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from: The Director's Link
The test - coming three years after the first trial ended in crash-and-burn when the vehicle detached prematurely from the booster rocket - will see the SST carried to an altitude of 12.4 miles before release at Mach 2. After a 15-minute flight, the SST will float gently to earth by parachute.
Am I mistaken in thinking that the only reason composites like carbon fiber are overall better is because they lack rivets that require constant maintenance? Don't get me wrong, the idea of gallavanting around the stratosphere in a metal bucket doesn't suit me any better, but I think the rivets are the maintenance headache, not the metal.
Rocketing into the upper aptmosphere in plastic tubes strapped with rockets is Wile E. Coyote #
Originally posted by Off_The_Street
As near as I can figure out, there are only two competing approaches to long-distance passenger flight that seem to have a chance: The first is the whalemobile like the A380 -- designed and built by the Servants of Satan -- to cram six hundred people into an aircraft which will fly from hum to hub and rely on smaller airplanes to take them from the hub to the spoke airports.
The second approach (chosen by the Good Guys) is to have a super-efficient plastic airplane like the 787 Dreamliner carry three hundred people over any 11,000 mile or longer flight, sacrificing the sardine approach for the capability to land at either hub or spoke airports.
[edit on 23-8-2005 by Off_The_Street]