Webster

The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions." --American Statesman Daniel Webster (1782-1852)


Sunday, January 16, 2022

55 years later, Douglas Merging with McDonnell

My Employer really liked the Douglas airplanes, they were really well built and well engineered aircraft, With Airbus, the Airframe has an "expiration date" , with Douglas products, it is "Indefinite" As long as you can find the parts and and keep it airworthy it will fly.  I personally had a love/hate relationship with the "T-Tails" as we called it, everything was low to the ground and crowded...and for a summer chicken like me, crawling into places was uncomfortable.  

     I ran across this article and shamelessly "Nicked" it, I was going to post it last night but it was a long day from work and I didn't get it posted until now.  I am going out of town for a few days and I am hoping there is internet, if so, I will keep the blog updated since I didn't have a chance to load the scheduler thingie.

 

In January 1967, two United States aviation powerhouses, the Douglas Aircraft Company and the McDonnell Aircraft Corporation, announced their intentions to merge. The move would lead to the formation of the McDonnell Douglas Corporation, creating a stir in the market in the years to come.

MD-80 Sunset Getty
The McDonnell Douglas merger was made official on April 28th, following Douglas’ 
rejection from several other companies.

Donald W. Douglas Sr. founded the Douglas Aircraft Company on July 22nd, 1921. The pioneer remained company president until 1957 before becoming chairman of the board until the merger in 1967. His son, Donald Douglas Jr., was also a driving force within the company since 1939. He was named as vice president in 1951 before taking over his father as president in 1957.

Douglas was a notable player in both the civil and military scenes. On the commercial side, the manufacturer was famed for the development of the DC series of aircraft that took civil aviation to new heights in the mid-20th century.

DC-3 fleet
The DC-3 and its variants were crucial in both commercial and military missions.

James Smith McDonnell incorporated the McDonnell Aircraft Corporation in St. Louis on July 6th, 1939. The firm would go on to become a force in the aviation industry in the following decades, especially when it came to the space race and military efforts. Mr McDonnell was president until 1962 before becoming chairman and CEO.

Altogether, both companies were integral in the maturation of the US aviation market. A merger between the two firms would give them more ground across the spectrum, especially by allowing McDonnell to have significant coverage in the commercial sector.

F4 Phantom Squadron
McDonnell’s son, James Smith McDonnell III, would eventually become chairman 
and CEO of McDonnell Douglas.

 

The post-war transformation in the market would take its toll on Douglas. Demand was at an all-time high for both civilian and fighter aircraft. The DC-8 and DC-9 were receiving a lot of attention from airlines, while the A-4 Skyhawk was increasing in popularity. However, Douglas was struggling to increase production output following the rise in demand.

There were also challenges due to staff shortages during the Vietnam War. These difficulties were on top of financial troubles that were rocking operations. As a result, Douglas was open to an offer from McDonnell, and talks began in the early 1960s.

 

After approximately four years of discussions, in January 1967, the leaders of two Douglas and McDonnell announced their intention of a merger. Following this step, Douglas Jr. and Mr McDonnell confirmed that the boards of their two businesses approved a definitive merger agreement on March 1st, 1967.

The plan was revealed to have Douglas Sr. serve as honorary chairman of the new McDonnell Douglas Corporation. Meanwhile, Mr McDonnell would serve as chairman and chief executive officer, and David Lewis would be the president.

Docked DC-8sNumerous airlines were eager to get their hands on the new jets of the time

On April 19th, 1967, Douglas shareholders came together in person and by proxy at an annual meeting at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. At the event, they voted to merge with the McDonnell Company amid financial struggles. Douglas highlighted that this move came about because “Douglas has been outrun by its own success.”

 

There was a considerable number of votes for the merger. In total, 4,897,543 shares were for the consolidation, and 41,065 were against it. In practice, over 1,200 shareholders were in favor of merging with McDonnell, with 71.98% of the vote. It was announced that Douglas Jr. Douglas would continue as head of the Douglas branch of the merged entity.

