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Are Burnelli Aircraft Cheaper And Safer?

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posted on Jan, 16 2012 @ 03:17 AM
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CBY-3 Loadmaster
"Pilot report: It was very stable and its rugged, compact fuselage of enormous volume gave one the feeling of riding in an armored car; the flight characteristics were a joy. Engine-out asymmetrical thrust problems were virtually nil, and stability was near perfect in all axes. The nose pitched straight forward in a stall, but as soon as the control column was released the airplane would fly again. On a 95-degree day in Miami, with 9000 pounds overload, the airplane was off the ground in 1400', climbing out at a fantastic angle. With a similar payload, the C-46 would need a ground run of about 3000'. After putting the CBY-3 through its paces and recognizing its unique safety features, I couldn't help but think: 'Why in blazes have we all been forced to fly in those dangerous conventional planes all these years?' (— Chalmers Goodlin, 1998)"




posted on Jan, 16 2012 @ 03:41 AM
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Originally posted by Aloysius the Gaul

Originally posted by Kester
There's a huge sample of tube and wing crashes to study. How many of them hit wingtip first without breaking up?


dunno - I cant' acgtually find any at all for large passenger aircraft - I found this one of a small aircraft - both occupants survived.

Perhaps you could point us at this "huge sample"??

The Burnelli crash also isn't an example of an aircraft not breaking up - it is an example of the CABIN not breaking up.


Landing speeds would still be slower in this era for Burnelli aircraft due to the design.


Indeed - that is because it is piston engine powered 1930's design - pretty much every aircraft of the era has a lower landing speed than due to design!!


Here's a 1940's "tube" design cartwheeling with no fire and no casualties:




A very large number of large passenger aircraft have crashed over the years and as you say there aren't any well known cases in which they've stayed intact apart from some crash landings. This small aircraft was performing an unusual landing, do you know how fast it was travelling when it cartwheeled? I suspect it contacted the ground wheels first before cartwheeling. Without video we can't be sure.

I guess the internet is the best source for the "huge sample". You seem pretty good at finding examples, I'm impressed by your contribution to this thread. planecrashinfo.com...

The cabin is the important bit for the passengers.

The nature of the Burnelli design is responsible for the slower take off and landing speeds.

That video shows a plane landing on water then catching the wing and cartwheeling on water. Hitting the ground wingtip first wouldn't be so favourable to the occupants.



posted on Jan, 16 2012 @ 04:08 AM
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reply to post by Aloysius the Gaul
 




The B-17 was landing on a flat tyre, quite different from hitting wingtip first.

I think there were eight crew on board the Burnelli , I may be wrong. I can't find the number with a quick search. All the crew walked away.

I'll have to leave it to the well informed readers to form their own opinion on whether a Burnelli can be a high performance aircraft. The military aircraft that are similar to Burnelli designs are presumably high performance.

The lifting body design is not a blended-wing-body design. I think most of us can see the design and construction of blended-wing-body aircraft would present more problems than a lifting body.



posted on Jan, 16 2012 @ 04:19 AM
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reply to post by Kester
 


The tube and wing design isn't anything to do with reassuring passengers with the familiar. When it first launched in the 1950's the Boeing 707, the pattern for virtually every subsequent airliner with wing mounted engines, was unlike anything seen in the world before. There had been several prototype jet transports made previously that looked like, and were converted from, the familiar generation of piston airliners, but they were never considered for production. Two examples were the jet powered variants of the Viking and Viscount built by Vickers. When the 707 itself appeared it represented a huge change of direction in airliner design. Passengers just had to get used to it.

The real reason that tube and wing prevails today is because it works so well. They are not only efficient and safe (generall speaking) but, for example, Boeing and Airbus can cover the entire market between 100 and 200 seats by offering ONE basic design each, with different fuselage lengths achieved by the insertion of common diameter tubular plugs of various lengths, like so;



In all respects except fuselage length the A319, A320 AND A321 are identical, plus there is an even smaller version called the A318 which looks freakishly short, but was very cheap to develop.

To offer the same range with a Burnelli type would require three or more different aircraft models. This works across the whole range of airliners by every manufacturer and the result is lower development and manufacturing cost, lower purchase and maintenance costs for the airlines and lower seat ticket prices for all of us.
edit on 16-1-2012 by waynos because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 16 2012 @ 04:43 AM
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reply to post by waynos
 


You're the man.

I've been told that low seat prices owe a lot to subsidised fuel costs. Do you have any thoughts on this? When calculating the price of mass air travel I personally have to add all the environmental costs including of course the effect on mental health caused by the almost constant distant roar of jet engines. I can hear one now.

The gradual buildup with very few mass groundings, 9/11 and the Icelandic volcano being the major groundings I'm aware of, has made evaluation of the mental health effects very difficult. Certainly during the Icelandic volcano activity improvements in mental health were very widely reported.

