Boeing Sonic Cruiser

Boeing Sonic Cruiser

Infobox Aircraft
name= Sonic Cruiser

caption= Boeing Sonic Cruiser (artist's concept)
type= Jet airliner
manufacturer= Boeing
first flight=
introduced =
status= Proposed design
primary user=
more users=
number built=
unit cost=
developed from =
variants with their own articles=

The Boeing Sonic Cruiser was a subsonic concept aircraft proposed by Boeing Commercial Airplanes in 2001. Its distinguishing feature was to be its high-subsonic cruising speed, faster than conventional jet airliners.

Design and development


The Sonic Cruiser was born from one of numerous outline research and development projects at Boeing with the goal to look at potential designs for a possible new near-sonic or supersonic airliner.Fact|date=June 2008 The strongest of these initial concepts was dubbed the "Sonic Cruiser" and publicly unveiled on March 29, 2001, [ [ "Boeing Discusses Supplier Involvement Plan For Sonic Cruiser"] , Boeing, January 24, 2002.] shortly after the launch of the A380 by rival Airbus. Boeing had recently withdrawn its proposed 747-X derivative from competition with the A380 when not enough airline interest was forthcoming, and instead proposed the Sonic Cruiser as a completely different approach.Fact|date=June 2008

Instead of the A380's massive capacity, requiring a hub and spoke model of operation, the Sonic Cruiser was designed for rapid point-to-point connections for 200 to 250 passengers.Fact|date=May 2008 With delta wings and flying just short of the speed of sound at Mach 0.95-0.98 (about 1010 km/h or 627 mph at altitude), the Sonic Cruiser promised 15-20% faster speed than conventional aircraft without the noise pollution caused by the sonic boom from supersonic travel. The aircraft would have flown at altitudes in excess of convert|40000|ft|m|abbr=on, and would have possessed a range somewhere between convert|6000|nmi|km|abbr=off|lk=on and convert|10000|nmi|km|abbr=off.Gunter, Lori. [ "The Need for Speed, Boeing's Sonic Cruiser team focuses on the future"] , Boeing Frontier magazine, July 2002.] Boeing estimated the Sonic Cruiser's fuel efficiency to be comparable to current wide body twin-engine airliners.

The Sonic Cruiser concept originated in 1999 and a variety of concepts were studied, including supersonic aircraft, aircraft with the engines mounted above the wing, aircraft with a single vertical tail, and aircraft with rectangular intakes. The initial sketches released to the public were highly conjectural. A patent drawing filed by Boeing on March 22, 2001 put the baseline aircraft's dimensions at convert|250|ft|m|abbr=off in length, with a wingspan of convert|164.9|ft|m|abbr=off.

Wind tunnel testing and computational fluid dynamics analysis further refined the Sonic Cruiser concept. Based on artwork released by Boeing in July 2002, the Sonic Cruiser now sported two taller vertical tails with no inward cant. The forward canard was set at zero degrees dihedral. At this point, Boeing had yet to decide on the size or layout of the aircraft's fuselage cross section.Fact|date=June 2008


In the end, most airlines favored lower operating costs over a marginal increase in speed, and the project did not attract the interest Boeing had been hoping for. The Sonic Cruiser project was finally abandoned by December 2002, in favor of the slower but more fuel-efficient 7E7 (later renamed Boeing 787 Dreamliner). No orders were made for the Sonic Cruiser. Much of the research from the Sonic Cruiser was applied to the 787, including carbon fiber reinforced plastic for the fuselage and wings, and bleedless engines.Fact|date=June 2008

ee also

* Boeing 7J7
* Boeing 7E7/Boeing 787
* Boeing 747-8


see also=


External links

* [ Boeing unveiled a model "Sonic Cruiser", June 19, 2001]
* [ Boeing Testing Sample Sonic Cruiser Fuselage]
* [ Boeing Sonic Cruiser Completes First Wind Tunnel Tests]
* [ "Sonic Cruiser is dead - long live Super Efficient?"] , Flight International, 7 January 2003

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