The history of air transportation is reviewed by reference to a series of diagrams illustrating the marked increase in air travel over the last 40 years because of the large increases in speed and comfort obtained with ever decreasing costs. Information derived from a national travel survey in the United States is used to discuss US intercity modal split, and it is suggested that a detailed evaluation of the competitive characteristics by transportation modes - automobile, air, bus and rail must accept that access and egress times and costs vary in every community. In this paper the author compares modes on the basis of block times versus range, ignoring the access and egress time and costs, indicating that errors may thus arise for short range, but become of much less importance for long range. Ground modes are assumed to require 15 per cent longer actual distances than air transport to cover the same point to point distance and all cost data are based on or corrected to U.S. 1974 airline costs. Future transport aircraft development is reviewed, and comparisons drawn with improved passenger trains, track levitated systems, buses and automobiles. Information on speed and fares indicates that as ranges increase beyond 200 to 300 statute miles that the air mode becomes increasingly preferable both in speed and cost. However, it is considered that the private automobile will continue to be the most important travel mode at short ranges, and a significant mode even at ranges up to 2000 miles. /TRRL/

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Royal Aeronautical Society

    4 Hamilton Place
    London S1V 0BQ,   England 
  • Authors:
    • SHEVELL, R S
  • Publication Date: 1978-2


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 75-84
  • Serial:
    • Aeronautical Journal
    • Volume: 82
    • Issue Number: 806
    • Publisher: Royal Aeronautical Society
    • ISSN: 0001-9240

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00180436
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport and Road Research Laboratory (TRRL)
  • Files: ITRD, TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 27 1978 12:00AM