TOP 10 passenger aircraft that have never flown.
More and more airlines are withdrawing Boeing 747 aircraft from operational service, and production of the Airbus A380 - the largest passenger aircraft ever built - will be stopped in the near future. We are nearing the end of an era of giants.
However, there was another period in which aircraft manufacturers came up with more and more daring projects in the idea of building aircraft of gigantic proportions. And below is a list of 10 of them.
There is only one criterion for this list: the large number of seats available in the aircraft. Aircraft that have been built are not included here.
10. Proposals for the extension of the existing planes, with one floor, in order to reach the capacity of 450 seats
Before entering the world of engineering fantasy, we must mention a few real planes that could expand to increase their capacity.
- Ilyushin The 86th it was built by the Soviets and tested in 1982. It had a capacity of 450 seats, but never entered the operational service.
- CRAIC CR929, the Russian-Chinese aircraft, which would have had a capacity of 440 seats, all in economy class.
- Airbus desire to expand aircraft capacity A350-1000 to 455 places in 2016
- The aircraft Boeing B777-10X could also be suitable for 450 passengers.
9. l Tupolev Tu-304: 500 seats
Tupolev's attempt to enter the widebody aircraft race, initiated by the Airbus A330 and Boeing 777, came in the early 90s.
The plane was said to be slightly smaller than its competitors, with a length of 62 meters and a wingspan of 57 meters.
It would have been equipped with a fuselage with a special oval cross section that would have allowed a larger capacity.
The aircraft should have been in operation in the early 2000s, but like many Russian projects of the time, it failed to leave the board due to lack of funding. As the new millennium began, there were attempts to revive it, but none was successful.
8. McDonnell Douglas MD-12: 511 seats
In an attempt to compete with the Boeing 747, which monopolized the long-haul flight market, McDonnell Douglas began creating the MD-11, the last of the 3-engine aircraft.
An additional engine was added somewhere in the process, turning the project into a double deck with four engines, slightly smaller than the Airbus A380.
The project was approved in partnership with Taiwan Aerospace, but did not receive orders. The airlines had no interest in the aircraft, which was only large and much more expensive than a B747. Even in the completely economical configuration, the MD-12 would have had only 511 seats.
7. McDonnell Douglas MD-XX: 515 seats
Realizing that the MD-12 project would not happen, McDonnell Douglas engineers began another project. In 1994, a simple extended version of the MD-11 aircraft was introduced. Stretching the fuselage to increase capacity to 515 passengers, in a completely economical configuration.
The result was actually higher, although it did not look as impressive as the previous model. It had the original wingspan of the MD-11 aircraft of 65 meters and a length of 71,6 meters. The investment required was still too large for the company, and the project was canceled later that year.
6. Boeing 747-700X: 650 seats
Boeing has been looking for ways to stay in the market. Thus, they tried to expand the 747 aircraft to allow a capacity of over 500 seats. The project involved the extension of the upper deck. Thus, the aircraft could have carried up to 650 passengers, while maintaining the autonomy of a regular 747-400.
In the end, Boeing could not find the right market for the new jumbo, although several Asian airlines were considered potential buyers.
5. The new Boeing plane: 900 seats
The 747X was just a second answer to the Airbus A380 project. Boeing's first move was to do something similar, but bigger. The New Big Plane (NLA) program, which did not even have an adequate number attached, should have been the winning ticket for the American manufacturer. A typical three-class configuration could have carried 606 passengers. The completely economical aspect could have had a configuration of 900 seats.
The project has been abandoned. Boeing has decided that the model is not what it should be. Even though there was a niche for planes with more than 500 seats, it was not big enough for two competing models.
4. Lockheed Martin VLST: 900 seats
Not to be outdone by Boeing and McDonnell Douglas, Lockheed Martin had its own answer to the A380: a very large subsonic model. Several prototypes have been proposed, including the one with delta wings.
The most conservative (and most realistic) would have had an oval section body with two axles, each with 450 seats in a two-class configuration. Cargo and van versions capable of carrying containers were also proposed.
The end result would have been only slightly smaller than the Antonov An-225 Mriya, but a design of a passenger aircraft of such capacity and size made it extremely impractical.
According to the documentation, the entire infrastructure had to be redesigned (something similar, but on a smaller scale, happened with the A380) to accommodate the aircraft. The development cost varied between 8 and 15 billion dollars, the production cost per unit reaching 200-300 million dollars. Eventually, the project was abandoned.
3. Airbus A380-900: 960 seats
The Airbus A380 was a revolutionary aircraft. Had it been considerably successful, Airbus would have continued to change its base and come up with a number of improvements, including a cargo and several extended versions.
By extending the original fuselage by a few meters, it would have increased the capacity from 555 to 650 seats or over 900 in a completely economical configuration.
None of the proposed variants has been produced, and in 2019 Airbus announced that it will stop production of the A380 until 2021.
2. Sukhoi KR-860: 1000 seats
It was a constant struggle of American and European manufacturers for an aircraft market of over 500 seats. The Russians said they should not be outdone and they also created an aircraft. In fact, they went further than other competitors, as Sukhoi only unveiled its double floors in 1999.
They claimed that the proposed aircraft could carry 860 passengers in a two-class configuration and up to 1000 passengers in a completely economical way.
In addition, the manufacturer has released an impressive scale model of the KR-860. The aircraft was destined entirely for the foreign market, because Russia did not have domestic routes to make it profitable.
Tupolev and Yakovlev's construction offices allegedly assisted Sukhoi in production, producing mainly the cargo version.
Development was discontinued in 2012. The reasons are unknown, but can be deduced.
1. Tupolev Tu-404: 1214 seats
This Russian giant surpassed all the other aircraft on this list (and almost everyone else), although it was designed in the early 90s.
As with the Lockheed Martin VLST, several variants have been proposed, including a mixed-wing design powered by six turboprop engines.
It, as well as a more conventional version with four engines under the wings, could have carried more than 1200 passengers on two decks in economical configurations. If the aircraft had been completed, it would have served with the Tu-304 in its own market.
The wingspan was 110 meters, almost rivaling that of the Scaled Composites Stratolaunch.
It appears that the project has been discussed with several potential buyers, although there is no indication that development has advanced beyond plans. A derivative of this project was considered Russia's new super-heavy military transport aircraft, codenamed PAK DA.
However, the idea was abandoned in favor of a more realistic project based on Tu-304.