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Hum

According to a paper released by British consulting firm Knight Frank, which specializes in trends for ?ultra-high net worth individuals,? sub-orbital commuter flights traveling at about 4,000 miles per hour (today's planes go around 500 mph), will be ready for the public by 2020.

 

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The key is getting companies that are already approved for sub-orbital space travel (like Virgin Galactic) to stop planning trips just straight into the thermosphere and back down, and instead to start traveling around the globe.

Virgin Galactic?s founder Richard Branson has already indicated that he?s looking into this. He imagines a ?future version of the current spaceship which will make transcontinental travel clean and fast ? London to Sydney in a couple of hours.?

The flights are estimated to cost anywhere between $90,000 and $250,000 a pop making them accessible to only the top 0.01%. Call it billionaire-exclusive technology.

Yahoo Finance tech reporter Aaron Pressman also has some qualms with the technology itself. ?These [jets] can only take off and land in very special places like the spaceport that?s in New Mexico,? he says. ?That?s not going to help the 0.1% get from New York to London or Australia. So it?s going to take a while before these rockets become more like normal airplanes that can land at normal airports.?

Still, if proper infrastructure is built large-scale sub-orbital operations could becomea  reality and prices could become affordable, says Pressman, but not for a long time. ?Maybe our grandchildren will experience it,? he says.

 

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-T-

Oh good, more chances for the 0.01% to waste their gains

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dvb2000

Yahoo Finance tech reporter Aaron Pressman also has some qualms with the technology itself. ?These [jets] can only take off and land in very special places like the spaceport that?s in New Mexico,? he says. ?That?s not going to help the 0.1% get from New York to London or Australia. So it?s going to take a while before these rockets become more like normal airplanes that can land at normal airports.?

 

A little lateral thinking will solve that problem. In fact I could never work out why "traditional" airports weren't built a couple of kilometres offshore, and linked to the capital cities like Sydney by an underground tunnel.

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blerk

A little lateral thinking will solve that problem. In fact I could never work out why "traditional" airports weren't built a couple of kilometres offshore, and linked to the capital cities like Sydney by an underground tunnel.

It's expensive. 

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+Red King

Oh good, more chances for the 0.01% to waste their gains

At first.
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Boz

Oh good, more chances for the 0.01% to waste their gains

 

They are the ones who will make this possible so you can have it.

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Tomo

Like all new technologies it will be expensive at first, I remember CD writers being a few thousand pounds and then came crashing down over the next few years.

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theyarecomingforyou

They are the ones who will make this possible so you can have it.

Not if governments were to invest in it to benefit the majority, rather than being privately funded for the minority.

Like all new technologies it will be expensive at first, I remember CD writers being a few thousand pounds and then came crashing down over the next few years.

I don't remember Concorde flights ever being cheap.

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+Dick Montage

I don't remember Concorde flights ever being cheap.

 

Concorde was never meant to be.  It was a project that was aimed towards the upper classes.  It was never pushed to mass market because the pure fuel costs and maintenance costs involved were astronomical.  It was an icon of 80's excess, akin to a Lambo.

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Brian M.

Concorde was never meant to be.  It was a project that was aimed towards the upper classes.  It was never pushed to mass market because the pure fuel costs and maintenance costs involved were astronomical.  It was an icon of 80's excess, akin to a Lambo.

Wasn't the price of Concorde set at roughly 1.5-2 * a regular first class ticket price?

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+Dick Montage

That's about what it eventually settled at - it launched at about 3 times.  Remember all of Concorde was first class.  Not a big plane at all.

 

Side note: My father designed the ducting for Concorde.

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elenarie

Oh good, more chances for the 0.01% to waste their gains

 

Would prefer if they actually give that to the people that need the $ the most.

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+Dick Montage

Would prefer if they actually give that to the people that need the $ the most.

 

Their money, their decisions.  Sorry, but as someone who has worked hard, inherrited nothing (yet) and reached a level of financial means whereby I have significant disposable - when someone who has not been part of that process tries to self-entitledly dictate how it should be used, it just comes off as wholly irrelevant.

 

I donate to charity (both financially, and with time) but for someone to believe they have any right to feel they have any say in this is ridiculous.

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Jason S.

this type of stuff has been talked about for decades. Anyway, as the article says, what good is it if you want to fly to NYC from Hong Kong, but have to land in New Mexico?

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Hum

There goes my alibi for the NYC bank robbery. :p

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tiagosilva29

Anyway, as the article says, what good is it if you want to fly to NYC from Hong Kong, but have to land in New Mexico?

Maybe the fuel needs green chilli.
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macoman

So if we expect this technology to be affordable by the time our great-grandchildren are alive... We are talking about around 75-100 years from now... When human kind as we know it will be dead by Nuclear wars and extreme poverty.

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Gerowen

So they could spend, on the low end, 2+ years of my pay on a single 2 hour flight...

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