This paper discusses future growth trends of commercial aircraft, starting with historical patterns that indicate the changes in airplane physical dimensions and weight that have occurred over the last several decades. Reasons for the observed growth are reviewed. Size of today's large aircraft is summarized for reference. Projections of commercial needs for the future are outlined. Their potential impact on future aircraft growth patterns is shown in terms of added range, payload, and change in cruise speed. The consequences and benefits of switching to alternate fuels, returning to turboprop power plants, adopting airships, or revitalizing sea planes is examined. Benefits of advanced technology considering new structural materials, laminar flow control, and advanced light control systems is discussed. Typical aircraft of the future are illustrated. From this collection, a likely list of candidates that may be operational in 1955 is offered, together with the rationale for their selection.

Media Info

  • Pagination: p. 172-196

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00178462
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Engineering Index
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 19 1978 12:00AM