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Oh, Your Private Jet Is Just Subsonic?

Hemos posted more than 13 years ago | from the technology-innovation dept.

News 311

zerogeewhiz writes "Found this article here at The Sydney Morning Herald . It seems that Bill and his mates need to move a bit quicker these days and for a cool US$80 million, you too can overtake the Concorde on a dash to Harrods for dinner. As described in the article, the main complaint about Concorde is that it can only fly supersonic over water and creates those nasty sonic booms that punch holes in buildings and shatter windows. They reckon they can get rid of these waves by making the plane longer. These are gonna be fast but hideous. 737-700s are suddenly passe as a corporate jet..."

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Just Get There (tm) (0, Funny)

purduephotog (218304) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251738)

Heard a sonic boom- knocked our dominos game off the table .... Ban Concords :)

Re:Just Get There (tm) (0)

JohnHegarty (453016) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251885)

just sends the birds (the type that live in trees and fly) wild where i live..... well used to when it was flying

Re:Just Get There (tm) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2251896)

That's Concorde, to keep the French happy.

Re:Just Get There (tm) (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2251981)

I don't need a private supersonic jet, I have a very large penis [] .

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2251742)


Can you imagine... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2251750)

Oh wait, nevermind.

Concorder (-1, Offtopic)

crumbz (41803) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251756)

The gap between rich and poor is just getting w-i-d-e-r.

Re:Concorder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2251779)

And Leo`s getting laaaaarger.

Re:Concorder (-1)

cyborg_monkey (150790) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251786)

On topic and funny? Please mod this up, you fuckers!

Re:Concorder (0, Troll)

SamBeckett (96685) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251864)

The gap between rich and poor is just getting w-i-d-e-r.

So what is your solution to prevent that from happening? Is it....

  • Communism?
  • Spend your life making zero money developing GPL'd software?
  • Make a living supporting GPL'd software? Sounds fun to me.
  • Complaining about it on Slashdot?

Or, would you rather...

  • Create some commercial niche software that sells at $15k+ a pop?
  • Work a blue collar job like your parents did to buy you your first CoCo 2?

The real reason that the so called "gap" is getting wider is because of socialist/liberal policies that make the average joe-schmoe think he deserves everything. They think "they deserve" the Federal government to use it's mighty powers to regulate the decaying power situation in California. They think "they deserve" to have Company XYZ release product WJK under the GPL just because they want it, can't afford it, etc.

The people that make money are intelligent, ambition driven and don't expect jack squat from anyone. If they want something, they find a way to do it-- and I'm not talking about getting together with 9,000,000 other "soon-to-be-rich" people and petitioning Steel Company R to ship their orders at a discount; they use whatever resources they have, make deals/contracts/etc (however shady they may be), pull every string they can think of and get it done.

Re:Concorder (2, Funny)

Kryptonomic (161792) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251961)

The people that make money are intelligent, ambition driven and don't expect jack squat from anyone.

Oh, stop flattering yourself.

I'm well off. I've got a PhD in Physics and I'm currently a founding member of a semiconductor spin-off firm that's about to make profit for the first time next year.

Yet, I've got no problem when it comes to paying my 30% income tax that's being used to pay for the excellent public health care, public transportation and public services. As a result there's no population living below the poverty line, the unemployment level is 5.7%, literacy out of total population is 100% and I believe this achievement is certainly worth defending! If it means accepting that there will be people who'll abuse the system, so be it. It's the same thing as with the western legal systems where it's preferable that a criminal escapes punishment than an innocent gets punished. To my mind, protecting and helping the less fortunate is a worthwhile goal even if it means that some people will abuse this generosity.

Is it just because my mindset, being a native to a northern European country where the function of the society still is seen as "to take care and protect the weak" instead of "to protect the interests of the wealthy", is so different?

Re:Concorder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2252063)

I think we should end this problem once and for all and simply eat the poor.

Why would any Microsoftie need a faster jet? (2, Funny)

typical geek (261980) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251758)

Everything can be remotely administered, why, just SSH into,

Ahh, nevermind.

Re:Why would any Microsoftie need a faster jet? (1)

CBravo (35450) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251784)

hey, I wrote that when administrating your head :)

Re:Why would any Microsoftie need a faster jet? (2)

Zachary Kessin (1372) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251816)

Well maybe because they are not useing it to admin a box. But to have a meeting.

BTW The fastest current private Jet is the Cessna Citation X, it cruises at Mach 0.92. It is infact the fastest civilian jet except the concorde.
Cessna aircraft company []

Re:Why would any Microsoftie need a faster jet? (-1)

cyborg_monkey (150790) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251893)

Props to all dead Cessnas.

