A new global rivalry? Airbus, Boeing, Comac and the future of aviation

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  • ℹ️ Published 2 years ago
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As the aviation industry attempts to recover from the devastating effects of the pandemic, we take an in-depth look at the future of flying. Will we soon be boarding commercial jets made in China? Or flying faster than the speed of sound? And what will the planes actually look like? Answers to these questions and more as Rob Watts reports on the future of flight.


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💬 Comments
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What do you think - what will the future of commercial aviation look like?

Author — DW News

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The Airbus jet in the thumbnail looks absolutely fantastic! Hope it comes to fruition! Boeing have sadly lost public trust, it doesn’t help that they lied about problems that plagued the 737 Max.

Author — Willie Nelson Gonzalez

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Boeing is promising that in the future you probably wont die on its 737 Max 8s after they get the bugs worked out.

Author — lordoftheflings

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It is good to stop the boing-airbus duopolio with China’s Comac but we need Brazil’s Embraer, Canada’s Bombardier, Rusia’s Sukhoi, Japan’s Honda to start to compete in the big passager planes.

Author — Martín Armendáriz

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Boeing please make sure your planes can fly the whole journey not just the first 10 mins

Author — MKAXIII 77

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I'm all for breaking up a duopoly, but not by copying and pasting a competitor's design. Comac airframes are copies of the older 757.

One trend that the author misses upon is the increasing prevalence of fly-by-wire which increases the amount of avionics and diminishes the relative value of the airframe. If Boeing is smart they will give licensing rights to other US-ally countries like India to manufacture their older versions of airframes, the way Lockheed Martin is doing with the F16s. And sell those to developing countries at a cheaper price, thus preventing a takeover from Comac.

Author — Migelon

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Embraer has an awesome aircraft: E2-195. I think she's going to increase her market share! Key word: low cost of maintenance.

Author — Marcel Moura

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I always choose Airbus and I will always do. I think only Airbus is doing the right thing towards green and safe commercial flight which I don't trust the other companies with their "strange and old new ideas".

Author — Dr. Wil

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The fundamental shape of an airplane has not changed much since 1910, with a box or tubular fuselage, wings up forward, and a much smaller tail section aft. A tubular fuselage is the most efficient way to handle the higher pressures inside. The wings up forward produce more lift than they would if the aft control surfaces were in the front. Supersonic planes will be for the super rich. And even then, there may be little public tolerance for the sonic boom noise pollution.
And there's no replacing the gas turbine. It's greater horsepower per weight trump's it's lack luster fuel efficiency. Besides, present-day jet engines are more and more resembling turbo-props everyday. I wouldn't be surprised if global climate concerns force us to fly slower.

Author — Bob Cornwell

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You could have mentioned, that the MC-21-300 has the advantage that it can use Russian built engines, what means that it's relatively independent from western suppliers. Therefore it may be interesting for countries, that have been imposed sanctions from western countries, such as the USA

Author — Evivox

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Love the idea of the flying wing, though I doubt one of them will make an appearance in the sky anytime soon

Author — Future Classics

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The future isn't about aircraft design as much as it will be about load efficiency.
The more efficient the aircraft carriers the cargo load, (whether it be people or product) and the efficient use of the aircraft (turn the around time/time not in use) is maximised, is where the future lies.
Aircraft design will match this theory and the engine power will depend on future technology.
Any other design of aircraft will also follow to be efficient, whether to save time, by going fast or being able to take off quickly and land in the shortest distance and time.
I look forward to the future.

Author — Roy HI

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“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” - R. Buckminster Fuller

In the cosmos of time the following holds true:

The burning of Hydrocarbons is ancient technology.
The semiconductor chip is also ancient technology.
The applications of both is also wrongfully applied.

Scientists and engineers need to engineer what's beyond their sight and what's beyond all of their senses to truly disrupt the future and push humanity FAR beyond what is impossible.

Author — diggleboy

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Blended wingbody shapes plus synthesized hydro-carbon fuel seems the obvious future. Hydrogen is simply too low in density to be practical and if we had a means of producing green hydrogen the additional step to make a green hydrocarbon is minimal allowing the vast existing fleets of aircraft to become green and most importantly not requiring airport retrofitting. Meanwhile the blended wingbody shape is maximally efficient aerodynamically so designs will converge on it.

Author — Kenneth Ferland

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It's depressing to see how little innovation has been made in domestic air travel over the past 40 years, hardly anything to note. From 1920 to the 1940s we went from biplanes to jetfighters. I'm sure the time it takes to travel from London to Paris in the past 40 years has increased not decreased, and comfort has gone downhill too. What the hells going on?!

Author — TheEvilEyeMaster

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Any competition that can break an entrenched duopoly is a good thing.

Author — MemoirsofaBasketcase

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I am studying Aeronautical engineering, so i hope the industry does not suffer greatly with this pandemic

Author — Guilherme Almeida

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If anything, recent years proved people were flying much more than they needed to. The biggest culprit in the pandemic is mass trans-continental tourism and unnecessary business trips that could have been easily replaced with conference calls etc.

Author — j_ch

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My idea to lighten the plane is to have it launched by a electro-magnetic catapult which launch the plane to cruising height and retrieve it withe a electro - magnetic regenerative breaking. It be like a ski jump 🛫🛬

Author — David Dreyer

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Hydrogen possesses the NFPA 704's highest rating of 4 on the flammability scale because it is flammable when mixed even in small amounts with ordinary air; ignition can occur at a volumetric ratio of hydrogen to air as low as 4% due to the oxygen in the air and the simplicity and chemical properties of the reaction. However, hydrogen has no rating for innate hazard for reactivity or toxicity. The storage and use of hydrogen poses unique challenges due to its ease of leaking as a gaseous fuel, low-energy ignition, wide range of combustible fuel-air mixtures, buoyancy, and its ability to embrittle metals that must be accounted for to ensure safe operation. Liquid hydrogen poses additional challenges due to its increased density and the extremely low temperatures needed to keep it in liquid form.

Author — Phaeton