However, thanks to better gearbox designs since then (which allow the switch to ten-bladed propfans), this will allow for slower fan speeds with far less noise and less danger in case of blade failure. The Fozzie concept could actually work for an airline like Southwest Airlines flying routes under 900 nautical miles in length, where cruise speed performance is less critical. For example, this plane would be perfect for Southwest's intra-California routes and routes between California and Nevada/Arizona; another place such a plane would be useful is intra-Texas routes.
Now you mixing Turbo-Prop (With gear box), with Turbo-Fan's (No gearbox) The "Open Rotor" UHB, or UDF is a derivative of the Turbo-Fan. No Gearbox involved.
If you spin the prop slower, the plane is going to go slower, which is unacceptable.
As Jesse says, Keep hope alive.
Me, being a realist, know that the UDF is dead. To prove my point, here is the the GE UDF test bed aircraft crashed for a movie prop. No Air and Space Museum for it. After the first flight, everyone pretty much knew it had no future.
I personally think it sounds cool (and if there were only a couple of them, I wouldn't mind), but it aint 1944 anymore.