DailyDirt: Supersonic Flights

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Remember the Concorde? It was the longest operating commercial supersonic aircraft that flew its last flight in 2003 after 27 years of service. With a cruising speed of 1,350 mph (Mach 2), the Concorde could fly from New York to London in under 3 hours. For more than 20 years, the Concorde was the fastest and safest airliner in the world, but a deadly crash in 2000 that killed all 109 people on board, as well as 4 people on the ground, precipitated the demise of the Concorde, which was already suffering from a general downturn in the aviation industry. There hasn't been a successor to the Concorde since it was retired, but perhaps the following are some possibilities. If you'd like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.


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    silverscarcat (profile), Aug 21st, 2013 @ 3:32pm

    I know this is a bit off topic but...

    http://i.imgur.com/dgPKtRz.jpg

    Remember yesterday how people were saying that it wouldn't be possible to mine asteroids because the rocket fuel costs would be to high?

    http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegallery/image_feature_2416.html#.UhU_yZLrwSl

    Nasa already has you covered.

     

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    Spaceman Spiff (profile), Aug 21st, 2013 @ 5:36pm

    Teleportation

    I think we won't see super/hyper sonic travel until we perfect the personal teleporter. Unfortunately, the Concorde (as far as I recall) did not have adequate range to cross the Pacific, so it was limited to US/Europe travel. If it had the chops to go from the US to Japan/Taiwan/Australia/China in one jump, it would still be here today, especially given it currently takes over 18 hours to get across the big pond, and for business people, time is definitely $$.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 6:10pm

      Re: Teleportation

      Is there broadband wireless internet on trans-Pacific/Atlantic flights yet? I'd think that would obviate some of the need for supersonic jets... Also, private jets probably reduce some of the time wasted by the TSA!

       

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      Ninja (profile), Aug 22nd, 2013 @ 4:07am

      Re: Teleportation

      Teleportation wouldn't cease the demand for propulsion to reach places where you still don't have the other end of the teleporter I'd guess. Still, if we reach that technology locally it would be awesome. I'd get 1 extra hour of sleep every day =D

       

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    cpt kangarooski, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 6:27pm

    The Concorde never had enough range for the Pacific (in fact, with refueling stops for the SST along the way, a nonstop 747 would have a shorter flight time). When land overflights at speed were banned, it was basically dead. As for reviving supersonic aircraft, there is a big problem of jet lag. Tourists generally just take the cheapest flight. High speed flights are mainly going to be used by business people who need face to face meetings. But what good is that if you're so jet lagged that you can't function adequately, and need time on the ground to recover?

    The shortest route from NYC to Tokyo, for example, is about 11,000 km (mostly overland; a supersonic route would be longer). A Concorde ran at about 2100 kph. So that's 5 hours 15 minutes if it was supersonic on that shortest route. If you leave at noon in NYC, you'd arrive at 5:15pm Eastern, but 6:15am Tokyo time. You'll want to go to bed by the time your lunch meeting comes along. That's not so good, given how pricey it'll be.

     

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    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, Aug 21st, 2013 @ 10:08pm

    Was Concorde Technically “Commercial”?

    Considering it never actually made money during its entire existence...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2013 @ 7:33am

    "Technically, the Sonic Cruiser isn't supersonic..."

    Maybe that's why they call it the SONIC Cruiser? Maybe? Perhaps?

     

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    Christenson, Aug 22nd, 2013 @ 7:36am

    TSA Delays

    To make the speedup of supersonic travel usable, you have to get rid of the TSA/security theater delays. Business supersonic travel also now competes with teleconferencing.

    A morning meeting in Tokyo on New york time on no notice is quite do-able by an energetic businessman.

     

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    swcowan3 (profile), Aug 23rd, 2013 @ 12:09pm

    supersonic flight/economics

    If enough rich folks want the fastest travel possible, some capitalist somewhere will provide it (Branson?). Unfortunately, unless/until it's profitable, don't hold your breath.

    I remember before the first oil embargo, when jets taking off stood on their tails to get to altitude ASAP, but you don't see that anymore!

     

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