Thursday, December 20, 2007

The future of (Air) travel

I've been reading in Popular Mechanics and recently came across this video about the next generation of public transportation: high speed trains. The technology is amazing, almost out of a Sci-Fi movie, and much, much needed. 581KM/H. The train is called MagLev and I very much recommend watching the video to learn more.

It's been my pleasure to be on several flights recently from Boston to London. And while on these you start thinking of how flight time/speed had advanced in the last decades, given such tremendous advances in green technologies, efficient engines, long haul flights etc. Flight speed has not been one of those advances (see here:)
"In fact, air travel is getting slower. The average speed of the most popular aircraft has fallen sharply in the three decades since Concorde was unveiled - and the world's only surviving supersonic plane is destined for the scrap heap in about 15 years, with no successor in sight. "

Flight time, delays and the involved pain already come to cynical outcomes of it: "Study: Flight delays good for romance"

Practicalities of public transportation will require that Maglev be readily available despite huge infrastructure cost to make a dent into the air travel industry. But if, just if that happened, walking into a Maglev to NY or further out would be a breeze, nothing like driving to the airport.

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