Words of Advice:

"Never Feel Sorry For Anyone Who Owns an Airplane."-- Tina Marie

If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It.
" -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

90 Minutes from New York to Paris

We're nowhere near there, but the "hyperloop" is being tested, somewhat.

They're talking about 30 minutes between LA and SF, which, if it works, would do to the commuter air market what Amtrak and the TSA did to the NY-DC Shuttle.

(Spandex jackets for everyone.)


3383 said...

SF to LA is already about an hour; most of the time is spent at the airports (did you see the Mythbusters episode where the raced a car trip vs a plane trip?). So diminishing returns will be a factor, as well as cost.

CenterPuke88 said...

An LA/SF or SF/LA flight is blocked out at 1+15. Often delayed, adding time... but a hyper loop doesn't remove the arrive early and security elements. If it's a single tunnel, slow rate, and even a dual tunnel is limited unless they created tunnel blocks. Eventually it'll fly (so to speak), but...

Nangleator said...

It will sure as hell have a chance after peak oil.

Borepatch said...

Historically, new transport modes replace old ones when they are at least one of (and ideally are more than one of):

1. Faster

2. Cheaper

3. More convenient

Air replaced rail because of 1 and 3 (you didn't have to lay track to a new destination, you just flew to the airport there). Those ensured that 2 was also a major factor - no rail installation or maintenance costs on lots of lightly utilized routes.

Cars replaced streetcars because of 3 and to a lesser extent 1 (you don't have a bunch of stops).

Hyper loop seems to have #1 in its favor but I'm skeptical on #2 and simply don't see how #3 could possibly apply. The example in the article is replacing driving - once you get there on Hyper loop you're stuck at your destination; if you drive then you can drive somewhere else nearby.

So color me skeptical. This smells of Silicon Valley hubris. I could be wrong, but the Channel Tunnel cost a ton more than anyone thought it would, it integrated two well-established and mature transit systems, and it still went bankrupt. I can't even begin to imagine how much it would cost to run the tunnels under the Atlantic ocean. Concorde used to charge what - $5000 for a ticket? People voted with their wallets and said they'd take an 8 hour flight instead of a 3 hour one. Unless the Hyperloop ticket is a lot less than $5000 people will still choose the 8 hour flight over the 90 minute ride.

Too bad, because long flights are a real drag. But I wouldn't pay $5000 either.

Comrade Misfit said...

Well, yes and no. Airlines were able to survive for a long period of time because of their contracts with the Post Office. There likely would not have been any airlines in the 1930s without airmail.

I'm not sure when airline pilots were allowed to stop carrying sidearms (as airmail pilots), but pilots who flew airplanes under contract with the Postal Service were armed into the 1970s.

I'm not sure that if the Post Office stopped sending First Class mail by commercial flights that the airlines would survive, even to this day. The industry has never been hugely profitable, with profit margings around that of supermarkets.

CenterPuke88 said...

Perhaps the real use of the hyperloop will be cargo?