I'll repost this video for the benefit of those who missed it.



posted on Jan, 16 2012 @ 05:23 AM
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Originally posted by Kester

I've been told that low seat prices owe a lot to subsidised fuel costs. Do you have any thoughts on this? When calculating the price of mass air travel I personally have to add all the environmental costs including of course the effect on mental health caused by the almost constant distant roar of jet engines. I can hear one now.


Who would be doing the subsidising?

And why wouldn't that subsidising be applied to your pet design?

If the Burnelli design was cheaper and safer, then Boeing and Airbus would have had aircraft out in production decades ago - they are not driven by politics, they are driven by competitive sales and they get those by offering aircraft better at doing what the customer wants than their competitors.

That means economics, safety, build and development costs etc.

So the real question is why doesn't the Burnelli design compare to modern designs?



posted on Jan, 16 2012 @ 05:47 AM
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Originally posted by RichardPrice

If the Burnelli design was cheaper and safer, then Boeing and Airbus would have had aircraft out in production decades ago - they are not driven by politics, they are driven by competitive sales and they get those by offering aircraft better at doing what the customer wants than their competitors.


Most of my contacts are in the academic world. (I'm not in that world, due to family connections these are the people I've known the longest.) It's generally acknowledged in the academic world that education was hijacked by politics a long time ago, but you'll find it hard to get any well known academics to admit to it publicly. If aircraft production, politics and oil sales are all hopelessly intermingled I doubt if any major figures in any of those fields will admit it.

Thank you for your contribution to this thread.



posted on Jan, 16 2012 @ 06:28 AM
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reply to post by RichardPrice
 


Hi all.

"Who would be doing the subsidising?"

If I remember correctly plane fuel is not taxed,similar to red diesel and fuel for motor yachts.

So the Government is subsidising.

I wonder how much cheaper car fuel would be if all fuels carried the same tax?



posted on Jan, 16 2012 @ 07:20 AM
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The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.

These are awesome planes, and yes they are safer and more efficient. There is a problem with making them for passenger flight however. The further you get away from the center of the aircraft, the more exaggerated the movement is any time the wing raises or falls. So, for example, when you bank in a conventional aircraft you may drop or raise a couple of feet, where in a flying wing design, the further you are from the center, the higher/lower you will raise/drop in a bank. That means you have to sit in the center, and cannot really see outside the aircraft because your pretty far away from the windows. It also means that you end up with a lot of wasted area, unless you use the areas further from the center for cargo. If you rode in this aircraft, and sat near the fuselage side you'd get one hell of a roller-coaster ride, and would most likely get motion sickness.

reply to post by Aloysius the Gaul
 

The reason why the Burnelli lifting body is much safer then conventional aircraft is because the landing gear and engines are isolated from the fuel tanks. This means that not only are you removing a possible ignition source from the area of the fuel, but your also removing structures from the wing tanks that tend to tear them open, spilling the fuel, in the case of an accident. Also the lower landing and take-off speeds reduce the amount of stress on those structures making failures less common, and less catastrophic if they do occur. Besides this, the wing shaped structure is stronger then the tubes that we use for fuselages today.


As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.



posted on Jan, 16 2012 @ 08:33 AM
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Originally posted by dowot
reply to post by RichardPrice
 


Hi all.

"Who would be doing the subsidising?"

If I remember correctly plane fuel is not taxed,similar to red diesel and fuel for motor yachts.

So the Government is subsidising.

I wonder how much cheaper car fuel would be if all fuels carried the same tax?


Lack of a tax on something is not a subsidy - a subsidy would be lowering the cost of something, not failing to increase the cost.

Car fuel wouldn't be any cheaper if aviation fuel was taxed, governments don't work like that.



posted on Jan, 16 2012 @ 03:50 PM
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I cant add any thoughts on subsidised fuel other than to say it would subsidised equally, regardless of aircraft type wouldn't it?

Regarding the original point I was addressing about 'familiaritty'. Here is one of several concepts under study at Airbus in an attempt to find the next big leap in commercial aircraft efficiency.





posted on Jan, 16 2012 @ 03:59 PM
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Originally posted by waynos
I cant add any thoughts on subsidised fuel other than to say it would subsidised equally, regardless of aircraft type wouldn't it?

Regarding the original point I was addressing about 'familiaritty'. Here is one of several concepts under study at Airbus in an attempt to find the next big leap in commercial aircraft efficiency.





Still looks like a tube with two wings to me



posted on Jan, 16 2012 @ 04:05 PM
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reply to post by Aloysius the Gaul
 

The reason why the Burnelli lifting body is much safer then conventional aircraft is because the landing gear and engines are isolated from the fuel tanks.

that is an assumption that cannot be justified - there are concepts where that is the case - but since no aircraft has actually managed to be built to scale, and since modern aircraft cram fuel into virtually every nook and cranny, you cannot say that that would be the case for a practical commercial airliner.


