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These possibilities were cited by Raymond L. Bistplinghoff, Director, Office of Advanced Research and Technology, National Aeronautics and Space Administration.1 He emphasized the fact that

"Most of NASA's research effort on subsonic is concentrated on
vertical or short take-off and landing types. For military use in limited war, the requirement for an aircraft capable of rapidly transporting troops, support equipment and supplied to and from areas close to the combat zone has emphasized the need for V/STOL aircraft.

"For commercial aircraft, practical use of the VTOL or STOL transport is
foreseen in providing faster service in regular inter-city shuttle flights of medium-range vehicles from relatively small, 'close -in' airports where steep climbout and approaches are desired to avoid noise nuisance and building interference. ...Such aircraft could also be utilized in transporting passengers to terminals servicing supersonic transport aircraft: this 'feeder' -line transport would provide more rapid transit to these terminals (which will be few in number and remotely located), with little interference to other transport operation. There is evidently a sizeable potential market if noise, traffic control and cost problems can be solved."

The question is one of timing. If vertical-lift (VTOL) aircraft are to play a major role in meeting the total intercity transportation needs of the traveling public, operating costs must drop far below those now visualized. (By "major role" we mean a significant participation of total passenger travel over short-haul segments.) We believe that demand characteristics of the total market, considered in relation to air vehicle operating costs, preclude anything but a minor participation in the total intercity market in the next 10 years.

The reason is that the bulk of the total intercity market is composed of personal travel and, although the use of vertical-lift aircraft may reduce travel time in short-haul passenger journeys, the value of the time savings may not be recognized by the potential traveler if there is a substantial cost differential. About 80 per cent of all intercity travel is made for personal reasons and, although travelers are always interested in saving time, there is little that they will pay much of a premium for saving time on other than long-haul trips when they are paying the premium out of their own pockets.2

Also, the convenience and the operating costs of the private automobile constitute powerful competition for any form of common carriage in extemely short hauls. Private automobiles can be operated on a door-to-door basis and trips can be made without regard to fixed schedules. A true comparison of auto and common carrier costs is extremely difficult to define because of the manner in which the passenger regards automobile costs. Although the costs of owning and driving an automobile can be computed under various assumptions as to utilizations,3 it is still a question as to what costs


1 "Status and Promise of Vertical Lift Aircraft", Connecticut General Life Insurance Company Flight Forum, May 1963.

2 Conclusions reached in a recent study devoted to the value of travel time for passenger cars is as follows: "While the importance of the value of tome has been recognized for over three decades, this study confirms that there is little confidence in the numerical value that should be placed on time savings is the fact that almost 60 different values were found. They range from about $0.38 ($0.24 per person-hour) to $4.80 per vehicle-hour. The most commonly used figure is $1.55 per hour, which is recommended by the American Association of State Highway Officials." 

[[Underlined]] The Value of Travel Time of Passenger Cars: a Preliminary Study, prepared for: Bureau of Public Roads, Department of Commerce by Stanford Research Institute, Menlo Park, California, Jan. 1963

3 These are shown in Chapter V, Table V-10.

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