Tag Archives: Travel

If a Supersonic Airplane Doesn’t ‘Boom,’ is it really Supersonic?

So let’s say you’re thinking about traveling again, perhaps even flying. Perhaps you’re wondering what happened to the efforts to make a new supersonic passenger aircraft since I posted about it in November 2019.

Well, you’re in luck! Rebecca Heilweil over on Vox/Recode has an update on Boom, the company working on building new supersonic passenger jets which United is now very keen to start flying.

A big question, however, is not only if they can address the sonic boom through technological improvements, but if there’s a way to make supersonic travel environmentally friendly…

America and Mass Transit

WMATA/Shutterstock/Madison McVeigh/CityLab

Hey! Since we here in the United States are not traveling so much on this traditional week of travel, how about we take that time and read this longform article by Jonathan English all about mass transit in the United States. It unearths some assumptions about what mass transit is and can be and how those assumptions developed over the past 100 years or so.

Besides the fond memories evoked by seeing the picture above (I was there for the grand opening of Washington’s Metro — you were able to ride free all day), I also found his premises interesting.

Video

Flight of the (Original) Concordes

For whatever reason, Big Data decided to show me a Vox video piece from 2016 about the Concorde the other day. It’s part of an article by Phil Edwards.

For you young whippersnappers, the Concorde was a quite cool-looking supersonic passenger plane that heralded the future of air travel… until that future disappeared.

Later in 2016 (and also in Vox), Brad Plumer noted that several startups and NASA were revisiting supersonic transport. He noted one young company, Boom, in particular.

Fast forward (though not supersonically so) to 2019 and Boom has been busy. They’ve been rolling out the PR and getting reactions from the press. James Wynbrandt in a piece for AIN Online this past June adds some numbers to get a better idea of Boom’s business model and timeline.

More recently, Rohit Jaggi over at the Robb Report gives a summary of where Boom and other companies (including Lockheed Martin) are in working to get supersonic transport revived again.

Security Theater and the Future of the TSA

I suppose I should have posted this with Thanksgiving and the start of the holiday travel season, but hey, delays are to be expected with the TSA, right?Dylan Mathews over at Vox argues that the eliminating the TSA may, in fact, save lives.

And if that’s too dry, you can always check out Adam ConoverĀ of “Adam Ruins Everything” as he debunks the security theater of the TSA.

Man, I’m glad I don’t have to travel much these days.

Recommended Reading: The Future of Travel

Interesting piece by Nathan Heller in The New Yorker about the past, present, and future of air travel.

Hmm. Does my passport need to be renewed?