[Idea] JATOs for Airliners?

Keatah

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[ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bristol_Siddeley_605"]Bristol Siddeley 605 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]

Retractable and re-usable jato rocket
 

Evil_Onyx

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if i may throw in an alternative idea on a similar matter - why don't airliners have emergency drogue chutes? - many accidents due to being unable to stop could be prevented with a good parachute, no?

If you add drogue parachute to a commercial airline you might as well make it a standard piece of kit, as it is a relatively cheap way of stopping a plane. But then you have the added cost of recovering the chutes as well, as most aircraft that have them jettison them below a set speed to stop them pulling the aircraft off the runway, if there is any cross wind.
 

Hielor

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I was more thinking of emergencies on landings...

There are far more examples of airliners departing the runway on landing. In the majority of these cases, by the time it's obvious that something's going to go wrong, it's far too late to get the plane back into the air safely, even if JATO was available.

One of the cardinal rules in aviation is "it's better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than in the air wishing you were on the ground." Something to assist airliners with landing/slowing down would be a lot more important than something to assist them with taking off/speeding up, and these already exist at most major airports in the form of blast pads/overrun areas at the ends of runways that are designed to crush under the weight of an aircraft and bring it to a stop quickly.

The set of landing emergencies where you want to get back up into the air is very small. There's the issue of undershooting the runway and not starting a go-around soon enough, or possibly CFIT, but in both cases I doubt that JATO would help.

One accident that comes to mind where JATO might've been useful would be [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colgan_Air_Flight_3407"]Colgan Air 3407[/ame] -- it's not quite the issue you described, though. In this case, the pilot made the absolute wrong control input to recover from the incipient stall, and just ended up making it worse. Some ability to quickly add thrust may have helped in this case, by preventing the stall--but such a solution is no cheaper and safer than just ensuring that all pilots are properly trained, which also would have solved the issue.
 

Coolhand

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Special cases aside, lets face it, anything which is not required by law to be on the aircraft, like a rocket booster, is not going to be done because it would drive up ticket prices... Isn't it true that aircraft could use safer fuel - less likely to ignite in an accident - for example but its not used because any airline that used that fuel would be at a competitive disadvantage because it costs slightly more.

Aircraft could surely be safer in all sorts of ways, but that all means less behinds on seats and higher prices - are aircraft safe enough anyway? The industry spends a lot of money to convince us that it is, but I think its clear that aviation could be even safer... Its just a question of how many more cents do you want to add to a ticket, aviation has to be both 'safe' and economical... No matter how safe its considered to be, and how much it costs, accidents will still happen.
 

Ark

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I don't know about you guys, but I would totally fly on a 747 equipped with RATO units for short runway use.

If only to see the other passenger's faces when the captain comes on the intercom and informs them that we will soon be experiencing 3 Gs of acceleration and something called "fast ascent". :lol:
 

Hielor

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Isn't it true that aircraft could use safer fuel - less likely to ignite in an accident - for example but its not used because any airline that used that fuel would be at a competitive disadvantage because it costs slightly more.
Well, uh...I'm not aware of any fuel other than Jet-A (and its military and low-temp derivatives) that are available on airports that can be used by the big jets...
 

Coolhand

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Well, uh...I'm not aware of any fuel other than Jet-A (and its military and low-temp derivatives) that are available on airports that can be used by the big jets...

I didn't say anything about currently available at airports, I'm just asking if thats true, because I'm sure I remember something about it, but no specifics other than it would add a dollar to every seat price... Perhaps it was just a hypothetical thing?
 

Hielor

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I didn't say anything about currently available at airports, I'm just asking if thats true, because I'm sure I remember something about it, but no specifics other than it would add a dollar to every seat price... Perhaps it was just a hypothetical thing?
Haven't heard anything about it. In addition to the fuel itself being more expensive, though, I would imagine that this would have a lower energy density than traditional Jet-A (in order to be more stable), thereby increasing both cost per gallon and consumption on a normal flight--probably a whole lot more than a dollar per seat, and that's not counting R&D and ramp-up prices.
 

FADEC

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Same as parachutes for passengers: useless extra weight.

Flying already is as safe as it can be technologically, if airlines care about proper maintenance and crew training.
 

Coolhand

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Same as parachutes for passengers: useless extra weight.

Flying already is as safe as it can be technologically, if airlines care about proper maintenance and crew training.

Aside from there being all different types of aircraft flying, some new some old, some 'safe' some, less so... I think it would be truer to say that its as safe as it can be economically... I find it hard to accept that the airline industry is the only one in which tradeoffs aren't made for cost - in terms of safety, surely we talk about minimum requirements for strength, maintenance periods and so on. If you were *just* to design an aircraft for safety, i imagine it might look quite different;)
 

Ark

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Aside from there being all different types of aircraft flying, some new some old, some 'safe' some, less so... I think it would be truer to say that its as safe as it can be economically... I find it hard to accept that the airline industry is the only one in which tradeoffs aren't made for cost - in terms of safety, surely we talk about minimum requirements for strength, maintenance periods and so on. If you were *just* to design an aircraft for safety, i imagine it might look quite different;)

Yeah, I think it's generally agreed that air travel has reached a satisfactory balance between safety and economy. Sure, we could have escape pods with parachutes for every passenger, but nobody would pay that much to fly. If people were really uncomfortable with the safety aspects, they wouldn't be queuing up to fly.
 

Evil_Onyx

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I didn't say anything about currently available at airports, I'm just asking if thats true, because I'm sure I remember something about it, but no specifics other than it would add a dollar to every seat price... Perhaps it was just a hypothetical thing?


Nasa helped try and develop some additives to help make fuel safer in the 80's ,I did a quick search and found this.

http://www.dfrc.nasa.gov/gallery/Photo/CID/index.html
 

FADEC

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Aside from there being all different types of aircraft flying, some new some old, some 'safe' some, less so... I think it would be truer to say that its as safe as it can be economically... I find it hard to accept that the airline industry is the only one in which tradeoffs aren't made for cost - in terms of safety, surely we talk about minimum requirements for strength, maintenance periods and so on. If you were *just* to design an aircraft for safety, i imagine it might look quite different;)

Well, then let me complete my previous comment: flying with modern jets and proper airlines ;)

But 100% safety will never exist. Not even if you design an aircraft only for safety.
 

Coolhand

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Nasa helped try and develop some additives to help make fuel safer in the 80's ,I did a quick search and found this.

http://www.dfrc.nasa.gov/gallery/Photo/CID/index.html

Not the one i was thinking of, this was a more recent development perhaps. but as i recall that was a spectacular failure as it still caught fire but it now also would happily stick to things while burning - in think effictively they ended up making napalm by adding the antimisting agent. oops.
 
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