Newton, MA—Want a sneak preview of the passenger plane of tomorrow?
The Sonic Cruiser is Boeing's next-generation jet, designed to fly at Mach 0.98 (over 705 mph). That's 20% faster than modern commercial planes. Cruising as high as 40,000 feet, the plane would have a range of over 10,000 miles, meaning more direct flights and fewer layovers. And that speed would reduce flight times by an hour per every 3,000 miles flown.
It's funny-looking, with a single large wing far back on the fuselage, and a pair of mini-wings—called canards—near the nose. Boeing has plans to build 100, 200, and 300-seat versions. And here's the kicker—if all goes well, this super-plane would have quieter takeoffs and landings than current planes.
Who could manage such a technological challenge? Boeing President and CEO Alan Mulally will deliver a keynote lecture at the Supply Chain Link Expo, a virtual trade show Oct. 17-18. Created by Cahners, this show is organized into five tracks—design, plan, source, make, and move—with pavilions, roundtables, and celebrity keynotes for each.
Kicking off the Design Pavilion keynotes is Mulally. He was general manager of Boeing's 777, which with its three million parts, 4,200 engineers, and 545 supplier companies was known as the biggest design engineering project of the last decade.
Also presenting keynotes in the design series are:
Brian Muirhead, Flight Systems Manager of the Mars Pathfinder Project at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. After successfully landing a rover on the Red Planet, his next challenge is Deep Impact, a mission to send a spacecraft into a comet in 2005, breaking the surface and peeking inside. He will discuss lessons learned from NASA's "faster, better, cheaper" projects.
Handspring President Jeff Hawkins, who arrived in the hand-held computer world in time to witness the demise of Apple's Newton and other early PDAs. By designing-in the customers' needs, he started Palm Computing and jumpstarted the sector. He has subsequently left Palm, founded Handspring, and launched another PDA called the Visor. He will talk about doing design with the customer in mind.
Overall, more than 7,000 attendees are expected to attend this two-day event, listening to lectures and technology broadcasts, and browsing exhibits and interactive product demonstrations. The curious can drill down for deeper data, using a browser to watch movies, listen to audio presentations, download specs, and contact a real live rep.
They can also listen in on roundtables, like "trends and innovations in automotive design" and "how to shorten the cycle." Webcasts will explore even more topics, like "the age of collaboration" and "bright ideas with materials."
To learn more about the event, and to register to attend at no charge, visit www.supplychainlinkexpo.com.