a few of us around who absolutely refuse to fly in Robinson helicopters because of their poor safety record.
A more nuanced appreciation of the Robbo is needed.
I’m a fan and anyone who has seen these used in cattle mustering, buffalo hunting or croc catching would appreciate the incredibly dangerous operations they undertake.
As the linked article suggests, most of the problems lie with the pilots and this unfairly tarnished the aircraft.
 
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