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Thread: Not building the B-70 when we could have was really dumb

  1. #31
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    @blueapple

    I don't know where you got the idea there is no door (although they were kept open during most of the flight).
    Maybe because i paid an extra $100 to board the Concorde at the museum in New York. The tour guide was a total av geek who showed me the lack of door and the reasons why. You walk up the stairs, look to your left and flight engineer is right there. Behond him you can see the windshield. i know some got a door setup but it wasn't made to be like that. Not all did if i recall
    Last edited by KGB; 13th October 2017 at 13:28.

  2. #32
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    @KGB

    You are right there was, and still is, a big demand for a Mach 2 flight flying New York to London in 3 hours and a bit hours (fastest ever with favourable conditions was under 3 hours). British Airways made an operating profit on this route and the 100-seater was usually full or thereabouts.

    Despite making an operating profit, the decision to pull out by British Airways was commercial as margins on first class passengers on normal airliners was high and without the associated costs (4,800 gallons per hour at Mach 2....this could have been slashed to 3,600 gallons per hour with a more efficient new engine but no one was going to pay for that).....as Blueapple said lack of support by Airbus (BA had bought all the tooling for spares) also contributed to stopping the service.

    A new supersonic operator could easily charge $5,000 or more per seat if they have say 120 seats ($600,000 per flight) to get to New York from London in 3 hours.

    But it won't necessarily be the costs that might hinder a new operator but other environmental factors (carbon emissions) and say something like the fact that flying at over 11 miles high (a more efficient height for supersonic travel at Mach 2) can give high exposure to radiation which can cause cancer....but due to the reduced flight time the risk is probably less than on a long haul conventional flight.
    Stand up for what you believe in even if you are standing alone...Sophie Scholl (9 May 1921 - 22 February 1943)

  3. #33
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    @Tony
    But it won't necessarily be the costs that might hinder a new operator but other environmental factors (carbon emissions) and say something like the fact that flying at over 11 miles high (a more efficient height for supersonic travel at Mach 2) can give high exposure to radiation which can cause cancer.
    Yeah and all of these issues are more controversial and political that people like to admit. We must look carefully at the motives of some of these groups and their claims. These radical environmental groups are in it to stifle technology.

    As aviation fans, we should be skeptical of this stuff. Because these groups stand in the way of aviation progress , something we love and live for.

  4. #34
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    @KGB

    I have to agree that as fans of all things aviation we want progress....sometimes it's a fine balance between progress and other considerations...not just environmental...it's usually cost...always money ;-)
    Stand up for what you believe in even if you are standing alone...Sophie Scholl (9 May 1921 - 22 February 1943)

  5. #35
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    @KGB

    While its true that not all the planes were fitted with doors, there would have been plenty of room to fit one as there is a ~2m long corridor from engineer chair to galley unit (space where a lot of electronics were located).

  6. #36
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    The XB-70 held the record for the largest moving surfaces of any aircraft - the folding 'Waverider' wingtips.
    Wasn't it also the loudest aircraft? That record might still stand.
    Six afterburning turbojets, hard to beat that.

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    How can less be more? It's impossible. More is more.
    Yngwie Malmsteen

  7. #37
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    XB-70 didn't even have a bay for bombs. That was a technical hurdle yet to tackle.
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  8. #38
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    another

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    "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

  9. #39
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    C'mon, SpudmanWP, you know weapons separation doesn't magically happen from an empty space.

    They hadn't worked on the apparatus nor the doors. An empty space didn't cost any development money and they had a high burn rate for money in the program.
    Go Huskers!

  10. #40
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    I did not say that it was finished testing, only that it existed.
    "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

  11. #41
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    Tony is still correct, the MiGs didn't challenge Rust in the Cessna.
    For reasons that were political and had nothing to do with AD capabilities.
    http://img818.imageshack.us/img818/9098/rsz11rsz3807.jpg

  12. #42
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    The fact still remains that there is virtually nothing the B-52 does that the B-70 couldnt do faster and better.

    Example------------carry cruise missiles to a firing point. Getting those cruise missiles to that drop off point 4 time faster could save American lives or the lives of our allies.

    Also doing a little research the bomb carrying capacity, and the range is not that much different between the two aircraft. Remember because of the brilliant compression lift design that the B-70 had, its range was greatly extended.

    Lastly higher and faster is better than low an slow. Just ask any pilot. And------------there is a 99% chance that sadly the decision to cancel that brilliant design was undoubtably a political one, which everyone knows is a stupid reason.

  13. #43
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    The U.S. SST program was scuttled in part by the Environmental lobby.
    They convinced congress that the contrails would lead to global cooling.
    Really, look it up.

    And they pressured congress to prohibit supersonic flight over the country because of the feared booms.
    The UK is so small, they would rarely make booms over its own country, so of course it wasn't an issue. Imagine if the U.S. had an exclusive product and wanted to make daily booms over the UK, do you mean to say parliament and county councils would have been okay with that? Of course not.

