My love of the big, weird, and military aircraft has made me neglect the humble workhorse transport. Until now. What I’ve taken an interest in is the world of air cargo and charters, especially cargo charters. So in terms of looking at never-were designs, this leads me to see something and ponder where its place in the commercial air ecosystem would be.
In most cases this is be pretty obvious. Where a superjumbo goes and where a tiny STOL plane goes are very simple. Likewise for any one craft in between. The biggest issue comes from the real exotics, like supersonics and VTOLS. I guess you could be reasonable and say “clearly their expense makes them impractical for civilian air transport at all”, but where’s the fun in that?
Furthermore, looking at air transport in general has given me flashbacks to my first novel. After all, the airline industry is incredibly low margin (at best!), volatile, and has very few ways of distinguishing one participant from another. So is the sports betting industry….