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Planes that stop en route

Easy air travel to many more destinations
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At the height of the English rail crisis, it was reported that people were attempting to fly from Birmingham to London; unfortunately, they had to go via Amsterdam. Why don't airlines offer flights which stop in numerous places? It would help people who need to fly to work, and it would be useful for holiday flights by making it easier to connect to other flights.

I'm sure some structure could be devised to allow passengers to rapidly board a plane so this would not make flights unbearably long (for example, have long airbridges over the wing, or a structure like a railway platform with the wing under the platform).

(This is primarily intended for areas like Europe.)

simonrose, Aug 03 2001

Emergency egress http://www.halfbake.../emergency_20egress
An alternative to stopping. [phoenix, Aug 03 2001]

STOL Aircraft in Development http://www.cartercopter.com
Pretty cool STOL aircraft (essentially a gyroplane with wings, a monster prerotator, and a collective control). See the company's plans for airliner-sized versions to take off from urban heliports. [Monkeylawyer, Aug 03 2001]


       i remember seeing a comdey sketch where a "no frills" ariline allowed you to disembark at any point along the route. all the passenger had to do was notify the flight attendant and she would pass him his parachute for the last bit of his journey. maybe this would cut down on the cost of short runs? and if there was a way to get people off the ground and into the plane to replace the disembarked passenger...
mihali, Aug 03 2001

       Rail WOULD be better, but not until Mr Branson (and other chief executives of Train Operating Companies and Rail Service Companies) decide to invest in the rails. Anyway, planes flying at 500 mph are better than trains travelling at a maximum of 100 mph, even if take-off and landing is slow.   

       You DO get flights of this nature occasionally (Blackpool-Isle of Man (Ronaldsway)-Belfast City springs to mind - Blackpool to Ronaldsway is about 100 km and takes 30 minutes) so it must work.
simonrose, Aug 03 2001

       Just build the terminal (or at least the part that connects the passenger to the aircraft) in mid-air, and have some fast, long lifts. You'd need some hefty supports and climate control for this to work.
simonrose, Aug 04 2001

       Planes that stop en route?   

       One word: "O'Hare".
egnor, Aug 04 2001

       Disembark any time during the flight? sure just watch the movie "Operation Dumbo drop"   

       Air planes simply are not capable of this. where as the Dynalifter and Cargo lifter is. Ofcourse it is an airship. The Cargo lifter is designed to transport supplies directly to construction sites instead of transporting it to the airport and then delivering the supplys by truck, if the cargo lifter can drop off construction supplys it should also be able to drop off passengers. Maybe construct another ship like the Macon with planes inside the hull, anytime someone wants to get off at a specific point one of the piolits could escort them in one of the biplanes. The Future of airtravle is in the hands of the airship.:-)
wood2coal, Aug 28 2001

       Added link.
phoenix, Aug 28 2001

       Also, one of the key measures of aircraft lifespan is the number of "cycles" the plane has undergone. Each cycle is costly. A cycle is a takeoff, ascent, pressurization, cruise, descent, depressurization and landing. Many of the long haulers (747, etc.) have hundreds of thousands of flight hours but relatively few cycles, and live to a grand old age. Short hoppers have the reverse--low airframe hours but lots of cycles--and don't last that long. Do you remember the relatively young, high-cycle Aloha 737 that lost a big section of its cabin roof (and a hapless stewardess) in 1988 or so? That failure was attributed to high-cycles and poor maintenance (corrosion).
bristolz, Aug 28 2001

       There were efforts, during the mid-1960s, to develop aircraft which could take off and land on short runways (STOLs). Indeed, Eastern Airlines had one or two STOL demonstrators flying the shuttle between Boston, New York and Washington D.C. for a couple of years or so, I believe. They flew at a lower altitude than the regular jetliners and were considered to be more suited to the short-runway airports in the areas than such aircraft than the Boeing 727s. According to one account, they often beat the jets to the gates, even in times of rush-hour traffic.   

       I think the STOL programs were stalled due to costs and problems with developments, but I am not sure. Personally, I think the STOLs should be considered for places such as Europe and the northeastern part of the United States.   

       The other possibility would be to develop tilt-rotor transports such as a civil version of the V-22 Osprey, once all the problems with that aircraft are corrected and the cloud over the Osprey program goes away. That would require no runways and perhaps smaller airports than what we know today (due to the lack of long runways). Tilt-rotor aircraft can take off vertically and fly horizontally with turboprop engines (up to 400 mph, I believe). They carry far more than a conventional helicopter. As with a STOL aircraft, they would also be suitable for Europe and the northeastern part of the United States. It is not just a question of if they will be developed for the civil transport market, it is a question of when.
JoeBader1, Sep 26 2001

       Ever fly southwest? To go cross country you land about 4 times, which is pretty much the same thing.
elendilmir, Sep 26 2001

       YOu wouldn't have to stop if you had a giant revolving wheel-like platform. The perimeter would be travelling at a couple-hundred miles an hour, Passengers would then step easily off the plane onto the deck, and walk towards the verticle axle, where the srevolving speed would be walking speed.. Elevators would take them down to ground level. You could have towers with several layers, like a huge stack of 45 rpm records.
negativeIQ, Sep 26 2001

       NASA finished a study recently that said that for trips of less than 500 miles (in the United States), it's actually faster to drive than fly on an airline. Although an airplane travels at several hundred miles per hour, the average speed of most trips is actually about 60 mph after factoring in the drive to the airport, parking, checking in, security, waiting, boarding, then a repeat at the other end.   

       The absolute best way, however, to get from one city to another is to buy an airplane, jump in the front seat and fly it yourself.
Monkeylawyer, Oct 19 2001

       How bout a better train system instead ? I much prefer them to aeroplanes.
Peal-n-Eat_Shrimp, Sep 28 2002

       we should also make the terminals more like train stations if this is implemeted. today's termianls just don't work with this kinda stuff.
FireElf, Jul 31 2006


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