Could SpaceX’s BFR replace traditional airliners?

Could SpaceX’s BFR replace traditional airliners?


In the year 1620, the Mayflower set sail on
a 64 day journey to cross the Atlantic Ocean, bringing the first Pilgrims from England to
America. In 1919, pilots Alcock and Brown completed
the first non-stop transatlantic flight from Canada to Ireland in under 16 hours. Today, 4 million people make the journey from
New York to London each year, taking them just 7 hours. Over the last 50 years, air travel has become
accessible almost everyone through the increase in airline safety and the reduction in ticket
prices. Ted: It’s an entirely different kind of flying, all together. Everyone together: It’s an entirely different kind of flying. But what is the next big step in air travel? In this video we’re are going to look at
how SpaceX plan to use their Big Falcon Rocket to transport humans around the world in record
time. We are also going to compare the BFR to traditional
airliners and see if orbital rockets could one day replace the aircrafts that we are
all familiar with. In 2017, SpaceX announced that they were seriously working towards using their BFR for Earth to Earth travel. Elon Musk: If you build a ship that’s capable of going to Mars, Elon Musk: Well what if you take that same ship and go from one place to another on Earth? Their plan involved a boat that would take
hundreds of passengers out to a floating launch site where a BFR would be waiting to take
them to their destination. The BFR would launch, separate from it’s
booster and perform a propulsive landing at it’s new destination. By leaving the Earth’s
atmosphere, it would allow the BFR to travel at much greater speeds than a traditional
airliner, therefore reducing flight times enormously. SpaceX predict that the BFR could travel anywhere
on Earth in under an hour and complete most international flights in under 30 minutes. Ted: Surely you can’t be serious. Dr. Rumack: I am serious, and don’t call me Shirley. With the BFR already under construction for
its first trip to Mars in the early 20’s, the reality of Earth to Earth rocket travel
may be closer than we think. However, before we start launching humans around the world on the most powerful rocket ever built, there are some enormous engineering,
economical and political challenges that have to be overcome In order to reach a safety rating which is
on par with traditional airliners, the BFR would have to reach a mortality rate of just 1 death for every 60 MILLION passengers, which the aviation industry achieved in 2017. So far, the spaceflight industry has only
achieved a rate of 1 death for every 31 astronauts, since out of the 564 people that have been
into space, 18 have died. Although this rate is improving with every
crewed mission that heads into space, we still have a long way to go in terms of safety. Not only will the BFR need to be the safest
rocket ever built, it will also need to be the cheapest to operate, if it wants to compete
with the commercial airline industry. Airlines: United, Delta and American all rely on international flights for a large percentage of their revenue. If SpaceX can make the ticket price for a
BFR ride low enough, they could start to make a dent in the traditional airline industry,
not to mention the logistics industry, who stand to benefit if they can start delivering
cargo 25 times faster than an airliner. In order for SpaceX to challenge the commercial airline market, they will need to master the art of rocket reusability. The average price for an economy ticket from
New York to Shanghai costs around $550. According to Musk, the BFR will have a similar capacity to the Airbus A380 at around 850 passengers. Given a similar ticket price, SpaceX would
collect around $467,000 per flight. However, at that price, SpaceX would struggle
to make any profit once they factored in the cost of fueling and launching a rocket of
that size. This is where the importance of reusability
comes in. The Falcon 9 currently costs around $37 million
to manufacture, which is considerably cheaper than an A380, but only 75% of the Falcon 9
is reusable and still requires a lot of costly refurbishment, only to be thrown away after
about 10 flights. Compare this to an aircraft like the Airbus
A380 which typically has a lifespan of around 27 YEARS and can make about 35,000 flights
before being retired. If these airplanes were thrown away after
just a few flights, there wouldn’t be a market for commercial air travel. Unlike the Falcon 9, the BFR is designed to
be fully reusable and able to endure hundreds of flights before any refurbishment is needed. So for a flight like New York to Shanghai,
the ticket price for a BFR ride will need to be somewhere between economy class and business class in order for SpaceX to make a profit. One of the biggest challenges of all will
most likely come in the form of seeking government approval. Getting governments around the world to co-operate
and approve something so complex and risky is not going to be easy. So to protect the population from falling
rockets and to reduce the sound disturbance, the BFR will initially launch and land at
sea. This is another obstacle for BFR passenger
transport since it would only be able to travel between big coastal cities, leaving the traditional airliners to take care of the small regional flights. Another objection to BFR Earth travel is the
intense acceleration that passengers will be put through during launch and landing. Elon Musk mentioned that the G-forces would be similar to a roller coaster ride at around 2 or 3 G’s. This rules out a large chunk of the population
like the elderly, pregnant women and those with heart conditions who will prefer to fly
on a cheaper and more comfortable ride which airliners currently offer. So although the idea of rockets replacing
airliners is currently just a dream, which many people think is impossible, It’s important to remember that the same thing was once said about airplanes. To understand where we are in terms of the
aviation curve, let’s look at what things were like in the early days of airplanes. Back in the early 20th century, the only airplanes
that existed were being built in people’s garages and looked like this. Then, the government realized that airplanes could be used for delivering mail to other parts of the country. So they started to give out contracts with
prize money to those who could build the plane that travelled the fastest, the highest and
the furthest. Airplane technology started to develop and
planes became safer, engines became more advanced and the planes themselves started to grow larger and larger, allowing them to carry more mail. Then, people started to realize that instead
of carrying mail, they could carry people. The airline industry was born. Throughout the first and second World War,
the need for advanced airplanes was at an all time high and aircraft technology developed
rapidly with the first jet powered aircraft going into service in 1943. Fast forward to 2018 and it’s easy to see
how much things have improved. Air travel is now one of the safest forms
of transport and airplanes are capable of flying 9,000 miles whilst carrying 850 passengers
at a time. We really have come a long way! So although the idea of travelling around
Earth in a rocket is met with many obstacles. It is very exciting to see that such an ambitious
idea is actually being pursued. What do you think of BFR Earth travel? Will it come to fruition or will struggle
to reach the safety standards of traditional airliners? Let me know in the comments below. If you enjoyed this video and would like to contribute to Primal Space, please visit: Patreon.com/PrimalSpace where we will be doing a giveaway of a Saturn V Lego set once we reach 50 Patrons. So make sure you’re subscribed so you can join in the discussion as we continue to learn more about all things space. Thank you very much for watching and I’ll see you in the next video.