“Despite management efforts to make the Douglas acquisition fit under the McDonnell umbrella, the two remain very separate entities. Douglas, with production facilities at Long Beach, Calif., was founded and built by Donald Douglas, who began in 1920 by making a biplane of wood, wire and cloth,” The New York Times shared in 1979.

“The company dominated the commercial aircraft industry virtually without challenge until 1955, when Boeing and Lockheed began to gain ground. By 1967, when McDonnell took it over, the company had overcommitted itself and faced cash shortages and huge production costs on the DC‐9 twin jet transport.”

Delta DC-9
Delta Air Lines, who was a massive fan of the DC Series, flew the DC-9 family until 2014

Following the merger, the McDonnell Douglas Corporation would find it hard to balance success. The American Airlines Flight 191 crash that saw 271 passengers pass away on a DC-10-10 in Chicago would be a PR disaster. Other challenges with the aircraft and broader operations would also prove to be challenging.

“The McDonnell half of the company, paradoxically as strong in its defense business as ever, was having difficulty making the Douglas half perform as expected. The DC‐10, once the company’s great hope for its commercial business, has been a continuing problem ever since production began eight years ago. The plane has never made money for McDonnell Douglas and was not expected to until at least 1982,” The New York Times added.

“Last year the company lost $60 million on its commercial‐aviation business, nearly $10 million more than “McDonnell got Douglas for a song. But in the long run, it’s been an expensive proposition.”

Military contracts would provide a boost for the company. Sales of the F-4, F-15, and F-18 fighters would help McDonnell Douglas report a record income of $161.1 million in 1978.

American Airlines MD-80
McDonnell Douglas commercial aircraft such as the MD-80 would go on to 
become favorites among aviation enthusiasts.

Ultimately, McDonnell Douglas soon began discussing another merger, this time with Boeing. The announcement of a merger proposal with the fellow US behemoth was made public in 1996, with Boeing keen to make use of McDonnell Douglas’ facilities following high demand. The merger was then completed the following year.

All in all, both Douglas and McDonnell have parallels that can be drawn with their history. They were both family companies that were headed by two different generations. More importantly, the pair helped transition the United States’ aviation market into one of the most robust and influential industries in the world.

 

Friday, January 14, 2022

Ruger Mini-14 A Garand Inspired Rifle

 

I had looked at a Mini-14 and I liked the Rifle, but the cost is up there and I will probably lose it in another kayak accident like my AR's and Garand *Sniff*Sniff*.  Part of me wondered why the Military never tried the Ruger in Trials.  I shamelessly *Nicked* this from American Rifleman.

Min 14

In 1967, Ruger embarked on an ambitious project. The task was to shrink the M14—the select-fire, 7.62 NATO-chambered rifle that replaced the U.S. military’s venerable M1 Garands in 1959—to a more nimble firearm with the same performance and reliability. Adding to the challenge was the fact that the new firearm also needed to run .223 Rem. cartridges.

The task was a formidable one, but after six years of design work and exhaustive testing, the first Mini 14 was unveiled in 1973. Full scale production followed the next year.

The firearm featured a variety of innovations and cost-saving alternations that would have made it a serious contender against the M16 that was ultimately fielded by U.S. Army. The timing was poor, according to Bill Ruger, although a semi-automatic version is offered to this day by Ruger. It continues to be a popular choice and a standout in the company’s long list of time-proven performers.  

Despite similarity in name, the manner in which the M14 and Mini-14 gas systems operate is not the same. The M14 uses a piston, operating rod, gas plug and gas cylinder. The Mini-14, on the other hand, employs a Garand-style breech bolt locking system, a fixed-piston gas system and self-cleaning, moving gas cylinder.


Enthusiasts added Mini-14s to their collections in steady numbers after its introduction, but when it started appearing with “Mr. T” in “The A-Team” it went mainstream. Those regular appearances in the hands of the crime-fighting quartet on the television series—from season two in 1984 until ratings dropped in 1987—put the gun on nationwide display.

Today Ruger offers two distinct families of the Mini-14 (not including the Mini-30, which is a variation chambered in 7.62x39 mm). There are 11 versions in the Ranch line and six Tactical models. All are chambered in 5.56 mm NATO.

