Project: "REVOLUTION IN THE AIR"


Revolution in the Air: Photo by Dr Al Overholt 1996
Ships over Tehachapi California 1996
Extracts from the BUSINESS PLAN
COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS

© Copyright Dr Milson Macleod 2005

There is no effective competition from within commercial aviation. But there are a number of scientists and investors worldwide who have attempted similar projects.

The Military: Such shuttles (black 'flying saucers') have already been built by the American, German and Russian military, but are archaic in design and unreliable in operation, according to our ET expert engineers. Officialdom is unlikely to admit at all that these have been manufactured, although construction plants are known to exist in the Ontario, Quebec and the Peace River area of Canada; and in the states of Arizona, New York and Oregon/Washington, and Death Valley in California. Observation of past flights puts this beyond reasonable doubt. We do not know at the moment which companies actually constructed these craft and whether the military would release the information they have to existing aircraft manufacturers in competition to those designed under this project. [See the Secret NASA Connection to ET Technology] Even if they did, their archaic and inefficient technology is not sufficiently advanced to pose any commercial threat to our intended operations.

Private Projects: There have been many attempts over the past few decades to produce 'flying saucers' and there are several current projects by designers and investors, but none of them have the backing of ET engineers and therefore none of them are destined to be successful and make it to commercial production.

There are several designers and investors in Europe, where the most advanced project is in Poland, but a more sophisticated design is underway in Norway; there is activity in Holland, but the country is unsuited for such construction (another New Orleans waiting to happen) and they refuse government help - probably a sensible step; the designs and ET information available to most of them are pre-WWII and not that useful today.

While we would not object to any of those involved in current projects joining us, there is nothing in their technology which would be considered useful to us and constitute a bargaining tool. Our project is unique, is backed by the expertise of those who have access to millions of years experience in the development of such craft, and by actual engineers who are dedicated to ensuring that this project is successful.

Today's Jet Aircraft:
A B757 (jumbo jet) carries 250 passengers, sells for at least $100 million and maintenance runs at $6,000 per flying hour. The 737 model sells for $46-76 million, the jumbo 767 at $112-153 million. The European Airbus 380 costs $250 million, carrying 555 passengers. A Bombardier Q400 turboprop airliner lists at US $100 million. A jet engine alone costs $10 million these days.

A 100' diameter shuttlecraft on the other hand is a steal: it can carry around 50-200 passengers in great comfort and at great speed at a price of very much less than $10 million (the cost of just ONE jet engine), with only nominal maintenance costs. It would be extremely competitive even at $25 million or more. A 150' shuttle could carry many more passengers and be a substitute for today's "jumbo-jets". The useful lifetime of a shuttle has not been determined but should be much more than twenty years. Just as we believe in reducing pollution in the air, we believe in bringing down the high cost of flying, which has caused so many bankruptcies in recent times.

International Airports:
The cost of normal airport construction (up to $5 billion) has been examined, but there are so many differences that not too much is really relevant when it comes to a space-port. The major reduction in cost is the complete elimination of runways, which extend at times to 12,000 feet, the most expensive aspect and consuming much land that could be put to better environmental use. A landing pad for a shuttle requires firm and relatively even ground under all weather conditions, with emphasis on what is required for the approach of passengers and freight.

Space-ports (in reality the airports of the very near future) are seen initially as consisting of twelve operational landing pads, with each shuttle leaving (and landing) on average once every 4 hours during an 18 hour day (it could be much more), carrying 200 passengers in the equivalent of first class accommodations and paying a low $250 - $500 per return ticket. This could result in an annual income of over $1 billion to each space-port. It is assumed that shuttles/airlines operating initially would also be owned by the same group that owns the space-port. Eventually the airlines would be charged for the staff provided and a portion of the terminal costs, but this could still be made all-inclusive in the 'landing fee' which initially has been calculated at a nominal $2,500 per landing.

Once the service is fully developed, airlines could provide their own ticketing agents and equipment and the landing fee would be adjusted.

The Cost of Air Travel:
The shuttlecraft will be an irresistible offer. It creates an entirely new business environment.

With the low capital cost, non-use of fossil fuels, minimal maintenance, and high speed, the actual overall cost of operation would allow existing airfares to be reduced to approximately half of the current 'charter class' fare - or just a fraction of the full fare.

This in itself should result in an increase in passenger loading.

One could look at the ticket cost as $100 per hour of actual travel time. This would make a return trip from the West Coast of North America to a European destination just $400 return, at any time of the year. The ten-hour plus trip (sometimes as much as 24 hours with connections) by jumbo-jet would be reduced to less than two hours.

While we search for the most appropriate name for this new means of transportation, at the moment we refer to these shuttles as 'shuttlecraft' in the hope that the general public will find this term easier to adopt.