"Bill and his mates"? (5, Insightful)

barzok (26681) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251762)

There's no mention of any customer at all. Are we taking potshots at MS for absolutely no reason now? There's no connection here at all.

Re:"Bill and his mates"? (1)

b0r1s (170449) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251774)

5 digit UID and you're surprised by that? c'mon now.

Re:"Bill and his mates"? (1)

kilgore_47 (262118) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251777)

yea the price is wrong too... the article says $160m not $80m.

Re:"Bill and his mates"? (0)

bill0r (195811) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251792)

well we are assuming that gates will need to of them, one for him and the second for his big ass head :)

Re:"Bill and his mates"? (2, Informative)

b0r1s (170449) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251812)

the article says A$160m , whereas the description says US$80m ... not all dollars were created equal.

Re:"Bill and his mates"? (1)

Tower (37395) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251917)

Actually, the arcticle says $A160 million... which converts nicely to $41312 million (or $41.312 billion...) Hey, it looks like hex to me :)

Re:"Bill and his mates"? (1)

ComaVN (325750) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251814)

AUS$160m, not US$160m
extra text added to avoid lameness filter

Re:"Bill and his mates"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2251815)

It says $160m *australian*.

Re:"Bill and his mates"? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2251886)

So we went to this bar up in Vancover and there was a sign at the front that said "cover charge : $4 American, $6 Canadian" and my blonde friend said "why would anyone admit to being a Canadian?". &ltrimshot&gt

arrogant dumbass yanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2251924)

Fucking ignorant American imperialist running-dog slobs, we use Pesos up here, not dollars.
Sheesh, you think the whole world revoles around around you, eh?

Re:"Bill and his mates"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2251985)

That's pretty funny!

I can't stand the goddamn self-righteous Canadians who, given the chance, will just pretend to be Americans just to get pussy. I've seen it happen.

Re:"Bill and his mates"? (2, Funny)

ComaVN (325750) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251789)

That's a rethorical question, right? This is Slashdot, ofcourse they're taking potshots at MS for absolutely no reason.

Re:"Bill and his mates"? (1)

Lonath (249354) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251960)

No shit. Microsoft just released a news report saying that they've cured cancer. Then they wrote that they would charge for the cure. Those bastards, always trying to screw us over. Is it any wonder we pick on them so much?

Re:"Bill and his mates"? (1)

kilgore_47 (262118) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251790)

There's no mention of any customer at all. Are we taking potshots at MS for absolutely no reason now? There's no connection here at all.

Or are YOU assuming 'Bill' refers to Bill Gates? There is no mention of MS in the /. post either!

Re:"Bill and his mates"? (1)

Monte (48723) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251811)

Or are YOU assuming 'Bill' refers to Bill Gates?

I assumed "Bill" == Clinton. In case he needed to get out of town really fast.

About private jet economics and lifestyle (5, Informative)

daviddennis (10926) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251848)

I seem to remember Bill flew in Coach class until his well-known appearance made that a non-starter, so I don't think Bill's that great a candidate.

Larry Ellison, on the other hand, will buy the first one available, the microsecond it comes up. And Warren Buffet will buy a few for his Executive Jet fleet.

You can charter a Gulfstream V for $8,500 per flight hour, which means a transcontinental flight would cost about $ 38,000. reports round trip charters on an IV at $60,000 for the same flight. Ownership is, of course, mind-bendingly expensive; a Gulfstream V is in the $45 million range, and the Citation X (fastest bizjet around, but less luxurious and with half the passenger capacity) is $18m. You also need a full-time pilot and copilot, together with very expensive maintenance, all of which amounts to an overhead of tens of thousands of dollars a month.

After being squeezed in like a sausage in the USAIR tourist class cabin, I can very much see the appeal of having your own jet. I'm sure that if I was as rich as Bill or Larry, a jet would be one of the first things I'd get. Bear in mind that the Gulfstream has a top speed of Mach .80 and you can get up to Mac .93 on a Cessna Citation X. So it might not be worth the extra money to go supersonic unless you're doubling or tripling the speed of sound (as you do with the Concorde). The long and thin design also might not be as comfortable as the Gulfstream.

The aforementioned Citation X is about 100 knots (or 25%) faster than a typical commercial flight, and you can arrive at a general aviation airport about 15 minutes before takeoff. Since general aviation airports are most likely a lot closer to you than commercial ones, you can save literally hours by just getting there in ten minutes and taking off almost immediately instead of taking an hour to get to the airport and taking off an hour later. This speed and flexibility is the jet's main advantage compared to, say, simply buying a first-class ticket on a scheduled airline.

