#airplanes

Jon Ostrower and Daniel Michaels:

The new trend in economy seating reverses a half century of seat growth in economy class. Early jet planes like Boeing’s 707 had 17-inch seats, a dimension based on the width of a U.S. Air Force pilot’s hips, says Airbus marketing chief Chris Emerson.

That standard for long-haul flying increased to 18-inches in the 1970s and 1980s with the 747 jumbo and the first Airbus jets. It widened to 18.5 inches with the Boeing 777 in the 1990s and A380 superjumbo in the 2000s. Now, cost-conscious airlines are moving to lighter 17-inch-wide seats on their Boeing 777 and 787 Dreamliners and 18-inch seats for A350s.

Pathetic penny-pinching.

[via @BenedictEvans]

Jason Paur:

And just this month an unmanned hypersonic jet reached Mach 5, averaging 3,300 miles per hour for about five minutes. That’s faster than a speeding bullet fired from a high-velocity rifle, and quite possibly Superman himself.

But there’s a big difference between this hypersonic flight and the ever faster computers that have penetrated nearly every corner of society, and now travel everywhere in pockets and purses, and even on some people’s faces. We don’t get to use the really fast airplanes. We’re actually flying slower than we were 50 years ago. It turns out we’re just too cheap to fly faster.

Sad. But true.

laughingsquid
laughingsquid:

Successors to Concorde Supersonic Jet Will Be Nearly Twice As Fast

This would immediately take plane travel from “Bullitt" to something a lot closer to what we should have in the 21st century.
But I am curious as to how this would work for passengers. One complaint about the Concorde (which I sadly never had the chance to ride on before it was retired in 2003) was that it was pretty uncomfortable to be on. 
That said, if it can cut a 20 hour trip to 4 hours (London -> Sydney), I think I’d take it. What would San Francisco to New York be? An hour? Would the thing even be able to get to top speed in that time?
Also note: this is meant for business jets first (in 2020). It wouldn’t come to commercial airlines until sometime closer to 2030 (if at all). Still, this would absolutely change the state of travel.

laughingsquid:

Successors to Concorde Supersonic Jet Will Be Nearly Twice As Fast

This would immediately take plane travel from “Bullitt" to something a lot closer to what we should have in the 21st century.

But I am curious as to how this would work for passengers. One complaint about the Concorde (which I sadly never had the chance to ride on before it was retired in 2003) was that it was pretty uncomfortable to be on. 

That said, if it can cut a 20 hour trip to 4 hours (London -> Sydney), I think I’d take it. What would San Francisco to New York be? An hour? Would the thing even be able to get to top speed in that time?

Also note: this is meant for business jets first (in 2020). It wouldn’t come to commercial airlines until sometime closer to 2030 (if at all). Still, this would absolutely change the state of travel.