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Future jet travel - 4 hours to anywhere, for just $100 ?!?

CNN has this article, about supersonic flights that would be fast, cheap, and environmentally better. This is 20 years away, but taking off where Concorde left off. Key issue at the moment is that no existing engine technology can withstand the intense heat that the newer engine would generate.
http://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/boom-supersonic-four-hours-100-bucks/

Projected supersonic flying (Mach 2 to Mach 4) requires super-streamlined design, so wide-body jets will go the way of a brontosaurus. But with such short flights, instead of forking over extra money for a business-class lie-flat bed, you can sleep in your own bed, fly to your destination, and then sleep there - no need for airborne sleep.

Posted by
737 posts

A nice dream, but a dream. In the early 1950s they said Nuclear fuel would save the world, electricity so cheap there would be no need to bill for it....yeah that happened. But dreams are needed -glad to see them back!

Posted by
2828 posts

Since I'll be long dead and buried before this happens, I'll give my little grandson a heads up to watch for when he's all grown up. He'll be able to use his personal flying car to get to the airport.

Posted by
581 posts

To sleep, perchance to dream of such wonders.
Possibly revolutionary thinking for an industry that has operated in a single economic mode for decades. Not a company I will be investing in but I wish them all the best.

On NBC's Saturday Night Live, Weekend Update (2021.05.21), the joke was: "So get ready to fly fast and cheap on the only airline to be named after the sound of an explosion."

Way down at the end of the CNN story is this tidbit: "Boom's hottest competitor in the supersonic race is Florida-based Aerion, which in March 2021 unveiled its plans for a Mach 4+ commercial airliner called Aerion AS3 which would be capable of carrying 50 passengers."

Posted by
377 posts

"Key issue at the moment is that no existing engine technology can withstand the intense heat that the newer engine would generate."

That's like saying, "I can teleport anyone from Seattle to London instantaneously for only $100!!
(as soon as someone invents a teleporter)"

-- Mike Beebe

Posted by
9329 posts

They would also have to change the law in the U.S. As of now, commercial aircraft are not allowed to travel faster than the speed of sound over the USA. This is reserved for military aircraft only. The government doesn't want mass complaints about the noise.

When the Condorde was flying, it had to stick to subsonic speeds while over the USA and could speed it up over the ocean.

The Concorde had a tragic ending with a crash. It will be a long time to work this one out and make it safe enough for commercial use. Sounds like a NASA rocket style plane. I’m all for it though.

Posted by
1235 posts

The article is more than a little unfairly dismissive of Concorde and ignores what an engineering marvel it was. It was also a major step forward, which isn't quite true of the new proposal. In the 50 years since Concorde, the "Boom" would only be 20% faster, have 5% more range and, interestingly, carry fewer passengers. I'm all for a return to supersonic passenger flight, but Boom isn't great engineering progress compared to what was already achieved half a century ago. Also, on Boom's environmental credentials, the phrase "you're just moving carbon around in a circle" is extremely disingenuous (I'm assuming Boom has not invented perpetual motion at this point!).

Posted by
7252 posts

I suspect anyone capable of reading the CNN article is too old to be a passenger on the proposed plane. And like the SST it will be limited to trans-oceanic use. ( sonic boom issue)

so wide-body jets will go the way of a brontosaurus.

And how long did they roam the Earth before extinction?

The SST was a technological marvel. It was also a commercial disaster. The accountants will be busy for a long time trying to determine whether the SST or A380 was the bigger drain on European taxpayers ( inflation adjusted)

Posted by
4557 posts

When this technology is realized, it would be nice if airport security screening will have been sped up, too, and maybe that will make the experience more pleasant for all concerned.

But what’ll they be serving on the newer planes, fast food?

With fewer passengers and more “first class” like seats and amenities - the $100 mark for a ticket is most likely never going to happen. The Concorde charged around $10,000 per ticket and that was over 20 years ago.
A potential technological breakthrough, this week on the news - UFOs have been spotted flying at supersonic speeds. Time for the engineers to ramp up communications, call ET, and study UFO technology.