Every Ranch model has an 18.5", cold hammer-forged barrel. Stocks available include wood, synthetic, camo patterns, wood laminate and even an engraved hardwood. Their solid steel receivers are drilled and tapped for Picatinny rail mounting and the rifles ship with one, along with scope rings and a pair of magazines (capacity of 5 or 20 cartridges, depending on model). MSRPs for non-distributor exclusives run from $1,189 to $1,359.

Tactical versions feature the same rugged, optics-ready construction, but barrels are threaded. Most ship with a flash suppressor and they measure either 16.12", 16.15" or 20". Stocks are either synthetic or speckled hardwood. Magazine capacity is 20 cartridges, and the carbines ship with two, along with the Picatinny and scope rings. MSRPs run from $1,259 to $1,399.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Goings on at Casa De Garabaldi

 A Few things going on at Casa De Garabaldi.....


One thing that I did was buy a car cover for "My Precious", since I am not driving her as much since I am driving the Focus a lot more, I have had problems with Dead Battery, and I went to Harbor Freight looking for a "Trickle" charger and found one...


    Started the Install process,

   I like Zip Ties, Keeps things neat.

      This shows the actual plug, it matches the plug I use for my Motorcycle trickle charger.


Completed the install, Now to dig out the actual charger....


Plugged it in...


         This I did several weeks ago.

    Then we had a cold front hit, I knew it was coming, I heard Old NFO and others in the Texas area complaining about it.  And it got cold in a hurry.  So I turned on the fireplace...

       And the Dog immediately moved in.........
I had to work in the meantime....

  It was Cold........and WET.......

   Did I say Wet?..........And COLD
And I had to Work Christmas Eve and Day....

When the weather warmed up a bit, I pulled the cover off of "My Precious" so I could check the charge and saw this


    Battery was at full charge, I moved the trickle charger and cranked up the truck and let her idle for 20 minutes while I was doing some yard work and cleaning up some yard debris.  Got done and covered the truck back up.  

   

      I was trying to repair the battery jump box that I have, My son had manage to get one of the clamps broken while it was in his charge....Get it.....Charge....I will be here all week, try the veal and tip the wait staff.   Well any way I was going to try to repair the clamp...

   Well I had folded a piece of metal at work and I was going to try to see if I could use it to "Brace" the clamp over the break...

   Well it work initially.......But I then used a dremel to trim some excess metal and destroyed the structural rigidity that was necessary to make it work.....crap.    So Plan B


Yeah......Amazon.....I had gone to Harbor Freight and to several Auto Parts stores looking for clamps large enough and there were none available....Now I could have bought a Jumper Cable and destroyed it and took the clamp...but wanton destruction ain't my thing....so I went to Amazon.

    Finished it......Finally    Kept the box with the "Negative" clamp in case I need it.

     Meanwhile I had bought a oil filter for my daily driver...Remember this one..?

   Yep my Focus....Well I went to buy an oil filter for the Focus, I am having a shop I use for all my major work, they know me and all my cars since they opened do the oil change, too cold to crawl under the car right now, if the weather was warmer, different story.
but I like to use "Ford" filters. not the generic cheap filters that the shops tend to use...hey it is a quirk....my car, my quirk, so there :P but I digress
Well I go to buy a filter...

 Yeah, one of those.....I bought one of those 6 months ago and paid $7 bucks for the filter, well I bought a filter last night and it cost me dang near $10 bucks.....Jeez   "Lets Go Brandon"
  And speaking of "Brandon" we Rock banging Mechanics do have an opinion...

Saw this on the door going into the breakroom several weeks ago.....as of my last day working a couple of days ago, it is still there and there are other ways to make our opinions known...

 This was a temporary install to facilitate maintenance and we of course made sure that it was labeled appropriately so there was no doubt.