    The UK fanboys and conspiracy nutters love to squawk about protectionism,
    Nonsense, the laws dealt with all SST designs, they affected the Concorde because it was the only one being built.
    The same group always forgets that the U.S. didn't block other UK aircraft of the period, there were a lot of Viscounts sold in North America, and two airlines used many BAC 1-11s as well. The US was also a key market for business aircraft..Doves and Hurons in the 50s, DH 125s in the 60s-90s, Jetstreams (both before and after the HP collapse), and lots of Shorts 330s and 360s. New York Airways was a key customer for Rotodynes and Kaman wanted to build them, but the UK government, predictably, cancelled it.

    Doesn't sound very protectionist to me.

    What makes a good airliner?
    Sorry kids, it's not looks.
    One thing matters...it's ability to make a profit for the operator.
    Because of inherent design limitations, fuel, and other matters, the Concorde was not cost effective, otherwise other non US airlines would have flown it on over water routes. So instead of blaming the US,ask why Australian, Asian, and middle eastern airlines never flew it.

    One could argue that many UK airline designs were designed too closely for the UK airlines (read Imperial Airways, later BOAC, but it also applies to BEA) and their heavily subsidized routes, where showing the flag in a UK design was more important than making a profit. If you make good, but less profitable aircraft, you'll have a hard time selling them to non native carriers in the face of more competitive aircraft designed from the ground up to make money. Examine the history of the Trident vs the 727 as a prime example. The trend started long before Boeing began building jets..while Douglas was turning out flying busses like DC-2s and 3s, (and 4-6s post war) UK builders were preoccupied with building planes to link the Empire, which, given the few customers of the day and their expected needs, meant statehood, stewards, table linens and steamship line thinking. Any wonder why airlines like KLM bought Douglas ships instead of wooden de Havillands?

    The Concorde was a neat engineering feat, but in its role as a money maker, it was deficient.
    Last edited by J Boyle; 14th October 2017 at 15:09.
    There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.

  14. #44
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    @Jboyl

    Another thread is up. Click/paste that over there if you can thx

  15. #45
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    The fact still remains that there is virtually nothing the B-52 does that the B-70 couldnt do faster and better.
    Except carrying a LOT more payload, longer while doing it a lot cheaper?

    Also doing a little research the bomb carrying capacity, and the range is not that much different between the two aircraft. Remember because of the brilliant compression lift design that the B-70 had, its range was greatly extended.

    The B-70 maximum payload was 25000 lbs, the B-52´s is 70000 lbs.
    The combat range of the thing was 3419 miles...

    The entire USAF "Standard Aircraft Characteristics" documents are displayed at the "Secret Projects" Forúm

    there is a 99% chance that sadly the decision to cancel that brilliant design was undoubtably a political one, which everyone knows is a stupid reason.
    Eh, no
    Last edited by Sintra; 15th October 2017 at 16:20.

  16. #46
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    The B-70 would have been useful over North Vietnam, it would have been immune to enemy air defenses. Yet against its intended opponent the USSR it would soon be vulnerable to newer SAMs and then you're stuck using it as a cruise missile carrier (which the B-52 can do) or once you reach Soviet airspace you fly it at low level (which means going hardly any faster than a B-52 would).

    No the B-1A would have been a much more suitable bomber for our needs. Of course the Carter administration cancelled that although the Reagan administration did get us the B-1B which has served us well. However I do wonder if trading some performance to reduce radar cross section were worth it in that case.

  17. #47
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    Beyond all, cost barrier was where the Valkyrie couldn't go. Think Blackbird, Skunkworks and 1960's CIA. Small scale, strategic priority, high cost. It's doubtful that 200 units of such could have been sustainable leaving the SAC without a massive fleet, what was at the base of deterrence.

  18. #48
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    It still remains that the leap forward that the B-70 would have generated in aviation was lost. Cancelling it set aviation back decades. Where are the supersonic transports we should have had 30 years ago. Military science and engineering has always led the way. That is why civil aviation got jets.

  19. #49
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    It still remains that the leap forward that the B-70 would have generated in aviation was lost. Cancelling it set aviation back decades.
    - you've stated this twice without any evidence to support these claims.

    How did it set aviation back? There were better, faster aircraft testing high speed flight in the 1960's, the concept itself was dated by the time some of the technical hurtles were overcome.

    Even if the US had continued with the B-70, it wouldn't have survived into the late 1980's. The USAF divested itself of high speed strategic bombers starting in the 70's, even the FB-111 was turned over to TAC starting in the mid-80's. The technical/logistic challenges of providing refueling to give the B-70 intercontinental range would have been insurmountable. It was a beautiful aircraft that would have been an expensive white elephant had they procured it.

  20. #50
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    It still remains that the leap forward that the B-70 would have generated in aviation was lost.
    What "leap forward"? In what way the XB-70 was a "leap forward" versus the YF-12/SR-71 program? Or the X-15? Or the Space Shuttle?