Also the lower landing and take-off speeds reduce the amount of stress on those structures making failures less common, and less catastrophic if they do occur. Besides this, the wing shaped structure is stronger then the tubes that we use for fuselages today.


more assumptions sorry - modern passenger aircraft are designed for high speed cruise, and landing speed is only bought down to manageable levels by significant engineering (fowler flaps being the prime example) - lifting body concepts have followed this same principle.

Aircraft these days are only designed with the lift required - if a lifting body is more efficient at generating lift then I believe it will not be used to slow the landing speed - it will be used to cruise higher and therefore more efficiently, and the landing sped will be left in the same range as current aircraft - but possibly without the need for complicated lift augmentation - this is certainly the case with other aircraft that have plenty of lift - eg the BAe 146 has only simple trailing edge flaps and no leading edge devices at all - this will keep weight, maintenance complexity and cost all to a minimum.



posted on Jan, 16 2012 @ 04:06 PM
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One of the problems with all these unusual aircraft designs is ground handling them at a major airport. Ramp equipment is built to be pretty standard from aircraft to aircraft due to the similarity in the aircraft shape. When you start adding these odd shapes into the mix you start having to have special servicing facilities to accommodate them.

So for example the airbus design above would potentially cause problems due to the location of the cabin door, and where the fueling panel would line up with a hydrant fueling pits. So in order to fly an aircraft like that each airline would have to modify gates at every single station that aircraft would potentially service to accommodate the differences in design. When you start talking about the kind of overhead that would generate (ripping up a gate to re-plumb fuel pits, replacing jetways, etc.) , it really deceases the amount of savings due to aircraft efficiency in the short term. A better option for airlines is to go with more efficient aircraft that will work with existing infrastructure.



posted on Jan, 16 2012 @ 04:10 PM
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Originally posted by dowot
reply to post by RichardPrice
 


Hi all.

"Who would be doing the subsidising?"

If I remember correctly plane fuel is not taxed,similar to red diesel and fuel for motor yachts.

So the Government is subsidising.


so it is not actually a subsidy at all.


I wonder how much cheaper car fuel would be if all fuels carried the same tax?


In these parts the taxes on petrol are mainly a road tax that is literally used to maintain roads.

Aircraft do not pay a road tax for fairly obvious reasons!!


However they pay landing (airport) and airways (air traffic control) charges which IMO are the direct equivalent - ie paying for the infrastructure they use. IMO that is appropriate and completely comparable.



posted on Jan, 16 2012 @ 04:31 PM
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reply to post by Aloysius the Gaul
 


The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.

There seem to be a number of aerospace engineers who disagree with you on this:

www.aircrash.org...
In 1983, Professor Cantilli, of New York Polytechnic said:

"The use of Burnelli airliners would reduce air crash fatalities by 85%."

Here are some of the reasons why he made this statement. The Conventional Airliner practice of attaching engines and landing gear to fuel tank supporting structure (see diagram below) in combination with excessively high take-off and landing speeds on overstressed tires is a perfect recipe for a fiery disaster.


www.aircrash.org...
The Burnelli Lifting Body is the SAFEST type of aircraft, providing better protection for passengers and crew. Just as it is in cars, maintaining the integrity of the structure in an accident is vital. On conventional aircraft a mere 15% of the aircraft structure surrounds the passengers. On lifting body aircraft 65% of the aircraft structure surrounds passengers; thus more structure = more strength = more safety. The lifting body design has more structure around the passenger without any penalty in payload. As stated by its very name, the body/fuselage carries much of its own weight.

This is not merely theory, it has been proven. Furthermore, common sense and engineering principles will confirm that a strong fuselage which protects passengers during a crash will prevent most deaths when compared to the current alternative. A Burnelli UB-14 crash in 1935 at 130 mph proved the fact.


www.aircrash.org...
It is my firm belief that the fact that the box-body strength of this type combined with the engines forward and the landing gear retracted saved myself and the engineer crew and had the cabin been fully occupied with passengers with safety belts properly attached, no passengers would have been injured.

This crash landing, in my opinion, is an extraordinary example of the crash safety that can be provided by the lifting body type of design."

Signed: Louis T. Reichers*
* Later Colonel, Chief of Engineering Section, Air Transport Command

One of the major weaknesses in aircraft are its tires. I know this just from the number of incidents that used to occur at our airport. Breaks lock, tires blow with explosive force, and sometimes catch fire. Tires also can become overstressed on takeoff roll out, and blow during rotation, causing the engines to FOD out. Removing the tires from a position where they can pierce a fuel tank or FOD an engine is a major bonus in aircraft design safety.