 Got rid of my Cub Cadet today, the only good thing about that mower is the motor,  I got tired getting nickel-ed and dimed by it.  I have to decide in the spring to either fork over 2 grand for another riding mower and deal with the associated maintenance cost like fuel, blades, oil, ete,ete or have a lawn service cut my grass, I have to weigh the pro's and cons, basically do a cost analysis.  In the past I thought it was strange to have someone do something that I am perfectly capable of doing, but after dealing with this lawnmower the past year, I can understand why people pay someone else.
     We went to the range today, the spousal unit had bought me gift certificates to the local range and today was "ladies Night"

                                                  laid out the .45


   Both Plastic Fantastics, Er Macks Favorite Guns  the Glocks, the Model 17 and 19

                    And the S&W .22 Pistol for the Spousal Unit :), She is shooting with me today

                                                                           The Target

   The Distance, I use this because of the unofficial Tueller Drill which I and many others have blogged before.

  The Spousal Unit firing the Smith .22 pistol, she fired that for a bit 

      This is her shooting my Glock 17 with the Holographic Sights, She liked the sights on the Glock better, easier to use, but the .22 was less recoil and less"Boom" for her. She hasn't gone shooting with me since before the birth of our son, so I was very happy to have her along.  I am hoping that she will join me more often.

   And yes this was me on New Years Day lol, I had to work both New Days Eve and New Years Day.
    What can I say...Aviation is 24/7/365.   But it pays pretty well, LOL

 

Monday, January 10, 2022

Monday Music "I Ran" By A Flock of Seagulls

 I am continuing my string of "bugaloo" songs.  This discussion was started in the "Monster Hunter Nation, Hunters Unite", back in November of 2019? it is a Facebook group with enthusiast of the ILOH "International Lord of Hate" A.K.A Larry Correia.  We were talking about what song would we use if we looked out of our window or glanced at our security camera and saw this.....

One of the alphabet bois lining up to take down your house...What would be your "Valhalla" song and you would set it up to play as you load up magazines set up the Tannerite Rover, turn on the water irrigation system and fill it with gasoline instead of water and prepare yourself.

 I figured it would scar the alphabet boys if they come busting in and hearing a song about people having a good time and standing up for themselves and having New Wave playing Loud will scar the Alphabet Boi's as they force the stack through the door, because they will be exposed to good music for the first time unlike the crap they listen to now sipping their soi latte's and comparing notes on the latest soyburger recipes and who wears the best manbuns in the team.

A Flock of Seagulls was started by Mike Score in late 1979 in Liverpool. According to Mike Score, the band's name was taken from the song "Toiler on the Sea" by punk rock band the Stranglers and the book Jonathan Livingston Seagull. The original line-up of the band featured Mike on lead vocals and keyboards, Ali Score on drums, and Frank Maudsley on bass. Guitarist Willie Woo was added, while Mark Edmondson replaced Ali on drums when the Score brothers fell out. Soon afterwards, Edmondson departed to make way for a returning Ali, while teenager Paul Reynolds, a close friend of Edmondson, replaced Woo at the behest of Maudsley, thus creating the band's classic line-up. The band practised above Mike Score's hair salon and then started playing clubs, eventually signing a recording contract.

They recorded sessions for John Peel's show on BBC Radio 1 in May 1981.Eventually, under the management of Harry Maguire, Tommy Crossan, and Mick Rossi, all directors of Checkmount Limited, they began to release singles through Jive Records. The group released their debut single "Talking" (produced by Nelson), on Bill Nelson's Cocteau label. They were then signed to major label Jive, distributed through CBS records, where they released their second single "Telecommunication". The single was also produced by Nelson and became a club hit. Their third release was the EP "Modern Love is Automatic". Originally released as a 4 track EP on both 7" and 12", the 12" edition was soon reissued, adding "Telecommunication". This 5 track EP was also their first release in the U.S. In 1982, the group's fourth single "I Ran (So Far Away)", produced by Mike Howlett, the former bass player of the band Gong, became a worldwide hit, reaching number 1 in Australia and the Top 10 in both the US and New Zealand. Their debut album and single "Space Age Love Song" were both successful. The track "D.N.A." won a Grammy Award in 1983 for Best Rock Instrumental Performance.  In late 1982, the band finally found major success in their home country with "Wishing (If I Had a Photograph of You)", the first single from their next album Listen, which reached the Top 10. Later, the band was praised for having broken the ground for other musical acts during the advent of the video music area,  but as it turned out, 1982 was the peak year of their commercial and critical success.