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Comments

  1. INTERESTING OVERSIGHT : you omitted the cost to the environment of such flights. Was that deliberate? With 1000s of flights per week, CO2 gas emissions and other poisonous substances from the worlds most powerful rocket engines would further pollute Earth's atmosphere. RICH elitists might boast about taking New York to Paris flights in under an hour, but at what cost to the Earth's biosphere? And what about the energy costs of retrieving rockets boosters? With reusable sections only getting 10 reuses, add that cost into the pollution/energy/ use equation too. Then passengers have to climb into boats for trips back and forth to the Space X Launcher /Landing platforms. That's another CO2 + pollution cost to the environment. It looks like routine air travel aboard SpaceX Rockets has a long way to go before the Safety and Cost efficiencies you discuss are fully realized. Moreover, the environmental costs may be THE MOST PROHIBITIVE FACTOR, considering how the GREEN LOBBY has become such a powerful influence over policymakers in Government.

  2. Cool idea! Wondering about the environmental impact though. Will this be better/worse than current aviation methods?

  3. Bull crap !! This is all propaganda crap to help push government narratives. This won’t ever happen because it’s all fake! Just like the moon landings and space station. It’s all a giant money grubbing scam!

  4. Beam me up scotty!!!welcome to dildo airways! prepare for the landing strip,Gonna be a wet slider on entry pmsl 😆 sorry about the grammar!!!..

  5. I'm amazed that economically it's not as implausible as I thought – at competitive ticket prices it looses money, but only just. I'd have thought it would cost 100x as much. And this is all assuming a two-stage rocket, which I'd think is unnecessary – the two-stage design is for flight to Mars, which requires vastly more delta-V than a suborbital spaceflight of this sort, I think just the upper stage on it's own would probably be fully capable of that. This would mean less fuel, less complexity and amount of vehicle, and be much simpler operationally as there wouldn't be a need to recover and refurbish the lower stage then lift the upper stage back onto the lower stage with a crane as shown. It could just land on the pad, refuel while passengers (or freight) unload and load, and be ready to go again. As for the safety consideration, I'd question those data points as it's number of fatalities per number of people who have flown in space, not considering that many of those have numerous times, while the airplane probably looks at number of passenger-flights regardless of how many of those people (the vast majority of them surely) had flown before. Similarly, if done on a large scale rocket flight would become much safer, the reason planes are so safe is because we've pretty much found most of the ways that planes can crash and fixed them, while rockets we're still learning such. Overall this video actually makes it sound a lot more plausible than I would have thought. Also, for landing places – there are also inland deserts on most continents that could be used as a landing and launch site, connected to somewhat distant population centers (and conventional airports) via high-speed trains.

  6. Being a follower of Elon Musk, I feel confident that he or someone like him will figure out all the challenges and obstacles and bring this dream to fruition, albeit maybe not in the very near future.

  7. No, of course not because it's a much too wasteful and expensive. Next (stupid) question, please.

  8. I have no doubt this will become a reality someday. Its all about economies of scale, the more rockets and passengers you have, the cheaper it will get to develop the factories and train people to make/work these rockets. The only real issue is the fuel needed, they could use hydrogen made on-site if they are based by the sea, it would save transport and storage costs.

