When Boeing recently announced their new "Sonic Cruiser" [see picture below], we were
astonished to note that it is simply a rehash of the same, old,
obsolete, conventional technology; A fragile tubular
fuselage with engines and landing gear attached to the fuel
tank supporting structure (in combination with excessively
high take-off and landing speeds on over-stressed tires), is nothing but a
recipe for a fiery crash. The acclaimed increase in cruising speed
to Mach .95 adds another questionable dimension, known to professionals
as the stall/mach buffet corner. Some call it 'the
coffin corner'. We believe Boeing has a duty to explain this
problem fully to the flying public.
What baffles so many people, is
that Boeing has known for decades how the Burnelli
configuration eliminates the aforementioned, fundamental flaws,
inherent in the conventional layout.
Boeing has also known the Burnelli
design places the bulk of the aircraft structure
around the passengers, which provides a safety cage for them in the event
of a crash. For Boeing to ignore these dramatic
Burnelli advances in air transport safety, despite
abundant empirical evidence and scientific facts, implies
a callous disregard for protecting passengers' lives.
In 1995, McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) and NASA said of the Lifting Body (BWB) aircraft they unveiled: "The
configuration resembles the Northrop B-2, and offers dramatic improvements in
aerodynamic and structural efficiency. Projections indicate a
fuel-burn saving of 28% relative to a conventional double-deck
transport of equivalent technology." Of course, they were
referring to a copy of Mr. Burnelli's 1940's aircraft design
technology and claiming some, if not all, of the benefits which
had been announced and repeated by Mr. Burnelli and his
company during the previous six decades.
What they didn't speak about is the dramatic improvements in
safety, due to the fact that on Burnelli/Lifting-Body aircraft landing gear and
engines are not attached to fuel tank supporting structure, and
take-offs and landings can take place at far lower speeds for
a given weight aircraft thus eliminating the greatest causes
of deaths which are fire and a lack of structural integrity of
Boeing knows that the conventional jetliner is riddled
with safety problems, because the accidents which have occurred
over the years have depicted this very graphically. Boeing
also knows it has never tackled the safety issue seriously; this was
recognized by Ken Luplow , a retired Senior Vice President of Boeing
in 1983! It seems to be Boeing's policy to
continue to ignore safety.
of Burnelli airliners would reduce air crash fatalities
1983 - Prof. E.J. Cantilli
New York Polytechnic
So why does Boeing refuse to recognize Mr. Burnelli and
his advanced technology? Would it be admitting to guilt over the
deaths of thousands over the last six decades due to their
unwillingness to build a safer, more economical aircraft during
We wonder how long it will take the legal
profession to finally latch onto the willful disregard for safety
in the design of modern aircraft. In fact, we are surprised
that the law profession has failed to bring up this disregard
for safety during lawsuits. Very curious indeed.
So we put it to you, why should we pay with our money and
our lives so that the run-amok misdeeds of corporations and
government agencies can continue to remain hidden?
The Boeing "Sonic Cruiser" doesn't impress us. We
hope you will make it known to the airlines you fly on as
well as to Boeing, that this aircraft does not embrace
available state of the art safety features. Why should we
settle for anything less than the best safety and economy in
aircraft? Remember that the Burnelli solution is more
economical than the conventional.
* "At Saab, safety is not
is an advertising slogan heard recently on
the radio. Use of this quote does not constitute an
endorsement by aircrash of Saab products nor
does aircrash receive any funds from Saab for
mentioning this advertisement. Nevertheless, Saab, like many conscientious car manufacturers have
taken safety seriously and provided for unforseen catastrophic events.