"I Ran (So Far Away)", also released as "I Ran", is a song by English new wave band A Flock of Seagulls. It was released in 1982 as their third single and it was the second single from their self-titled debut album. It topped the chart in Australia, and reached number seven in New Zealand and number nine in the United States, although it failed to make the top 40 in the band's home country (United Kingdom). However, the song was certified silver by the BPI.

In an article for Rolling Stone titled, Anglomania: The Second British Invasion, Parke Puterbaugh wrote of the impact of the song's music video on its US chart success, "Fronted by a singer-synth player with a haircut stranger than anything you'd be likely to encounter in a month of poodle shows, A Flock of Seagulls struck gold on the first try."


The single was promoted by a distinctive music video directed by Tony van den Ende in which the band members performed in a room covered in aluminium foil and mirrors. The cameras used to film the video are clearly visible in many of the background reflections, their stands also covered in foil. The video is an homage to Brian Eno and Robert Fripp's (No Pussyfooting) album cover, which was also portrayed by the Strokes in the video for their single, "The End Has No End," two decades later. The video received heavy rotation on MTV in the summer of 1982, and helped the single to become a hit.

As Dave Thompson has pointed out, the song was "punningly political at a time when Iran itself was making headlines around the clock". The song and the band were an "irresistible" package for American audiences, and by the summer of 1982, "America was clutching [sic] Flock of Seagulls to its heart". According to Maz Jobrani, the release of the song was a "disaster" for Iranian-American children like himself. They were cruelly teased by other American children with the song's misheard chorus: "I-ran, I-ran so far away."

The band toured the United States extensively to promote the single, supporting Squeeze on their 1982 tour. As well as reaching number 9 on the Billboard Hot 100, "I Ran" peaked at number 3 on the Top Tracks chart and number 8 on the Hot Dance Club Play chart. Subsequently, the album reached number 10 on the Billboard 200.

In the VH1 special 100 Greatest Songs of the '80s, "I Ran" was listed at No. 55 on the countdown, while on the VH1 special 100 Greatest One-Hit Wonders of the 80s, the song was listed at No. 2.

Although considered a 1980s new wave classic, the song experienced something of a revival in 2002 as the signature theme for the video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, being played during the game's television commercials and during gameplay as one of the songs in the playlist for radio station Wave 103.

The song's apparent references to Iran were highlighted again in the fall of 2007, when the long-running American television show Saturday Night Live ran a parody version of the song that expressly mocked current Iranian policies like Holocaust denial.


Sunday, January 9, 2022

Boeing is trying a revolutionary a Revolutionary airplane design.

 

 

I snagged this from one of the articles I get in my email from work that talks about Aviation, and I thought it was facinating concept and the thought of them "using a MD80's series tail or a B 717 to finish the design  is what caught my eye.

    





 

TTBW high lift tests, NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia

Researchers completed TTBW high-lift tests, including stability and control checks and ground-effects evaluations, in September at NASA Langley Research Center’s 14 X 22-ft. subsonic wind tunnel in Hampton, Virginia.

Seventy years ago, Boeing was secretly preparing to gamble on whether to spend two-thirds of its post-war net profits on a radical new jet-powered long-range transport demonstrator—the Model 367-80.

The company’s May 1952 decision to approve the project, dubbed the Dash 80, became a defining moment in aviation history. Targeting the airline and military air tanker markets, the turbojet-powered aircraft would evolve into the 707/KC-135, establishing the blueprint for virtually every modern swept-wing transport with podded engines developed to this day as well as laying the foundation for Boeing’s 700-series jet airliner dynasty.

Fast-forward to early 2022 and Boeing is once more preparing to propose a new, potentially game-changing configuration. Although the concept is not yet aimed specifically at a new product, the high-aspect-ratio transonic truss-braced wing (TTBW) is targeted instead at a NASA demonstrator X-plane intended to prove airframe technology for a future highly efficient single-aisle airliner by the mid-2030s.

