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2022 is the new 1969?

Meeting Agenda:

  • Welcome to the group

  • School Startup recap

  • Central Japan Railways Update

  • Supersonic, Hypersonic, and Subortbital in 2022


From the Captain:

It’s Spring 1969. Political upheaval was everywhere as fear of communism was spreading; but everyone was also talking about an epic rock concert that took place out in Woodstock, NY.

1969 would also be an epic year in high speed transport. In March, 1969 the supersonic passenger aircraft, the Concorde, took off. This aircraft would fly at Mach 2.2 cutting the time from New York to London in half from those slow subsonic Boeing 707s. Meanwhile in July spaceflight took another epic journey as man first landed on the moon. In 1969 even the movie “2001” was still playing whereby it was envisioned that a passenger in 2001 would fly a hypersonic airplane to an orbiting space station, then connect with a space craft to a moon base where a new evolution in human existence was to take place. Oh yea, there was also this large jet by Boeing that was being flight tested, but it was subsonic and was designed more for freight than for passengers.

What happened? Well, the Concorde proved uneconomical and after only building 20 aircraft was grounded in 2003. Spaceflight would carry on with the US Space Shuttle program, but passenger transportation in space was just related to a few individuals who would pay to be on the Russian version of the space shuttle. The only bright spot was that slow jumbo jet. Fifty years later that jet is still in production, with over 1550 units sold, and would become the standard of high-class international travel.

However…what about 2022?

Well, this is what is exciting. The Boeing 747 is ending production life in 2022, but we are likely on the verge of a renaissance in high speed transportation. With SpaceX’s successful manned space flight this spring, to emerging hypersonic flight from Boom Technology and Lockheed we may be on the verge of breaking through the sound barrier again. However, often overlooked is Virgin Galactic whereby they will launch their first passenger tourists in a spacecraft this October, which of course would include Sir Richard Branson leading to frequent space tourism flights by 2022.

The result could be 2022, is the year that people in 1969 envisioned.

Faster Headlines:

...Sunny Florida:

Brightline shaves almost a year from Florida rail project using precast tunnel system


High-speed rail operator Brightline is in talks with Tampa developer Darryl Shaw for a potential station near Ybor City

Tampa Bay Business Journal

...the California debacle:

California’s scaled-back high-speed rail plan faces doubts amid financial crunch

Los Angeles Times

Delays plague high-speed rail bridge near Madera. What's gone wrong with construction?

The Fresno Bee

...Is it a plane, or a train...Nope it's a Hyperloop:

New research: Hyperloop has huge economic impact on Amsterdam Metropolitan Area


Op-ed: The hyperloop will revolutionize transportation in the post-coronavirus world


DFW loses bid for Hyperloop transit system testing center

The Texan

...Japan, the land of Bullet Trains:

High speed train seats used to deliver fresh fish

Railway Gazette International

Hypersonic and Supersonic Flight Updates

Details on Sonic Booms (and why reduction in dB is important)

...Lockheed Martin

Lockheed's X-59 Overview

X-59 Engines

...Boom Supersonic

Boom Supersonic XB-1 Overview

Boom XB-1 Air Force One

XB-1 Current Progress

....Virgin Galactic

Virgin Galactic to launch its 1st suborbital spaceflight from Spaceport America in October: report

Virgin Galactic Gears Up For Final White Knight Two Test Flights


Retro Travel:

When the Concorde was launched, American carriers all took out options on the aircraft thinking it was the future. Sadly, the Concorde proved uneconomic and not a single American carrier bought the Concorde. However, Dallas based Braniff did operate an interchange service from Dallas to London, via DC. The planes were owned by Air France and British Airways, but flown by Braniff crews.

Sadly, both Braniff and Continental no longer exist. Braniff over expanded and ceased operations in 1982, while Continental merged with United Airlines in 2013.

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