February 19 2008

Anyone Feel Like Going Faster?

A2We all dream about getting to our destinations faster, but isn’t there a point when we go too fast?

Reaction Engines in Oxfordshire, England are working on a hydrogen-fueled concept plane that would have a sustainable speed of 3,800 miles-per-hour.  In loose translation, you would be flying at Mach 5, and could get from England to Australia in five hours.  According to the reports by the BBC, not only is it fast, it’s huge!  It is expected to measure 156 yards long, twice the size of current jumbo jets, and carry 300 passengers.

What worries me (beyond the dangerous fuel… size… and speed) is that in none of the pictures I’ve seen can you spot windows… anywhere.  Not even for the cockpit!  How are they going to pilot this thing?!?  “Well, you’re going so fast anyway, just point in the general direction you want to go, and pray.”

While I love my trips to Japan, I’ve never been a fan of the 10 & 1/2 hours it takes me to fly there, and 9 hours coming home, and of course I’ve dreamed of doing it even faster.  I think there is a line you have to draw though where you just say “People aren’t meant to go this fast inside of an atmosphere.”  More power to them developing it, but I don’t see my behind sitting in one of their seats.

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