While other advanced configurations, such as the blended wing body (BWB), are in the frame for the X-plane—also known as the sustainable flight demonstrator (SFD)—Boeing’s TTBW proposal is widely expected to be the front-runner. Not only has Boeing been working on the configuration with NASA for more than a decade, but it is also actively soliciting suppliers to bolster broader industry participation in its bid.

For Boeing, the timing of the competition for the X-plane has assumed even more importance than the research opportunity it presents. Hit by the 737 MAX groundings, the market downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and delays to deliveries of the 787 and 777X, Boeing has had to put near-term plans for all-new commercial aircraft development projects on the back burner. The X-plane therefore offers a chance to continue with tests of key technologies that could play a role in future single-aisle programs semi-independently of the company’s market-driven product-development strategy.

But as Boeing deliberates over its next market moves, ranging from long-term 737 replacements to a potential twin-aisle midsize family, the competition is stirring. The SFD has become increasingly timely in the face of Airbus’ plans to develop an all-new sustainable 100-plus-seat airliner in the 2030s.

TTBW showing areas of reduced drag indicated in areas of green and blueGreen- and blue-colored areas indicate areas of reduced drag in this computational fluid dynamic flow simulation of the TTBW conducted by NASA and Boeing in early 2021

 If all goes according to plan, the new X-plane—which likely will be the largest purpose-built experimental aircraft in the seven-decade-old X series—is expected to begin flight tests in late 2026 and will help mature design, structures and systems technology timed for full-scale development in the early 2030s. The X-plane also forms a key part of NASA’s Sustainable Flight National Partnership (SFNP) plan with industry, researchers and academia, which will support the push toward new airliner technology across a broader front that includes developments in smaller engine cores, electrified aircraft propulsion and high-rate composite aircraft manufacturing.

 

“In 2022, we expect to put out a request for proposal [RFP] for the design and build of the flight demonstrator, and this is really a big, big deal,” says Rich Wahls, strategic technical advisor for the Advanced Air Vehicles Program at NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate. “When was the last time we did a transport-class [aircraft-level] architecture change?” he asks. “My mind goes back to when Boeing did the Dash 80 with swept wings and underslung jet engines. That’s what we’re looking at here—a large-scale honest-to-God, prove-it kind of aircraft that would demonstrate key aspects that you can only do in flight.”

In the run-up to the RFP, NASA awarded study contracts for demonstrator plans to five unidentified companies and is working in parallel with two others on risk-reduction studies—one for the BWB and another with Boeing on the TTBW. “We’ve had wind tunnel tests [of the TTBW] that have gone on since 2013, and there have been aeroelastic tests, high-speed performance tests and low-speed integration tests,” Wahls says. “Often you take these concepts, and as you dig down to the next layer of detail, the benefit goes away. So far, it’s not going away on the truss-braced wing or really on the blended wing. We haven’t found that thing that completely stops either yet.”

Clarifying NASA’s role in the further advancement of sustainable concepts, Wahls adds: “We’re not about product development and doing the next airplane. Industry has their next baseline airplanes on their drawing boards. We’re trying to identify those technologies that are just beyond their risk threshold, both financially and technically, then use those as demonstrations. If successful, we bring them forward into that next generation. If they had enough confidence to put them on the next airplane, then we would have to start looking beyond that. So we’re trying to accelerate insertion of advanced technology into these game-changing architectures across all these projects we’re doing.”

Following a planned first flight in late 2026, NASA says the SFD research campaign will last six months and be completed in 2027. Design, ground test and flight research data from the SFD will be used to measure the winning contractor’s “vision system” performance relative to a set of midterm performance objectives set out by NASA for future subsonic transport aircraft in the 2025-35 time frame.

These targets call for technology readiness levels of 5 to 6 (ready to transition to production development) for an aircraft capable of cumulative noise levels of 32-42 dB below Stage 4 and landing and takeoff nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions 80% below the International Civil Aviation Organization’s CAEP/6 standards. The requirements also call for cruise NOx emissions to be 80% lower relative to a 2005 best-in-class benchmark, and aircraft fuel and energy consumption levels to be 50-60% lower relative to the same 2005 standard.

