posted on Jun, 16 2005 @ 11:17 AM
The two countries are planning on splitting an annual investment of about 1.5 Mega-euros over the next three years. That will barely do a feasibility
study. I'D love to see a supersonic transport, but I'm not going to hold my breath.
Development costs? Don't even ask! Remember, when Airbus first came out with plans for updating their A330 with new engines to make it the A350,
the figured the development cost at about $1.5 billion. Now that they've realized they're going to have to do more to compete with the 787,
they've already upped their development estimate to $5+ billion. And that's still a derivative airplane.
I think most aerospace folks would peg the devlopment costs for an airplane of this complexity to be at least 20 billion dollars; given the
recent hoo-raw from the US, the Franco-Japanese consortium would have to pony up the bucks itself.
But there's more than the development costs, there're recurring costs, too.
Consider this. The Concorde, because of the sonic boom, couldn't fly to half the places it needed to, and the fuel prices made it so expensive that
almost no one could afford it.
Those sonic boom bans are still in effect, and the cost of aviation fuel has more than tripled since the Concorde first went into service. Except for
the larger capacity of the proposed airplane, every outside factor that made the Concorde an economic failure are existing today.
This is one of the reasons my company cancelled plans for the Sonic Cruiser; and the putative SST, when it comes to cost-effectiveness development
costs, and complexity, is the Sonic Cruiser on Steroids!
[edit on 16-6-2005 by Off_The_Street]