  9. 会取代洲际旅行,但内陆短距离一定无法取代,另外也只有上位阶层才会选择它,因为时间对他们更重要

  10. Why is elon musk building space x = space 6? To rip-off stock buyers and investors. 5 to rip-off taxpayers with the help of the government. 4 to disconnect the world from God by keeping this Freemason lie alive. 3 to disguise the fact that he is not even a man. But a secret Baphomet trick and his wife is the man/ see mother musk. 2 To hide the fact that he is an enemy to God our Creator. 1 to distract you from the fact that he is therefore too, an enemie of humanity and mankind.

    And therefore also my enemy.

    Now get bent you worthless Sodomite.
    We are coming for you, you clown.

    we see You archon,
    we see You sheitan
    we see You Sodomite

    Beware ye deceiver beware, God raised an Army

    Samuel Company.

  11. So your average air travel customer is supposed to be able to tolerate the G-forces of a space launch? What a completely stupid idea.

  12. Comparing this paradigm to ships and planes is disingenuous – they are not equivalents. And, seriously, the guy saying he wants to decrease the carbon footprint of travel and autos is going to use ROCKETS with their terrible carbon footprint, heat dispersement and terribly loud operation?

  13. lol this project would honestly fail due to how many people will not want to go into on one these things, plus you would have to have this alive for a couple generations until more people get used to how fast it would go and how high it would go. space men already have a tough time landing a space shuttle today on a 15k feet runway what makes you think landing a rocket on a tiny island less than the size of the new yorks statue of liberty island would be so easy, not even taking account how much fuel these things would waste and how often you would have to build them etc.

  14. This isn’t true, There are many many people who will pay the big price to get from China to U.S in less than an hour. Millionaire business people will use it quite frequently.

  15. THERE IS THE ABILITY AND KNOW HOW TO TRAVEL THE STARS, ITS THE WILL POWER THATS MISSING…BUT IT TOO WILL COME ONE DAY, DOOM IS COMING TO THIS PLANET SOONER OR LATER, JUST A FACT, WE AS A SPECIES NEED TO BE READY BEFORE HAND..

  16. The challenge here is not only just how long it take to get to your destination. Sure, it may take only 30 mins to fly from US to Australia. But you will also need to wait at least 2 hours every time between fly to proceed through custom, standing in line, checking luggage, waiting to get your luggage when you arrive, and all of the other procedure.

  17. 1800 average speed, 6mph. 1900 average speed, 60 mph. 2000 average speed 600 mph. 2100 average speed, ?.

  18. You're pricing it wrong.

    SpaceX's completion isn't transcontinental flights, but instead private corporate jets that cost thousands of dollars an hour per passenger to operate.

    For people who cost corporations thousands of dollars an hour to hire, flying to far side of the planet in three hours would be worth several thousand dollars a ticket.

  19. Not possible in our lifetime. But it will be used by CEOS, superstars and the military of countriees that need to ship contigents of soldiers very fast

  20. Do you understand THIS -> video?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jtr5WkUsYDk AFFECTS MILLIONS OF
    HOME-Owners losing their homes.

  21. you totally skipped saying who will fly the rocket BFR do we have such trained professional yet easily available ? where is the simulation center for them to be trained ? On the route of rocket BFR is dreaming to travel it detaches one part of it's body to earth atmosphere which generally falls back to earth but where ? no exact location if I am not wrong it needed search operation and then bringing it back to launching pad . More questions where is the radar system in earth to track BFR so all together Elon is just want to proof BFR will be a good alternatives of transport before the idea can be improved for people to transport in Mars. Which in other way you can say if for earth travel people dies the technology improves the projects struggles the design improves thus only this project can evolve for a safer space future.

    Actually if anyone thinks the way technology reaches here today, we are benefited from all of the inventions, innovations then that 'HOW' is missing from our perspective, so many things that has been sacrificed to reach here it to this stage is enormous I think

  22. I wonder how the 737 max affected that safety rating? probably not quite 2 per 16,000,000 but cba to do the math!

  23. I don't know how people can afford to fly as much as they do.  I think the cost is crazy when I search for flights.  $450 for an hour and 15 min flight?  Crazy.

  24. There is no such thing as AIRCRAFTS… the plural of aircraft is AIRCRAFT… why can’t people grasp this simple concept???

  25. So Far Impossible things already happened which was predicted impossible in history. So, I believe if Elon Mask can get humanity to the Mars than everything will be possible but just time by time we will face.

  26. Musk can make anything happen. Whatever he says he wants to accomplish I believe him. That dude is a genius

  27. Why…? Why talk about a BFR-use requiring passenger safety ratings on par with long-haul passenger aircraft (e.g., 35,000 for a Boeing 747) when it has yet to be man-rated for even a single flight?