As its name suggests, the TTBW configuration is all about maximizing wing efficiency and at the same time opening the aperture for a wide variety of potential future propulsion options, ranging from advanced turbofans and open rotors to hybrid engines and even a tail-mounted boundary-layer-ingesting fan. First developed in 2010 under the Boeing and NASA Subsonic Ultra Green Aircraft Research program to study ultraefficient airliner concepts for the 2035 time frame, the TTBW has continued to evolve into a flexible and practical configuration.

Despite many tweaks over the past decade, the design continues to hinge on the benefits of a high-aspect-ratio wing to minimize drag. The increased span lowers lift-induced drag because the wing is slender, while its reduced thickness ratio decreases profile and transonic drag due to its thinness. The wing is braced by trusses to minimize the weight penalty of the longer span.

The X-plane was originally designed with an unswept wing to cruise at a fuel-saving speed of Mach 0.75, but Boeing is basing its X-plane proposal on a revised wing configuration revealed in early 2019. The newer design is optimized around a 20-deg. swept wing to enable a higher Mach 0.8 cruise speed more typical of current jet airliners. The increase in sweep angle necessitated a redesign of the truss, which has increased chord at the fuselage and forward sweep at the trailing edge and tapers toward the junction with the wing. A small jury strut that connects the truss to the wing has also been moved farther outboard and closer to its junction with the wing. The changes have allowed the truss to generate lift, further maximizing performance.

 


With an aspect ratio of 19.6, the 170-ft.-span wing of any production TTBW version also will incorporate a 777X-like wing-fold feature. The fold, which is positioned outboard of the truss attachment point, is designed to enable the TTBW to use smaller gates, like those used by the 118-ft.-span 737. For the SFD bid, Boeing expects to modify the fuselage of a donor MD-80 or 717, but it is unclear if these precise wingspan dimensions will be reproduced for the demonstrator, which is also unlikely to include the folding feature.

Boeing is, meanwhile, canvassing industry for potential risk-share involvement in the modification of the T-tail fuselage into the X-plane. The company declined to comment on details of the plan, saying it would be premature to discuss its proposal prior to NASA’s RFP. Boeing did add, however, that it “enthusiastically supports NASA’s vision for a public-private partnership to enhance aviation sustainability under the umbrella of the Sustainable Flight National Partnership, which focuses industry and government on the critical challenges for products being introduced in the 2030s.”

Details of the proposed modification plan seen by Aviation Week show that a significant number of changes and additional systems and structure will be required to transform a McDonnell Douglas-heritage fuselage into the basis for the new X-plane. The biggest of these will involve the design and build of a composite wing with full-span slats and single-slotted flaps. The wing, which will be joined at the centerline above the fuselage, also will incorporate low- and high-speed ailerons.

To meet the required design length of the demonstrator, Boeing plans to remove an unspecified number of fuselage frames as well. This suggests the preferred donor fuselage may be from an MD-80 rather than the shorter DC-9-30-series-size 717. The fuselage will be reinforced with internal bracing from the wing to the existing structure, too, and will utilize the in situ carry-through torque boxes for the nose and main landing gears. The existing gear will be supported by a new pylon and enclosed in a new fairing.

Other changes will include the relocation of the tail-mounted engines to an inboard underwing mounting, where they will be attached with a new pylon and enclosed in purpose-built nacelles and inlets. The engine’s existing thrust reversers will be locked out while the nacelle will feature a purpose-designed anti-ice system.

Several key system changes also will be required, including the development of a fly-by-wire flight control system for the wing-control surfaces. Flight control functions will be hosted in a triplex vehicle management system controlled from a two-crew flight deck that will be modified with an additional flight control computer interface. Among the system changes will be the rerouting of the engine bleed air ducts through the fuselage to the environmental control system packs and the addition of an extra central hydraulic system to augment the existing configuration.

Changes to the interior will include installation of a full flight-test instrumentation suite and accommodation for flight-test personnel as well as provision for a set of pallets for center of gravity ballast.


 It will be interesting if Boeing is able to pull this off, I have seen one of their X planes,not this one mind you, but a different kind when I was in California, she was in Storage.  I want Boeing to pull this off because it can revolutionize the aviation industry...again.