Aviation technology in the past has redefined and opened a new hope of connecting the world by the means of aircrafts and cut the travel time with respect to ships to almost 1/ 50 in major cases. For an instance, back in 80’s, during the time of Concorde’s regime, it took 137 hours to reach London from New York by ship, whereas the supersonic jet did it just around 3 hours. For a commercial subsonic plane, this takes around 6 hours and 15 minutes, which too is unbelievably lesser time in comparison to a ship. Scott Beale aviation expert tells why,
Since the stalling of Concorde, which dominated the skies in the 80s to early 00’s, there have been no innovations, which could result in reducing travel times like or lesser than what Concorde did. Although the standards and qualities of flying may have improved by a large extent, right from seating, comfort, safety, fuel efficiency and economies, but speed has returned to back to the old times. The comparison requires a whole new parameter and study, which includes:
- Sonic Boom Effects: Subsonic planes are thosejets, which fly lesser than the speed of sound (Mach 1). Thus, these jets have a new reliability to the environment as a whole of not breaking the sound barrier. Sonic boom is an explosion-type of sound boom, which is caused by the supersonic jets, which does so. On breaking the sound barrier, this can cause many environmental hazards and for flights flying above a city, are set to experience broken window panes and glasses with each flights.
- Load Design: “Lighter the plane more the speed” maybe a technically correct word, but economically it is not. For a sub sonic jet, the load range varies from different sized aircrafts, and even the smallest of jets can easily carry close to 150-200 passengers on a typical configuration. For a supersonic jet, the maximum passenger count cannot be more than 120 at maximum. Thus, the increase of ticket price is undeniable.
- Fuel Consumption: Supersonic jets like Concorde had a turbojet engine, unlike for any subsonic planes, which has turbofan engines. There is a factor called as the air bypass ratio, which determines the air bypassing the main engine duct, and thereby ensuring higher fuel efficiency with reduction of drag. For a subsonic plane, the engines have a wonderful ratio of 10:1, which assures more fuel efficiency. This was not the case for supersonic jets, which had 0 bypass ratio and thus the fuel efficiency was a big question mark in the flight.
- Unrivaled Comforts: Although this point will not be widely taken into, consideration because the supersonic R&D did not get as many chances to improvise, having said that Concorde did not have the most comfortable of seats to brag. On the other hand, subsonic jets have a state of the art seat, which comes for different affordable price tags.
In the end, passengers do worry about the ticket price and enjoying comfortable travel over a very costly means of transportation. Scott Beale aviation expert expects the world of aviation will introduce even more innovative aircrafts in the future, which might curtail travel times slightly than what it is today.