Re: GZGL FH - Jumbos, Jets and Turbo Props
From: Thomas Anderson <thomas.anderson@u...>
Date: Mon, 19 Oct 1998 20:44:59 +0100 (BST)
Subject: Re: GZGL FH - Jumbos, Jets and Turbo Props
On Mon, 19 Oct 1998, Thomas Barclay wrote:
> Andrew spake thusly upon matters weighty:
> > Is there still a place in GZG's Future History, for the Jumbo Jet?
> 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.
let's hear it for the dirigible! i wouldn't call them 'oddball'; in
for many applications they are going to be the mode of travel of choice.
modern technolgy (and future technology even more so) will make
faster, and cheaper and safer than heavier-than-air machines. for
non-time-critical transport needs (eg cargo, big troop movements), they
will be the best thing around. time-critical transport (eg businessmen,
rapid-reaction troop movements) will rely on heavier-than-air machines
built with interface technology: scramjets, hotol-type regenerative
thingies, etc. thus, air transport will be partitioned into the very
expensive, very fast passenger rocket, and the cheap, slow airship.
this analysis is basically cribbed out of that sci-fi classic 'beware
tektrons'. if anyone out there has read this, i will transfer to them
pint i won in that bet a while back. for those of you who haven't, it is
the bbc micro to (eg) niven's sparcstation.
oh, and just one more thing.
bear in mind that on planets with low atmospheric density (ie pressure,
low gravity), such as mars, the speed of sound is much lower, and to get
anywhere at speed you will need a plane capable of supersonic flight -
aerodynamics and structure beefed up to handle the transition. in many
cases, it will be more cost-effective to sit just below the sound
nasa designs for aerial mars-explorers are of two types, balloons and
planes. if you live on a world such as this, dirigibles, probably
solar-powered, or fusion if it's cheap, will be as fast as subsonic
transport can be, and thus the most cost-effective form of transport by