Looking for an airplane that unleashed mass public transportation by air in the civil sector?
Boeing's mistake/brainchild is the key in my eyes. What other airplane better idealizes travel by air? What other airplane opened so many transport possibilities for so many people? What airplane brought air travel to the common man?
The DC-3 and Comet have their places too, but for me it has to be the 747. Ask any 4 year old what airplane that is, he'll tell you 'Jumbo Jet'. Nuff said.
Yes I agree completely the 747 has the lowest seat mile cost of any commercial airliner in service.
Would love to see them role one like they did the 707! Yes, I'm very aware that the wings would come off.. but just imagine how mental you'd have to be to try it!
Tex Johnston should have been disciplined for risking such a valuable asset.
Scrooge is sure that the 747 with its superior seat mile costs would survive such a manoever, but the costs involved in re-stocking the galleys and toilets would not be in the best interests of shareholders.
In technical terms such a manoever would have a negative NPV and IRR
Milky says...not everything in this life is about money, there's always time for glory! How memorable is the rolling of a 707 when it's compared to the very mundane (boring) flight tests of the 747. Accepted that it's a dammed big aircraft, would like to see how its seat mile costs compare when you factor in the damage it's done to the enviroment.
Ebeneezer Scrooge says:
Low seat mile costs=low emissions .
Therefore not only is the 747 the most economically efficient it is also the most environmentally freindly commericial aircraft per seat mile.
Ebeneezer Scrooge:Therefore not only is the 747 the most economically efficient it is also the most environmentally freindly commericial aircraft per seat mile.
Think you'll find that's the A380 actually.
There is no emprirical data to support that assertion at this time.
The A380 has just enterred service and therefore untill it has accumulated enough operational service to accumulate a comprehensive set of operational cost data would be imprudent to state that the A380 is the most environmentally freindly and financially efficient commercial aircraft per seat mile.
Please bear in mind that the production of new A380 aircraft involves substantial carbon emissions and uses more raw natural resources than the existing fleet of 747s has allready been built.
When I read all the viewpoints as to which is the most significant air transport passenger aircraft of the past 100 years, it is appearing that the DC-3 and the B-747 are rating very high, or perhaps topping the list. And so they both should be for sure. However, I am not reading comment as to one of the DC-3's practical attributes that greatly assisted in bringing affordable air travel to the modest-income earners of the planet. This 1935 aircraft brought regular services to the smaller towns around the world. All the small-town leaders had to do was organise a level area of grassed land, perhaps chop some trees down on the approaches, provide a road out from town and erect some sort of shelter for the passengers. The cost of this "infrastructure" was minimal and, in many cases, was largely done by the old voluntary "working bee" method. The townsfolk got behind the idea of having an "Airport"; no matter how humble. And so the dear old DC-3 would set off each morning on its daily rounds between the various rural centres. An airspeed of 140 knots may not seem much to you younger folk, but in earlier times, up into the 1970s in many countries, this was hugely faster than any form of ground transport. We must remember that many nations had no rail system and very few roads that were all-weather. I flew the DC-3 in such a country...Papua New Guinea where it had a profound impact on the development of that rugged land. The 747 is truly great also, but it does not fill the same role and serves only a tiny fraction of the number of locations that the DC-3 did for so long. Let us just look way into the future and imagine that the world as we know has gone. Maybe due war, famine, lack of fuel, the collapse of higher technology, any number of reasons, has resulted in the end of "Globalisation" and the planet's peoples have reverted to isolated communities as we once were. It will not be the 747 that will provide air transport to these future survivors! But it just could be a simple modest aircraft that does the local job very well and can be maintained with basic tools and skills and can operate on locally made bio-fuel. Perhaps something very like a Douglas DC-3?
I think I will roll up my sleeves, shoulder the axe, hang a jug of shine from one of my fingers, and head down to meet the rest of the folks, before the sun gets too high for us to work on that there new airport the Sherriff and the good people of our small but great town want to build.
Ok the DC-3 gets my vote just for the vison that dakota67's post evokes.
It may also be that the DC-3 will be the first and last practical commercial aircraft, as it now seems likely that the vision of the post global and technological society that '67's post conjurs up will be the future.
The DC-3 it is then
I respect everybody's opinion on such a marvelous aircraft as the mighty B747, one that had a twist of luck with an example of "unintended consequences", this time a favourable one, after being dumped for the next large airplane military transport candidate, the one race wher the C5 got selected. But Boeing was thoughtful enough to offer the model to the civil sector and won the bet.
But I have to argue that besides the DC3 and the 747, the one airplane that I consider to have made a much bigger impact in the technological arena, and one that has not been surpassed, is the BAE/Aerospatiale Concorde. People travel at speeds twice the speed of sound became a true modern time travel machine, citing the fact that the Concorde would take off from Paris or London, cross the Atlantic, and arrive at a time earlier than the time it departed. The idea of joining two points in the world at such speed is a feat that has yet to be emulated. Only when we are able to teletransport will the speed of supersonic travel be obsolete.
Yes, it did not win many adepts in the economical arena, nor did it became available to the masses, but neither is the SR71, nor the F15, or any of the Mirage, Sukhoi or any other supersonic military aircraft. I believe it is only a matter of time before there is an alternative means of supersonic travel, at an afordable price, that will substitute and become the norm for travel from point to point. We have seen over the years that the faster we can move from point a to point b the form or means of transportation evolve. That's why we travel by ship only for entertainment, and not for adequate transportation.