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Wide Body Jet Sea Planes

Build a new generation of jet powered sea planes
  [vote for,

I am posting this because I do not understand why there are no jet powered sea planes. It seems that commuter flights from the waterfronts of New York City to Boston would be hugely popular.

Jet powered sea planes would save huge amounts of travel time (to and from inland airports) and airport costs.

geo8rge, Jun 24 2005

Not quite the same but... http://www.aether.d...kit/ekranoplan.html
Ekranoplans are just so cool. [angel, Jun 24 2005]

[bris] Check some of these out! http://www.strange-...aft/J-Sea/J-Sea.htm
Those Convair photos look suspiciously real [AbsintheWithoutLeave, Jun 24 2005]

bugs eat composites http://dzumenvis.ni...0of%20composite.pdf
[bs0u0155, Mar 25 2013]

Russkies, again http://www.airliner...Be-200ChS/1391787/L
Speaking of "cool"... [lurch, Mar 25 2013]


       I think it may be to do with the availability of long, smooth runways, and the fact that you can't take off/land in heavy seas.
david_scothern, Jun 24 2005

       Build channels? The trick here is sacraficing a nice place to take/off land from home but think about how ice it will be to cruise around the carribean, like jet cruises. Screw those big boats. Screw 'em.
daseva, Jun 24 2005

       I've seen jet-powered flying boats, but never a jet-powered sea-plane - does anyone know if anyone ever tried to build one?
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Jun 24 2005

       Plenty of turbine powered seaplanes around. Cessna Caravan and countless conversions. No, not pure jets, though.   

       <Pictures an F15 on floats. Yikes.>
bristolz, Jun 24 2005

       The Caspian Sea Monster (an Ekranoplan) is a perfect example of what you're talking about. Also a Nakajima model but I'm having a deuce of a time trying to find a link or picture.
elhigh, Jun 24 2005

       Aww, [bris], I'm hugely disappointed!
Saunders-Roe SR.A/1
Convair XF2Y-1 SeaDart
Martin P6M-2 Seamaster
Proof of the interface between "learn from other people's mistakes" and "try, try again"
lurch, Jun 24 2005

       I was responding that I've never seen any pure jets on floats and, nope, I haven't.   

       And, [lurch], I have not seen you on the site for a very long time. I hope you are doing well.
bristolz, Jun 24 2005

       Thank heavens we are allowed to say "Ekranoplan" again. I was getting sick of calling them "top secret surface effect flying boats".   

       Good night everybody.
Texticle, Jun 24 2005

       The reason that there are no jet powered sea-planes is that the boat-hull shape required for the lower fuselage is aerodynamically very inefficient, and would drastically increase fuel burn, as well as reduce top speed. Transit times would be longer, not shorter, and maximum range would be reduced.   

       The infrastructure already exists for land-based aircraft, and there are already many large airports within a short distance of the shore. There's simply no economic reason to design and build large seaplanes anymore.
Freefall, Jun 24 2005

       //Boat-hull shape required for the lower fuselage is aerodynamically very inefficient// Yes, at the cruising height and speed of a conventional jet. But according to the link, the efficiency of these things once they achieve skimming flight is very good and one of their attractions.
Basepair, Jun 24 2005

       Yes, but, alas, jet engines at low altitude are anything but efficient.
bristolz, Jun 24 2005

       Ah. Well, then, just scale up. Presumably the bigger the wing, the greater the height at which the ground- effect can be sustained. So, combine this with the manta-ray-plane idea and make a wing big enough to maintain ground effect at 37,000ft. Presumably, a wing with a chord of a few thousand feet would do the job.....
Basepair, Jun 24 2005

       Or (I'm on a bit of a roll here), have the plane at low altitude and the engines at 37,000 feet, connected by a huge tether. Sort of like a kite, but exactly the opposite and very different.
Basepair, Jun 24 2005

       Hmm. I like that flying engines idea. Utterly half-baked.
bristolz, Jun 24 2005

       My next one's better.
Basepair, Jun 24 2005

       The big flying boats failed after WW2 because of the massive amount of runway building during the war, the advances in electronic navigation, the skill level required to fly the big flying boats, and the fact that land=based aircraft are much safer.   

       Jet engines are more efficient per passenger-mile than piston engines at high altitudes and high subsonic speeds, but less efficient at the lower altitudes where seaplanes and flying boats are most useful.
whlanteigne, Mar 25 2013

       In NYC - JFK, LaGuardia are adjacent to the shore, and Newark is within a hundred yards.   

       In Boston, Logan is built out on fill into the harbor. SeaTac is within a mile of the sound. LAX fronts on dunes. San Francisco Airport, built on fill.   

       As a rule, there isn't a huge amount of travel time lost "getting to inland airports". And these days you'd need nearly as much infrastructure (terminal, people handling, luggage, and security) at a seaplane terminal as a land based, which means you'd still have to travel to a set point for large scale air travel.
MechE, Mar 25 2013

       I'd argue that the maintenance will kill this one. Aircraft sitting in sea (or, to a lesser extent fresh) water are bound to have MUCH higher rates of corrosion, be it the traditional kind or some horrific Galvanic destructomonster. Pair this with tough access for repair crews and you're either going to much more expensive system, or aircraft falling out of the sky.
bs0u0155, Mar 25 2013

       //maintenance will kill this one.// One word: use composites.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 25 2013

       they're not immune <link> and if you're going to be resistant to lightning, you'll need metals weaving through the carbon fibre. Although, I suppose you could use gold.
bs0u0155, Mar 25 2013

       //they're not immune// Some composites are vulnerable to some bugs. However, very little attempt has been made to prevent this vulnerability, and it would not be difficult to do. Fibreglass boats seem to manage quite well in seawater.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 25 2013

       Yep, until they suffer massive osmosis and come apart. I'd imagine the 150km/hr + takeoff/landing speed would do well to strip the surface enough to encourage it.   

       Meh, I'm sure there'll be coatings that would work.
Custardguts, Mar 25 2013


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