I Was Born Free

"We're all one thing, Lieutenant. That's what I've come to realize. Like cells in a body. 'Cept we can't see the body. The way fish can't see the ocean. And so we envy each other. Hurt each other. Hate each other. How silly is that? A heart cell hating a lung cell." - Cassie from THE THREE
Posts tagged "Travel"

London to New York in 90 minutes: is this the Concorde of the future?

Here is a glimpse of the future. By 2050, seaweed-powered space-liners will fly from London to Tokyo in two-and-a-half hours, at a cruising altitude of 20 miles and generating no significant pollution.

This is not the speculative vision of a latter-day Jules Verne but the confident prediction of the Airbus parent company, EADS, which will unveil its plans for a hypersonic, stratospheric airliner, the Zehst, at the Le Bourget airshow near Paris today.

The Zehst – or “Zero emission hypersonic transportation” – will fly twice as fast and twice as high as Concorde, if joint European and Japanese development plans come to fruition.

The likely cost of a 90-minute “space flight” from Paris to New York would be €6,000 (£5,300) per passenger. The Zehst, which resembles a lightweight version of the US Space Shuttle, would carry up to 100 passengers at speeds of up to 4,800kph (3,000mph).

The aircraft would have three different forms of propulsion in order to eliminate noise problems and meet future ecological constraints. The plane would take off using quiet turbo-reactors powered by a biofuel made from seaweed or algae.

To reach its cruising height just outside the atmosphere, the Zehst would use clean rocket engines fuelled by liquid hydrogen and oxygen. Once in the stratosphere, it would switch to another form of rocket propulsion.

"This is not an aircraft and not a rocket, it’s a commercial rocket plane," Jean Botti, EADS director-general for technology and innovation said yesterday. "The future of air travel will look something like the Zehst.”

Boeing, the great American rival of EADS and Airbus, is also working on a new generation of supersonic airliners and has already conducted test-flights with a pilotless model.

The unveiling of the plans for the Zehst today is part of a merciless publicity and commercial war between the two aerospace giants.

EADS hopes to distract from the first trip outside Europe of Boeing’s new stretched version of the Jumbo, the Boeing 747-8, which touched down at Le Bourget yesterday.

EADS, which has been working on Zehst with the Japanese for five years, is obviously keen to put down its old rival. “I’ve heard nothing to suggest that Boeing’s hypersonic plane would be environmentally clean like ours,” Mr Botti told the newspaper Le Parisien. “I don’t think we are behind them. They are certainly going to have a surprise.

It’s not that often that things happen to me that I consider interesting enough to share with many people at once. When they do happen to me, they involve airplanes.

A huge reason I go on so many random trips is that I love flying. Like, I am pretty sure I’d be happy flying every single day (don’t you DARE suggest I become a flight attendant. Don’t you DARE). I compulsively look up flights all the time, and I have a Rain Man-esque knowledge of which airlines fly where and which aircraft they use and what services they offer. This knowledge affords me LOTS of sexual encounters, in case you were wondering.

Now, the reason all my share-worthy stories involve airplanes is that in spite of my unshakable love of flight, I seem to be a proverbial “shit magnet” when it comes to air travel. Practically every time I do it, some kind of “travel nightmare” occurs, both self inflicted (being “pretty sure” my flight is at 1pm when it’s really at 11am) and not (having to make an emergency landing because someone was having a heart attack - this has happened to me more than once!!).

Anyway, this Morocco trip was doomed from the start.

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Sunrise in London.

Moroccan Countryside.

Some of my favorite photos I’ve taken have been out the windows of moving vehicles.

Hassan II Mosque, Casablanca.

(I somehow took this picture)

Just started my trip planning. Good thing I leave Thursday!

Just started my trip planning. Good thing I leave Thursday!

Marrakesh, Morocco (by Jim Shannon)

Oh hey, I will be there in two weeks!

(Oh hey, there was a bombing there yesterday, yikes)

Oh hey, I’m going to Morocco one month from today!

(Photo by John & Tina Reid)

Grand Place, Bruxelles by night.

Berliner Dom, Berlin.

I’m listed in Tumblweeds, a user-generated community directory that rates Tumblr bloggers by their number of followers. Find me listed in #politics, #travel, #popculture

And this is where I was a year ago today.  (This is the last one of these posts.  A year ago tomorrow I was on three airplanes and in four airports in three countries with massive diarrhea.)

It begins.

I cannot believe this has happened.

I cannot believe this has happened.