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Aircraft Characteristics

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Part of the Transportation Research, Economics and Policy book series (TRES)

Abstract

Shortly after the end of World War II, the airline industry was able to use civilian versions of wartime transport aircraft to meet a rapidly expanding market for air travel. The war itself was partly responsible for the broader interest in air travel. The advance in aircraft technology, particularly, the gas turbine engine, revolutionized the industry, and set the stage for a tradition of steady technological change in the decade that followed. Thus, entering the post World War II period, new technologies were available, and an extensive skill base of aeronautical engineers and flying personnel existed. Major production facilities were in place and a base of public acceptance for air travel had been created.1 The development of the jet aircraft, commercial as well as military, overlaps the period of the piston-engined planes. Design of the Boeing B-47 began in late 1943. Douglas began design of the XB-43, essentially a modification of the XB-42, in 1944. Convair’s XB-46 design was also initiated in 1944. There had been interest in jets before, but no commercial firms in the United States had had sufficient interest and resources to take the lead in jet engine development. Thus, it is quite clear that so far as the United States manufacture of either military or commercial planes were concerned, jet development had to wait until the development of technology overcame the early obstacles. It is not clear when research on the specific commercial transports by United States manufacturers began. Boeing quite certainly was studying alternative models to the C-97 as early as 1950.

Keywords

Specific Fuel Consumption Flight Attendant Turbofan Engine Maximum Payload Passenger Capacity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Endnotes

  1. 1.
    U.S. Department of Commerce (1986) A Competitive Assessment of the U.S. Civil Aircraft Industry, Westview Press, Boulder, Colorado, pp. 17–18.Google Scholar
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    Boeing Commerical Airplane Group, Current Market Outlook (1992), Seattle, Washington.Google Scholar
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    ibid., p 124.Google Scholar
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    Loftin, L. (1985) Quest for PerformanceThe Evolution of Modern Aircraft, NASA, Washington, D.C., pp. 409–413.Google Scholar
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    Newhouse, J. (1982) The Sporty Game, Alfred Knopf, New York, p. 123.Google Scholar
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    ibid., p. 224.Google Scholar
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    Ethell, J. (1983) Fuel Economy in Aviation, NASA, Washington, D.C., p. 9.Google Scholar
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    See Loftin (1985), Chapter 10.Google Scholar
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    Ethell (1983).Google Scholar
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    Loftin (1985), pp. 233-234.Google Scholar
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    U.S. Department of Commerce (1986), pp. 17-20.Google Scholar
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    ibid.; A complete review of air transportation prior to the jet age can be found in Bilstein, R. (1984) Flight in America1900-1983, The John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore; Miller, R., and Sawers, D., (1970) The Technical Development of Modern Aviation, Praeger Publishers, New York; Rae, J. (1968) Climb to Greatness-The American Aircraft Industry, 1920-1960, The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA; Simonson, G.R. (1968) The History of the American Aircraft IndustryAn Anthology, The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
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    All of the technological characteristics, performance and physical descriptions discussed throughout the text are taken from various issues of Jane’s Information Group, Inc, Janes All The Worlds Aircraft (Various Issues 1970-1995) except where otherwise noted.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    See Jane’s Information Group, Inc., Janes All The World Aircraft, 1970-1971, London, pp. 287–773.Google Scholar
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    Janes All The Worlds Aircraft 1970-1971, pp. 287–773.Google Scholar
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  39. 39.
    Loftin(1985), p. 437.Google Scholar
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  46. 46.
    ibid., Loftin (1985), p. 448.Google Scholar
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    ibid., Loftin (1985), p. 451.Google Scholar
  49. 49.
    Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft 1984-1985. Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    Jane’ s All the Worlds Aircraft 1989-1990. Please note that these performance characteristics are only estimates at the time of this writing.Google Scholar
  51. 51.
  52. 52.
  53. 53.
    In a fly-by-wire control system, the pilot’s commands-made through the control wheel and rudder pedals-are converted to electrical signals and transmitted through computers and electrical wires to the plane’s control surfaces. The FBW system has replaced steel cables normally used for control.Google Scholar
  54. 54.
    Jane’s All The World’s Aircraft 1989-1990.Google Scholar
  55. 55.
    Jane’s All The World’s Aircraft 1994-1995.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Science and Technology PolicyRensselaer Polytechnic InstituteTroyUSA
  2. 2.Lally School of Management and TechnologyRensselaer Polytechnic InstituteTroyUSA

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