Virtuoso Life - January/February 2018 - 120
BACK TO THE FUTURE
Supersonic 2.0, driverless cars, and a realized 1960s vision will redefine how we move around the world.
FASTER THAN A SPEEDING BULLET
It's supersonic! While Richard Branson aims for his spaceline, Virgin
Galactic, to put its first passengers into suborbital flight this year, and
Elon Musk aspires to Martian landings in 2022, the entrepreneurs are
also launching more down-to-earth pursuits. Branson has placed orders for Boom's 55-passenger supersonic jet, which will cruise above
the clouds at up to 1,451 mph. The nascent manufacturer currently has
more than 75 orders from five airlines and says we can expect NYCto-London flights by 2023: three-hour, 20-minute hops for the price of
today's business-class flights (about $5,000 round-trip) - quicker and
much cheaper than the now-defunct Concorde.
Both Branson and Musk are also testing hyperloop systems to
revolutionize rail transportation. The big idea: whisk levitating passenger and cargo pods through giant pneumatic tubes at roughly
700 mph, which would make the journey from L.A. to San Francisco
a mere 35 minutes. Musk's test pods have already hit 220 mph; his
tunneling company has begun test-boring in L.A. and is laying the
groundwork for an NYC-to-Washington, D.C., route as well. Virgin
Hyperloop One is currently evaluating projects in the Middle East,
Europe, Canada, and the U.S.
V I RT U O S O L I F E
Boom's cabin and (above)
supersonic jet prototypes.