November 14, 2012

CROSSING THE PACIFIC IN COMFORT in Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner. “Now, I’m not going to tell you a flight aboard a Dreamliner will change your life. But I can tell you the experience is nicer, even in economy class. The 787 is an airplane people will choose to fly on if possible and frequent fliers might even adjust their schedules for it any time it’s available.”

It’s an advance, but it bugs me that the advanced new passenger jets aren’t significantly faster than a 707.

UPDATE: Reader Jim McDonough writes:

Actually, the 707 was considerably faster than contemporary airliners. It had 4 engines, and a lot less competition for air space. The planes today are built for fuel efficiency first and foremost.

I was on a 707 that reached speeds in excess of 700 mph over the ground, with a nice tailwind. That isn’t happening any more. SFO to JFK in 4 hours.

Bummer. But I really figured we’d have suborbitals by now. It’s the freaking 21st century, and the big breakthrough is humidification and “seat pods.”