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October 24, 2003


I'm unaccountably sad about this. I always thought the future would, you know, be more advanced; instead we live in a world where people used to fly at more than the speed of sound, and used to travel to the moon.

Posted by Alison Scott at October 24, 2003 06:25 PM

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I spent the afternoon getting cold by the runway at Turnhouse. I'm very sad about it all, but at least there's hope that people will be going to the moon again. I put a couple of pictures up on my LiveJournal - http://www.livejournal.com/users/feorag/82048.html

Posted by: Feòrag at October 24, 2003 06:44 PM

The problem is Concorde came 15 years too soon -- and its costs have pushed back SST for at least 15 more. I had hope for the Boeing Sonic Cruiser -- I suspected the word "super" was going to slip in at some point, but the crashing US economy destroyed that as well.

Alas, the one thing Concorde proved is that if you throw lots of money and power at something, it'll fly fast. This isn't nearly as useful as it looks at first glance. Carrying only 104 passengers transatlantic isn't that helpful, either. If the Concorde had the range to do transpacific crossings, she might have changed the world. If she wasn't such a fuel hog, she'd be more popular. If she just wasn't so loud....

I hope BA isn't crass enough to put another, a subsonic, aircraft on that flight number. "Speedbird One" is a legendary radio call -- BA Flight 001, LHR-JFK on the Concorde, with BA 002 being the return. Nothing slower should ever utter that call.

In some ways, I feel the same way about Concorde as I do about the Space Shuttle. I know, as a geekly type, just how flawed they are -- they're expensive, loud, and risky. But, after seeing both of them fly, I cannot help but miss them when they're gone.

"Speedbird Two, JFK Tower, clear for takeoff, thirteen right, winds zero niner five at five, thank you, and goodbye."

Posted by: Erik V. Olson at October 25, 2003 03:56 AM

happily there are works of science fiction that predict a future of decreasing resources and no actual progress but only an illusion of such.

The space merchants by Frederick Pohl and Cyril Kornbluth was one of these if I remember correctly.

Posted by: bryan at November 30, 2003 02:01 PM

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