    Cancelling it set aviation back decades.
    No

    Where are the supersonic transports we should have had 30 years ago
    In what way the USAF building a fleet of B-70´s would bring forth a genereration of supersonic transports? What was the catalist in the B-70 that was not present in the B-58 Hustler, the B-1B, the SR-71, the Mirage IV, the FB-111, the TU-22, TU-26, or the TU-160?
    And what was so special on the B-70 that its existence would bring forth those civilian "Supersonic Transports" by comparison with the Aérospatiale/BAC Concorde or the Tupolev TU-144?
    We had civilian supersonic transports remember? They were freaking expensive to operate, and there was no hint on the XB-70 program of something that would somehow make that particular "niche" (supersonic civilian thingy) cheaper to design, acquire and operate.

    Military science and engineering has always led the way
    Neither the Wright Brothers, Santos Dumont or Elon Musk received that particular memo. And i have my doubts that the Douglas Aircraft Company had received that same memo in 1932/33 when they decided to design the DC-1.

    That is why civil aviation got jets
    And the military got aeroplanes because chaps like a pair of American Bycicle makers, a Brasilian Coffee Grower or a French engineer decided to break the technological edge on their own expenses.
    Last edited by Sintra; 16th October 2017 at 14:29.

  21. #51
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    Don't forget the wheat drill inventor, the steel mill owner who backed a mousetrap inventor. Ah, machine guns!
    Juris praecepta sunt haec: honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere.
    Justinian

  22. #52
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    The B-47 and the B-52 gave us the 707. Who knows what the B-70 would have given us. Sure there were smaller supersonic planes, but the B-70 would have been the template for large civil aircraft.

  23. #53
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    no..

    with all the data from the XB-70 that the USA did have and europeans did not, it is the europeans and the russians who made SSTs a reality, almost 50 years ago already, while the US manufacturers abandoned

    there isn't anything that XB-70 would bring as so revolutionary as to make SSTs economically viable once the pertol crisis hit the world... nothing

  24. #54
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    @Sintra:
    I like that one :
    Neither the Wright Brothers, Santos Dumont or Elon Musk received that particular memo. And i have my doubts that the Douglas Aircraft Company had received that same memo in 1932/33 when they decided to design the DC-1.
    [...]
    And the military got aeroplanes because chaps like a pair of American Bycicle makers, a Brasilian Coffee Grower or a French engineer decided to break the technological edge on their own expenses.
    Well, Bleriot did get to work with Louis Bechereau, that use to work with Deperdussin (the record plane manufacturer from the same name and originally a fine lingerie maker. Before that Béchereau had worked with Clément Ader that didn't let him much initiatives (Béchereau was a specialist in monocoques structures) and will later work with Bleriot building the famous line of SPAD. So, in effect, the "French engineer" would be more represented by the friend of a panties maker*


    *History has enough fun to to make use of it!
    ** To me, Béchereau is the finest french engineer of that era, the only one at the same level of the Wright brothers. It's a disgrace that his name still remains largely unknown.
    Last edited by TomcatViP; 17th October 2017 at 15:07.

  25. #55
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    Not only did cancelling the B-70 set back large supersonic airliners, it set back engine development.

    The GE J-93 engines were in the near 30,000 pound class. If the B-70 had not been cancelled Pratt and others would have developed their own engines of that power. How much longer was it before engines that powerful became generally available?

    People can argue against it, but that plane on the absolute leading edge of technology absolutely would have advanced general aviation. Sadly it was lost because of dumb political reasons.

  26. #56
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    The GE J-93 engines were in the near 30,000 pound class. If the B-70 had not been cancelled Pratt and others would have developed their own engines of that power. How much longer was it before engines that powerful became generally available?
    Question 1- How many airliners are flying with Turbojet engines currently?
    Question 2- Why do you think that a 30,000lb thrust class engine, one that used special fuel, was that advanced? There were several nearly as powerful, more fuel efficient engines that didn't need special fuel already under development in '64.
    Last edited by FBW; 17th October 2017 at 14:16.

  27. #57
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    But none of those engines were super sonic.

  28. #58
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    But none of those engines were super sonic.
    TF-30 (The TF30-P-111 had 25,000lbs of augmented thrust), the TF-30 series started development in 1959. The Soviets had the RD-7 on the Tu-22, the R-29 series on the Mig-23, and don't forget the RR Olympus series (MK. 320) on the TSR.2. A modernized version of that same Mk.320 formed the basis for the Concorde's Olympus 593.

    Edit- Forgot the Orenda PS.13 Iroquois, don't want to offend any Avro Arrow "truthers".
    Last edited by FBW; 17th October 2017 at 15:15.

  29. #59
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    The B-47 and the B-52 gave us the 707. Who knows what the B-70 would have given us. Sure there were smaller supersonic planes, but the B-70 would have been the template for large civil aircraft.
    There were, oh so many, "Rockwell", Airbus, Boeing and Tupolev´s airliners with a variable sweep wing for the last three decades didnt they?
    And the latest generation of Embraer´s, Comac´s, Canadair´s, Boeing´s, Airbus and "Northrop" Airliners all look like a gigantic collection of "Batman aeroplane look alikes".
    Last edited by Sintra; 17th October 2017 at 20:12.

  30. #60
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    there isn't anything that XB-70 would bring as so revolutionary as to make SSTs economically viable once the pertol crisis hit the world... nothing
    BINGO

    Nail, hammer, hit...

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