I worry fuel/weight needs make it infeasible to be both possible and profitable.
It all comes down to mission. I’ve seen the argument for developing bizjet class machines with a passenger cap from 12-30, that can super cruise at just under Mach 2 like a fighter. That range seems to be a sweet spot for some. Of course the smaller passenger list cuts down on tickets but the overall fuel burn and the relatively small pool of clients means this is probably still within reason.
But Im not an actual aero engineer or airline budget expert.
There are actually a number of bizjet startups who are actually working on this sort of thing. They are also researching airframe shapes to reduce the noise of sonic booms as well.
It’s tough. Most of the very rich people I know enjoy flying first class and use it as time to relax. They like having 13 hours in luxury en route to Hong Kong.
Then again, flying Corcorde also involved champagne and many of the other first class amenities. Oh, and the bragging rights that not only did you fly first class, you flew first class at freaking Mach 2.
I wonder if these companies are thinking about making not-fighter jets for rich people to fly for fun. I know people buy and fly surplus or decommissioned fighters for fun but it seems like it would be easier and cheaper to maintain a new aircraft instead of an ancient Soviet jet fighter or beat up lead-in trainer.
From my experience on a Concorde, the seats were barely comfort economy class size. It’s a big step up from that to business class, which I’ve flown plenty of times, and from there to first class, which I’ve not done transatlantic. Getting champagne and the crew being nice to you doesn’t compare to complete flat beds or unlimited leg room.
You can literally just buy demilitarized trainer jets already though. The L-39 Albatross is a particularly popular one.
Oh yes I know that my point was more that it seems like it would be harder to maintain and get parts for these older aircraft that have been heavily used by their former military operators. Is it easier than I’m guessing?
It is easier and cheaper to have companies custom make specific replacement parts, in cases when they can’t get surplus, than it is to engineer and produce entire jet production line from scratch. Saying nothing of the testing and certification paperwork costs for a new design. The customer base for such vehicles is also on the order of maybe single or low double digits per year in a best case scenario.
Not as hard as you’d think! The robust secondary market for them has created enough demand to keep a supply of parts and experienced mechanics and technicians available.
On the other hand, the fact that this market exists also means that that your idea isn’t a bad one. Sure, there are older jets kicking around, but that just means there’s already a market that would be interested in a newer, slicker, jet with equivalent performance. The only problem is that such a thing would likely be markedly more expensive - but let’s face it, if you’re already buying a multi-million dollar fighter jet to get your high-speed jollies, and you can afford the upkeep, hangar fees, fuel, etc, you’re already rich enough that you don’t give shit to quibble over the increased price. Ain’t nobody going “Aw, I really want the new jet, but I just can’t scrape together the extra couple million to make it work, I’m gonna have to settle for the budget model.”
The problem with all aircraft more or less is that airframes and avionics are easy. Engines are difficult. I sell aircraft engines, and generally they add up to half the total cost of the airplane they go into.
There are very few sources for jet engines, especially the turbojet engines needed for a private combat-style fighter. So the actual supply, regardless of the aircraft they go into, will almost certainly be the same military vendors or surplus sources that go into already popular and available jets like the F-5 and L-39.
I can say that from the perspective of a nine year old, there was almost no difference between concord and not concord. We flew concord to London and not concord back and the only real difference I remember was concord being shorter. Otherwise both planes were equally boring and both had me playing pokemon the whole time.
In retrospect, the argument of “letting the kids experience concord” really didn’t pan out.
Yeah, but they’d have a really fucking Gucci L-39. Possibly literally.
Yeah. I’ve been inside the one on the Intrepid, and it’s not comfortable.
Modern first class is a private little room. Modern business class is a sleep pod and excellent food. The Concorde’s seats are worse than premium economy on a domestic flight.
Pokemon existed at the same time as Concord. That kinda blows my mind even though that is obviously true and I remember both existing at the same time, just in their own contexts.
My experience of Concorde is admittedly only on the Intrepid.
EDIT: no that is bullshit. I saw the Concorde there and took photos of the outside, but I actually went inside the Concorde at Sinsheim. Also the Concordski:
I don’t remember a time before Pokemon existed.
It feels like it was always there, and that it’s older than it truly is.
I’m only a few years older than you, but that is already enough to have been too old for Pokemon when they showed up. I have no connection to Pokemon, but so many people just a few years younger than have it as a huge part of their childhood. Maybe that’s the real dividing line between Gen X and Millennials?
I was just starting college when Pokemon came out, and I never had any interest or connection to it either.