Engineering Status of the McDonnell Douglas HSCT Program 912215
A combination of factors including market growth and engineering technology advancements in the next few years have raised the possibility of an economically and environmentally viable high-speed commercial transport (HSCT). McDonnell Douglas studies have found that the primary candidate for this application is a vehicle cruising at Mach 2.4. An engineering and environmentally conservative configuration cruising at Mach 1.6 is also being studied. The vehicle incorporates numerous advanced features including an airframe consisting of advanced composites and metals. Takeoff gross weights are on the order of 700,000 to 800,000 pounds for a design range of 5,500 nautical miles. Studies are focused on entry into service in the year 2005, with the authority to proceed with preliminary and full-scale development in 1998.