NGP 'eRumors' and Other Online Myths

1:10 PM

For as long as the Internets have been around, people have been posting all sorts of wild stories about every conceivable subject, including aviation. These tales are called “Urban Myths” on the street, and “eRumors” online.

Recently I found a site called truthorfiction.com that serves the web community by delving into many of these stories and either proves them to be truth, or debunks them as fiction.

On their aviation page, here the kind of headlines that have been posted:

Pictures of the sound barrier-Disputed!

Satellite Pictures of Shuttle Columbia Disintegrating-Fiction!


Carrier pictures of secret new stealth fighter?-Fiction!


Advanced Russian fighters found in the sand in Iraq-Truth!


New Boeing 797 Giant "Blended Wing" Passenger Airliner-Fiction!


The Pentagon was not struck by a hijacked jet on September 11-Fiction!


Jet fighters' formation spells USA-Fiction!


The one that caught my eye was the headline about one of aviation's hottest eRumors, the Boeing 797. Truthorfiction.com investigated, and here is their response:

The story says that the Boeing Company is developing a radical new passenger jetliner that will carry 1,000 passengers. It's designated the 797 and is a "blended wing" design looking a lot like the old flying wing experiments of the 50's. TruthOrFiction.com went straight to the source, the Boeing Company. A spokesperson said that it is not true that Boeing is developing a commercial blended wing aircraft. He asked that we help stop the perpetuation of the story. What is true, according to Boeing, is that Boeing Phantom Works, the company's advanced research and development organization, is doing research on the blended wing body design as a potential military aircraft. Boeing has built a scale model to test its low-speed flying characteristics in a wind tunnel.
So I thought that in the interest of starting more eRumors, I'd post the photo above of Cessna's new NGP, caught on the super-secret Av8rdan SpyCam a couple of years ago. The photo clearly shows that Cessna has now chosen the power for the nextGen aircraft. Engineers in Independence and Wichita have chosen to mount four AlliedSignal ALF502R jet engines on the NGP, each producing 6,700 pounds of takeoff thrust. This same engine was used successfully on the BAE-146 jet airliner for many years:
A super-secret anonymous source close to the Cessna Skunk Works revealed the company's choice of four jet engines producing 26,800 pounds of takeoff thrust on an airframe weighing an estimated 3,100 pounds. “We wanted the NGP to be able to cruise in the 700-850 mph range,” the super secret anonymous source said. “We wanted a takeoff run of 12-18 feet, and wanted the owner to be able to fly a typical $100 hamburger run of 250NM in about 15 minutes, wheels up to wheels down. The weight of the four ALF502Rs do however cut into the full-fuel payload somewhat, but even so, the NGP will still be able to safely carry the pilot and one small Chihuahua aloft.”
The power of the Internets to start these crazy eRumors is immense. Now all I have to do is sit back and watch this rumor of a jet-powered NGP explode across cyberspace.

Or not.

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