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Re: GZGL FH - Jumbos, Jets and Turbo Props

From: Thomas Barclay <Thomas.Barclay@s...>
Date: Mon, 19 Oct 1998 11:04:10 -0500
Subject: Re: GZGL FH - Jumbos, Jets and Turbo Props

Andrew spake thusly upon matters weighty: 

> Is there still a place in GZG's Future History, for the Jumbo Jet?
> about other aeroplanes like turbo-props, small passenger jets, cargo
> etc.? Would they have all disappeared? Or would they still be in use?

Well, this is a tough question. Depends on how cheap other 
alternatives are. If solid state grav is cheap, you do everything 
with grav. It is probably smoother, faster, and (maybe) cheaper and 
more capable than planes. But you may well have 'plane analogs' (such 
as the jumbo atmospheric grav transport). No wings, but transports 
people or cargo.
Another issue is atmosphere. You need an atmosphere (ruling out some 
worlds) and it must be a reasonably decent one (not totally 
impossible to see through, something your engines can use if they 
need to breathe although I can see fusion powered props, one that 
won't eat through the plane's shell). Most settled worlds could 
probably handle it although thin atmosphere/heavy grav worlds might 
well be non-capable of supporting planes. 

>     Colony worlds have a low population, but I would expect
populations of
> two or three million to be easily attainable after, say, 50-100 years
> colonisation. New Zealand has a population of 3.5 million, yet it has
> own fleet of jets and other aircraft (Air New Zealand). So do even
> places like Fiji, Tonga and Cook Islands.

Well, I would very much imagine things like the Osprey Tilt-Rotor, 
Harrier Jump Jets, and many other such things (and Copters!) would be 
popular cheap alternatives to grav on many rim planets. And yes, 
there would be a civilian network, I would imagine. Also probably WIG 
type planes too. 

>     So, after landing on planet from the orbital scramjet, is it
likely you
> could need to take a conventional plane to get to other places on the
> planet?

On a real rim world, you might get to your farmstead by small cesna 
type plane or with a chopper. Note that you'd have lots of oddball 
stuff too like high efficiency dirigibles (good cost/weight ratio for 
cargo transport) and solar powered planes/gliders.  

Thomas Barclay		     
Voice: (613) 831-2018 x 4009
Fax: (613) 831-8255

 "C makes it easy to shoot yourself in the foot.  C++ makes
 it harder, but when you do, it blows away your whole leg."
 -Bjarne Stroustrup

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