As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.



posted on Jan, 16 2012 @ 05:47 PM
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reply to post by defcon5
 


I agree it would be a bonus - but I have yet to see the evidence that it would actually happen.

Until the designs come out it remains speculation that a workable commercial aircraft can be designed in such a manner.

And if/when it does it will owe next to nothing to Burnelli anyway - and a great deal to NASA's X-48, the lifting body programmes of the 1950's and 60's, Lockheed, etc - and all the other people who have actually done work on modern lifting body dynamics and design and hammered out whatever it is that is required to make them work commercially.

Certainly tyre failures are an issue - as a mechanic I changed a lot of them on the ramp, and the Concorde accident in Paris shows the dangers too!

However I think commercial aircraft design will continue to be around high speed flight economics, and getting a lower landing speed will remain a relatively minor issue - given a choice of cutting 1000kg off MTOW or lowering landing speed by 10 kts I believe most a.c designers will go for the lower weight - provided the landing speed is already "acceptable" of course.



posted on Jan, 26 2012 @ 01:06 PM
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Originally posted by Aloysius the Gaul

Originally posted by dowot
reply to post by RichardPrice
 


Hi all.

"Who would be doing the subsidising?"

If I remember correctly plane fuel is not taxed,similar to red diesel and fuel for motor yachts.

So the Government is subsidising.


so it is not actually a subsidy at all.


I wonder how much cheaper car fuel would be if all fuels carried the same tax?


In these parts the taxes on petrol are mainly a road tax that is literally used to maintain roads.

Aircraft do not pay a road tax for fairly obvious reasons!!


However they pay landing (airport) and airways (air traffic control) charges which IMO are the direct equivalent - ie paying for the infrastructure they use. IMO that is appropriate and completely comparable.


Winston Churchill did away with road tax here to prevent drivers forming the assumption they have a greater right than others to use roads. Many drivers here are still under the impression they pay for the roads with vehicle excise duty. The roads here are paid for through general taxation. This is a very important issue for cyclists who often experience abuse from ignorant motorists who imagine cyclists are getting a free ride. I guess the tax on fuel contributes to road maintenance. It clearly isn't enough, some of our roads are in a dangerous state.

I realise your comment refers to fuel tax, I just can't resist the opportunity to show this.

ipayroadtax.com...


While commercial jets were grounded during the Icelandic volcanic eruption the effect these jets have on the health of everything beneath them became very clear. This is the only control I'm aware of here. Due to the gradual buildup of air traffic this effect wasn't obvious to the average observer until the grounding took place.

It would be appropriate for those who choose to use jet aircraft to pay for the effects of their choice. Taking a responsible and mature approach would make air travel astronomically expensive. It doesn't surprise me that people who choose to use jet aircraft simply cut off their thought processes when it comes to examining the health effects inherent in jet aircraft use.



posted on Jan, 26 2012 @ 02:47 PM
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Originally posted by Kester


Does anyone have experience at building/flying model Burnelli aircraft?


I designed one in a simulator (which I though I invented, apparently not!).

I joined it in a competition and it won first prize getting ahead in performance far and beyond other designs. Let's not talk about safety yet... ...Using modern aerodynamics principles, the general layout is incredibly efficient and beats the pure flying wing layout.

There is some partial evidence that the design is safe but is not unique to Burnelli, in fact, any one-piece, BWB, no fuselage design exhibits superior crash-survivability of the airframe vs conventional 'tube-and-wing' designs very common today

Back in WW2, the Hortens crashed one of their pure flying wings, the craft simply cartwheeled, ended up in one piece and everyone aboard lived.

Again in WW2, another 'one-piece' no fuselage/BWB aircraft the 'flying pancake' was crashed and it flipped in the ground, the airframe suffered little damage only.

A military prototype of the said 'flying pancake' had to be destroyed with a wrecking ball for the airframe is incredibly strong!!

It is an old concept that is superior in every aspect against our 'modern' tube-wing designs. The only reason it's not pursued in civilian aircraft is the difficulty in pressurizing non-cylindrical cabins at high cruise altitudes. There has been recent successes in these using composite materials. That's why it's only feasible in military aircraft or anything that flies below 10,000 ft at the moment.

But once the issue is solved, we'd be seeing dramatic drop in mortality rates in crashes once all jet-liners are are of flying or BWB designs, in addition to crash-proof/self-sealing fuel tanks. Crash survivors running around covered in flames and burning jet fuel will be a thing of the past. It's a horrible image that no one tells you. It's not instant pain, it's horrible amount of suffering for survivors, we are living in the 21st century and things should change now!!!

edit on 26-1-2012 by ahnggk because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 27 2012 @ 02:26 AM
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reply to post by ahnggk
 


Your post also wins first prize.



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