Military Aircraft and Their Effect on Commercial Aviation Term Paper

  • Length: 8 pages
  • Sources: 6
  • Subject: Transportation
  • Type: Term Paper
  • Paper: #91891162

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Military Aircraft and Their Effect on Commercial Aviation

Civil aviation deals with the organization and use of aircraft as a means of commercial transportation. The principal interest is the use of aircraft on scheduled and chartered flights to carry passengers and cargo, but the subject also covers the use of aircraft for pleasure, business, and medical services. Because of the international character of civil aviation, governments play a major role in its conduct and regulation, through both national legislation and international agreements. This governmental influence was a major factor in commercial airline operation until the early 1980s, when the U.S. domestic market was deregulated. The result was a massive increase in competition, which led in turn to a reorganization of the airlines into larger groupings. It seems likely that this process will continue in the international market, which will lead to an increase in air travel, and increased pressure on airports and air traffic control.

The history of commercial aviation can be traced back to the period after the World War II.That particular period of time saw the rapid growth of the commercial aviation. Commercial aviation which is also referred to as civil aviation involves the use of airplanes for the purpose of transporting persons and cargo in the civilian domain.

The design of the World War II marked a very important turning point to the world of civilian travel. This is because the development and support of the commercial airlines was mainly done using the military ideas and personnel who were now having enough experience to practice their skills that they had acquired during the period of World War II.The rapid growth of commercial airline is attributed to the evolution the military aircraft. The positive military airplane elements that lead to significant contribution to the field of commercial airplanes is the presence of very heavy and super heavy airframes that were derived from the military bombers such as the B-29.The B-29 and the Lancaster could very easily be converted into commercial airlines.

The second leap in the field of commercial airlines involved the method of coming up with airplanes that could have very long flying hours. In order to achieve that fete, it was necessary to identify a military airplane that could offer very long services while airborne. This lead to the adoption of the DC-3.The DC-3 could easily make very long commercial flights without many problems.

The year 1952 saw the introduction of the first commercial airline. The airliner was called the British De Havilland Comet. This was later to be adopted by the British state as the official commercial airliner. The plane had a very successful technical achievement by the standards of the time. The plane however had to be redesigned as a result of various forms of fatigue that were noted openly. An example of the defects that the plane had included the highly visible cracks on glass windows .This was a reflection of the actual fatigue that was taking place on the metal frame. The cause of the fatigue was later identified to be caused by the constant fatigue cycles due to very high levels of pressurization and depressurization of the plane's cabin. The fatigue cycle eventually lead to the catastrophic failure of the entire fuselage of the plane (Shulman, 2003).

The next commercial airplane was developed by the Russians was called the U.S.S.R.'s Aeroflot. For a long time, it maintained the lead in being the world's biggest carrier. The design of Aeroflot made it very possible to maintain and operate very regular jet operations. The world war II saw the focus of the production of the Aeroflot shifted towards military ambitions. It was used to ferry military arsenal and serviceman to various battlefront. This called for a more elaborate and safe design. The inclusion of Aeroflot in the military service therefore can be seen as a positive source of developmental momentum since it made it necessary to increase its engine power together with the fuselage load carrying capacity the commercial variant of Aerofloat was called the Tupolev Tu-104. Later on Boeing 707 was introduced. This increased the level of comfort and safety experienced in the airline industry to very high standards. This marked the beginning of the Jet Age.The breaking of the speed of sound by Chuck Yeager in 1947 was made possible through the incorporation of the military rocket powered airplane's engine of Bell X-1 into the aircrafts design. The fete is however challenged by others to have been achieved by the fighter pilots who performed various skydiving maneuvers as they bomber various ground targets (Shulman, 2003)

The continuing military prowess between the different superpowers in the Jet Age resulted to the attainment various fetes. It was due to Soviet Union's development of several missiles that offered long-range capabilities that resulted to the development of faster aircrafts. The Soviet Union's long-range bombers were designed with a primary intention of delivering nuclear warheads to both North America and Europe. This caused a lot of panic in the Western States and they responded by developing faster interceptor airplanes whose role was to destroy the soviet members before they fly to their intended targets. This was a very positive motivation for the design of better and faster airplanes. They reacted by commissioning Canada to develop Howe, an interceptor airplane whose speed was the fastest at that time. The interceptor plane was however soon replaced with better and more efficient guided missile systems.

The influence of military aircraft design on the commercial air travel can yet again be seen in the development of the Harrier Jet. The jet was able to accomplish very astonishing fete of Vertical takeoff and Landing. The military was for a long time interested in building aircrafts that could easily evade missiles while possessing stealth capabilities. This military ambition has lead to the design of very fast commercial airliners such as the concord that can travel very long distances within a very short period of time.


The other element of commercial airlines that is borrowed from the military airplane designs is the avionics. Avionics refers to the electronic systems that are an essential part of an aircraft. The electronic system is mainly used in order to provide support and information in regard to the aircraft status, the communication elements, and the navigational elements together with the display systems. The airplanes avionics is an essential part of the plane and it comprises of a series of systems that are strategically placed on the plane in order to provide specialized roles. The avionics that are borrowed from military airplane include the navigational systems and the much important Airborne Early Warning Systems.

The development of the GPS technology which is a crucial element in the navigation of commercial airplanes was initiated by the U.S. military in 1972 at their U.S. Air Force Central Inertial Guidance Test Facility at the facility they conducted and developed several flight tests using the very first two prototypes of the GPS receivers over. The test was done over White Sands Missile Range by means of pseudo-satellites that were based on the ground. The GPS technology was later to be developed to be used by several corporations to help in navigating various equipment. The technology has been successfully adopted in the field of commercial/civil airplanes for use in navigating both the airplane and tracking its position. The technology can also be used in missile detection and countermeasures.

The other important and crucial avionics of the plane are those that help in the real time monitoring of the plane engine status and general system status.

Commercial Airlines Defense system

There are several elements of commercial airline system that are having their origin pegged on the military airplane application. A perfect example is the collision avoidance system that sis designed in order to prevent the airplane colliding with other airborne objects such as other airplanes. The other element of military plane design that has been successfully been incorporated into the commercial jetliners is the missile defense systems. The current jet lines are equipped with some of the latest military defense gadgets.

The increasing chance of terrorist activities that target commercial airlines has necessitated the designers of the commercial airlines to come up with safe and better methods of protecting all the passengers from the rampant acts of terrorism. This is through the inclusion of the military BAE systems that are modified in order to provide the plans with a missile counter-measure mechanism that is initiated automatically in order to protect that commercial jetliners from missile attacks.

The process of adapting the technology includes the inclusion of a common module for missile warning and a special turret that generates a laser bean with a sensor to be used in the process of identifying the sensor eye of the incoming missile. The system offers a very high mean time between failures in the form of hundreds of hours.

Other jetliners include the hot metallic chaff discharge mechanism to protect the airline from being attacked by…

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