COMPARISON WITH EXISTING PRODUCTS

The Environmental Aspect:
As fossil fuels will not be used, the drive systems will produce zero atmospheric pollution, and emissions could be reduced theoretically by 100% once all existing jet aircraft are replaced. To airlines this represents a savings of 25% in aircraft operational costs. There would be no more routine jettisoning of fuel over cities, nor over oceans or rural areas, resulting in less pollution in the all these environments. This will contribute to improved health, as undesirable chemicals have in the past been deliberately mixed with jet fuel to cause illness and thereby bring additional benefits to the pharmaceutical industry.

There will also be zero noise pollution, a serious concern to residents living near airports today, and inevitable with jet engines - with noise over the 65-decibel mark, the threshold at which the government says major airports must outfit homes with thicker windows and other racket-reducing barriers.

It was reported from Britain in the Expat Telegraph on 27th September 2005 that "Thousands of homes in rural areas are being blighted by aircraft noise with the creation of new flight paths to cope with a surge in demand for flights from local airports. The need for more air space has been intensified further by the need to provide space for planes stuck in airborne traffic jams as they wait for a landing slot."

Time Management:
As time in the air for each flight is insignificant, the number of flights possible in a day can be immeasurably higher, without pilot stress, and without passenger exhaustion. Vancouver - Europe for example would take under two hours.

There would be no more need for on-board meals, whose quality has seriously deteriorated of late in order to cut costs, as the flying speed is such that little time is actually spent in the air - probably a maximum of 2½ hours on the longest non-stop flights. High quality, comprehensive food services would be provided at all major space-ports as adequate compensation.

Airport Design:
In view of this it is feasible to build a shuttle, with a small footprint and vertical take-off, holding a smaller number of passengers, but making more trips. The resultant movement of passengers will still be far greater than that possible with jumbo-jets, and long runways (actually all jet runways) and existing airports will eventually become history.

As taking on and depositing passengers with their baggage will take only a fraction of the time currently spent in airports, destination space-ports can be very small, not interfering with current air traffic, and be located in places which could never be considered suitable for conventional aircraft as there was no possible approach path for traditional aircraft. Under certain circumstances a space-port could even be served by a mobile office: at smaller tourist destinations, landings could be only once a week and still be economical in operation. Small towns could even open such a space-port and thereby boost their economy by increasing tourist traffic.

One of the major differences will be the changed business environment after the implementation of N.E.S.A.R.A.: there will be no more iniquitous extra fees added to ticket costs, departure taxes, airport improvement levies and the like, and the false, Gestapo-like 'security' impositions will disappear, with only a nominal immigration procedure in place where necessary, and computerized access to departure lounges. This will greatly improve the traffic flow, the enjoyment of the flying experience and undoubtedly greatly increase enthusiasm for air travel.

Security will be limited to preventing unauthorized entrance to all parts of the facility.

There would be no de-icing of aircraft and consequent delays.

There would be no more interference with wild life, nor birds sucked into jet engines.

Compact, one level construction (except for possibly offices and lounges) would simplify the movement of traffic, greatly reducing costs in all aspects of the operation, and limiting the need for on-site ground transportation. Alternatively, shuttlecraft could land on the second storey of a compact space-port, if necessary.

Customer Satisfaction:
Major customer dissatisfaction with current services is due principally to:

  • Overselling - More tickets are sold than the actual space available, as a percentage of customers fail to show up for their booked flight. This tactic is to reduce financial losses, but creates problems when all customers with tickets do arrive and there are no actual "NO SHOWS" causing some passengers to be "BUMPED OFF" their flight and possibly stranded at the airport, or causing financial loss by non-arrival at the required time/destination.
  • Requiring each customer to be issued with a seat number at the time of sale and the low-cost ticket to be non-refundable or only partially refundable would eliminate this problem. Failing which a standard policy of a portion of the ticket being 'non-refundable' would be more equitable all round.
  • Penalty Charges - A plethora of charges for the exact same flight exists, depending on when the ticket was bought, or other conditions. Sudden decisions to fly are penalized by exorbitantly high fares, reducing possible traffic; and any change of plans, resulting in a different route or timing being needed, are costly under present conditions, with the blame for this high pricing being put on 'government regulations' (set by the industry in the first place).
  • A fixed, year-round low charge would be more equitable, easier to administer and more acceptable to the general public.
  • Staff Discontent - Dissatisfaction at staff level shows up in below-par service to the customer. Staff should be well paid, provided with an attractive uniform, work reasonable hours when on duty, and be provided with an encouraging work environment.
  • We look upon this challenge as the "Rebirth of the Stewardess" (or Flight Attendant, as both male and female are accepted today). The stewardess was originally a nurse, able to tend to the needs of passengers under stress. We need not imitate today's "Hooters Airline" or fall back upon the "Come Fly Me" sexually-slanted slogans: just make each flight an enjoyable experience for all parties. The financial rewards will follow, as well as the satisfaction of having provided a benefit to all sectors of the industry.

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Revolution in the Air project: Ancient drawing of spacecraft