Goodbye Future Transport Rotorcraft,
Hello Army Future Maneuver Aircraft?
"The ideal troop-carrier combat transport would appear to be a large transport of the twin-boom type for which personnel, artillery, and vehicles could be dropped. It should have a range of two thousand miles and should be equipped with self-sealing tanks, pilot armor, and a retractable track-laying undercarriage. This last feature would permit its landing and take-off in pastures and cultivated areas. It would thus be able to enter the airhead early in an operation, landing and taking off from areas normally suitable only for gliders".
--General James M. Gavin, Airborne Warfare, 1947
The U.S. Army has recently declared that its Future Transport Rotorcraft (FTR) is shelved indefinitely due to a lack of money since most funds are going instead towards buying vulnerable and inferior LAV-III/IAVs and developing the Future Combat System (FCS) rubber-tired armored car command post-on-wheels bombard & occupy fantasy. Fortunately, this may be a blessing in disguise for the U.S. Army.
Combined with the inefficiency of feeding passengers from small airports by small prop planes into large airports to fly in larger jumbo jets is the lack of security such an out-of-control situation creates made apparent by the 9/11 suicide airliner terror attacks and the infuriating lack of safety when people surrounded by fuel tanks crash in these jets. The American public is fed up with the airline industry status quo and its lies and excuses using relativity statistics to say "everything is a.o.k". Nobody wants to die in a fiery aircraft crash nor wait in line for hours to make a trip that direct-delivery in their personal ground automobile would almost get them there sooner. The time/speed advantages of air travel over ground travel are being "red-taped" away during the prop plane hops to the major airport hub and the long security check lines.
However, right now AirBUS with their 600-passenger deathtrap A380 is killing the American commercial airline industry (re: Boeing). Boeing led by wimps have given up on faster airliners like the Sonic Cruiser in favor of yet another "fuel miserly" and unsafe tube and wing airliner. We are going to lose our shirt to AirBUS who at least have a VISION of passenger comfort (until they crash & burn). Boeing isn't offering a vision. Let us offer one then. ITS AIRLINE SAFETY, STUPID.
After the 9/11 terror attacks that used airliners as suicide planes, Americans today have an all-time low trust in air travel---and rightly so---its not just terrorist acts, either---its the needless and insufferable aircraft crashes, caused by unimaginative aircraft designs best depicted in the film, "Fearless" and smug, cavalier attitudes by the air travel and aircraft manufacturer industry. Why doesn't America transfer unsafe, unused jet airliners to DoD to solve U.S. military airlift and strategic mobility problems???
Its time we solve the public's lack of confidence in air travel or there will not be an "aviation industry" to save.
With Burnelli ESTOL jet transports we will no longer have to endure the endless series of flaming aircraft crashes leaving burnt pieces of human beings all over our cable fed TV screens, as air travel is decongested reducing the fatigue and confusion that causes aircraft engine and airframe failures, collisions, human errors that result in fatal crashes.
Another bad reality is that when you land high-ground pressure rubber tired aircraft onto dirt assault zones, they rut the surface. As shown above from the southern Afghan airbase, engineers will have to constantly resurface the runways, taking time and effort. Refer to the report at the bottom of this page. So while wheeled aircraft can land onto dirt assault zones, it would be much better if they had TRACKED or ideally air cushion landing systems so the surface condition of the area will not be a limiting factor.
The Vincent Burnelli lifting body design could be applied to a seaplane....British designer H. Roxbee Cox proposed this 6-engined flying wing seaplane just before WWII...with an unlimited take-off run and the 100% lift efficiency of a flying wing, the SEAPLANE deserves another examination with modern technologies....
lso imagine if a Burnelli-type Extremely Short Take-Off and Landing (ESTOL) aircraft had
air cushion landing gear?
Concept courtesy of Mr. Ernest Zavala who is writing a book on the history of Burnelli aircraft...
Imagine setting up our troops anywhere around the world in less than 12 hours after leaving their U.S. home base and deploying them to surround the enemy in all terrain? Ride on a cushion of air and set them down without having to "daisy" bomb an area for landing an aircraft. Talk about them not knowing where we will strike!
Conclusion: Army can afford a New Future Aircraft for Decisive Maneuver if its got civil applications
For the full story see Goodbye FTR, Hello AFMA