  28. Up to which wind strength can Space X take off and land? I doubt that the rocket here can keep up with a passenger plane. So it is only flown in good weather or the take-off and landing sites are moved to where the weather is almost always good. The whole idea Space X is a gimmick for the super-rich, nothing more. Just like the bullshit with the flights to Mars.

  29. It'll probably be used as a public n private transport for moon colonization tbh if it can reach a state where it can launch orbit drop supplies for building return rinse and repeat it'll boost Mars colonization to an easier foundation to build from

  30. Theoreticaly yes.It could..But,practically not ..Because too expensive and only passengers like astronauts can travel in that vehicle..The time of travel may be shorter but it requires more time before getting in and out BFR and other preparations for take of and landing..If you compare a normal airplane; it can fly and land ,may be 4 times a day..Is it possible for a BFR? No..

  31. Who is going to pay a Elon Musk quarter of million too $1m if not more to do this? Too send people out into space come back down in a couple hours and pay for this kind thing? I don't see this catching on? unless they can bring the price down 2 reasonable prices.

  32. Oh you mean like what the Virgin galactic was supposed to do when they had the xprize 15 years ago in 2004.. And told us that virgin will have a hotel in space built by 2015??? Where is it. Oh wait now its spacex with its agendas.. Lol earth is flat. There is no space. You guys aren't going anywhere. Quit lying… Give it up lol

  33. I've read that F1 racing cars gobble 85 ltrs of fuel per 100 kms. I'm pretty sure a rocket would smash those fuel misers. Who can afford 30,40 or even 50,000 dollar an hour travel fares? Not this black duck. Seems to me all this carbon foot print shit is a massive Hoax? At the rate the world is burning fuel there's no need to worry about tomorrow. The next generation will be riding horses again.

  34. vehicles launched by rocket can't be any close to traditional airliners.
    for large scale civil transportation use, a new type of drive technology is needed.

  35. I think they should first start with cargo .. Then set up helipads and other fast transfer Infrastructure for humans to travel till the Launch pads & demonstrate safety for it to become successful…

  36. It will NEVER BE the safest and cheapest…not possible. And I am a SCREEEEMING teenage groupie girl waving my panties at elon…..just sayin…

  37. Huge factor overlooked is not only making a long international flight go from 14-17 hours to less than an hour, but you going into space too. Weigh less for over 15 minutes and awesome view of Earth. Many would pay over $10,000 just for that. Imagine the vacation package. LA to Australia in 30 minutes, see Earth from 150 miles up, weighless for $10k. Likely would be booked solid for months on end.

  38. Yawn, stophiding the electro magnetic space ships we got ffs. This tech is so ghetto compared to what we really got. lol Seriously, enough playing in the sandbox already. word!

  39. I think the video failed to compare Starship with the airliner that most closely resembled it in speed (not so much, but still, more than other airliners), price and problems of where it could take off and land: the Concorde.

  40. I can’t imagine what routine air traffic would be like with many, many rockets flying hither and yon at the same time.

  41. Wait mars mission in early 20' hmm first rocket built in 1928 a firs usable rocket is a v2 in 1944 first men in space 1962 first men in moon 1969 and a last 1972 first secson of ISS bild in 1998 and a first man flight to mars in 2020'. why not move to moon?Moon only 384 000 km and 1/6 a gravity and no atmosfere.And bild a moon base and bild a rocket on a moon and and we go from the moon to the mars much cheaper and easier than earth mars flight.

  42. Men.. thats not about efficiency, travelspeed and that facts.
    You just can compare between fly by plane or fly by spaceship.
    That wouldn't need low prices.

    A LOT OF PEOPLE WOULD PAY 20,000-30,000$ JUST FOR SEE THE EARTH FROM SPACE AN FEEL LIKE AND ASTRONAUT
    The first flies could cost 30,000$ and be full. Later would be lowered that prices, to 20k, 18k, 15k and finish on something between 5k or 10k

  43. Elon is looking to capture whole Airbus industrie, I won't pay $1000 more, just to cut time, look for how much oxygen it will consume, one accident and 850 people gone in seconds.

  44. Whatever will be..PLEASE keep ur seatbelts fastened until the aircraft HAS come to a complete stop..imagining the bloody idiots get out as fast as possible.. or the "influencers" in their stories "see that's me with the moon and zodiac sign xyz in the background..if u wanna know more how to book such a flight and how to collect 1BN miles and more miles then subscribe… -.- lol

  45. Nobody wants to fly in a missile that has
    17 Raptor missile engines. They cause
    such a powerful jarring and shaking that
    your teeth fly out of your face.

  46. NO cause the passengers in the BFR needs to train 1st before going in it and it will be to expensive to train and fly it

  47. but this will be hard because if u get launched u will fell a dizziness. because of the speed u well fell a lot that u not even know what happening and astronomer have a test for the launch

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