In other words, if your time is worth a lot, you probably want a jet. And if you can fill it to capacity, it's not that much more expensive than first-class airfare. A Gulfstream IV can fit 19 people; first-class airfare coast to coast is about $3,068 for a non-stop flight. So if you're paying $60,000 for your round trip flight, you're paying $3,157 per person instead of $ 3,068 for first class; not too shabby.

(I spent quite a bit of time flying with a friend who owned a small propeller plane, so I can attest first-hand to the ease and convenience of general aviation airports. Sadly, I have yet to fly on a private jet).


Re:About private jet economics and lifestyle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2251865)

And why is there no mention of The Real Devil® Steve Jobs and the plane he got as compensation, right around the time Apple stock tanked ($1.00 annual salary my ass - how many shares of stock could he have cashed in at any time).

Re:About private jet economics and lifestyle (1)

SLiK812 (518195) | more than 13 years ago | (#2252021)

Don't forget the $50,000 a clip to fill the darn thing up with fuel, if you own it. Jet fuel ain't cheap and you can't just pull up to the local Sunoco and say "Yeah fill 'er up with the Supreme. While you're at it, could you check the engines? I think I ran into a few geese on the way over."

Re:"Bill and his mates"? (2)

JohnG (93975) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251891)

Calm down dude, first of all, suggesting that someone may buy a private jet is hardly a potshot. Would you be offended if I said that you might be interested in a private jet?
Secondly, I think the main reference was just made because Bill is one of the few people who could afford an $80,000,000 jet. In fact anytime ANYBODY wants to make a reference to being wealthy they use Bill Gates. "$100 a head?! What am I.. Bill Gates!", etc. etc. etc.
Maybe the problem is you see everything as an insult towards Microsoft when it really isn't.

are we 'defending' MS for no reason now? (1)

ebbv (34786) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251904)

it was just a comment toward rich bastards in general, you twit.

Re:are we 'defending' MS for no reason now? (1)

snwbd4life (517179) | more than 13 years ago | (#2252001)

Who cares!!! if you were rich you wouldnt CRY like little babies about a jet you would purchase if you could......Need a Tissue?

YUO = FAG0T (1)

ebbv (34786) | more than 13 years ago | (#2252033)

please replace that non-functional lump of tissue in your cranium out and replace it with a bowl of tapioca. the results will be better for all of us.

Re:"Bill and his mates"? (2)

RollingThunder (88952) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251974)

Wasn't Bill Gates the richest man in the US for a good long while?

What BETTER person would a comment about frivolous spending by the rich be targeted at, than the richest one?

(Omitting, of course, that one rarely becomes rich by spending frivolously, but rather by hoarding and spending only where there's a return on investment)

Re:"Bill and his mates"? (2)

Erasmus Darwin (183180) | more than 13 years ago | (#2252000)

"Are we taking potshots at MS for absolutely no reason now?"

I think the point is that if you were to make a list of people who could afford to plop down $80 million for a plane without batting an eyelash, and then were to sort the list by order of name recognition, Bill Gates would be at the top of that list. BFD -- Slashdot took a horrible, horrible potshot at Bill by implying that he's rich. Next they'll start accusing Stephen Hawking of understanding physics.

Sonic Boom! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2251769)

Guile and Charlie are the best chars. in the Street Fighter series.

Sonic Spoon! (-1)

Trollificus (253741) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251951)

Guile was a pussy. It's Ryu or Vega all the way, biaaaatch.

Private jets? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2251778)

Hmm, is it just me [] or should Hemos start posting articles on unemployment compensation or how to write a resume [] instead of on private jets and expensive stuff he can't afford anymore?


Extending Length to PREVENT Sonic Booms? (4, Interesting)

Rura Penthe (154319) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251781)

I'm somewhat confused on this count. Would extending the length of a plane actually prevent a sonic boom? According to Britannica : "If the aircraft is especially long, double sonic booms might be detected, one emanating from the leading edge of the plane and one from the trailing edge."

Has new technology been developed with regards to this?

Re:Extending Length to PREVENT Sonic Booms? (1)

cnkeller (181482) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251818)

Has new technology been developed with regards to this?

You haven't heard? Micrsoft now owns most of reality, laws of physics included. :-)

Re:Extending Length to PREVENT Sonic Booms? (2, Informative)

G-funk (22712) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251820)

Read the article, the story poster got it wrong, they're elongating the front and the eng of the plane, ie stretching them out so the angle isn't so great, not making the plane longer. They're not actually trying to say they can prevent sonic boom, afaik that's not possible (hey prove me wrong), they just want to controll it a bit so it's not so damaging to ears / buildings / windows / fine crystal wine glasses

Re:Extending Length to PREVENT Sonic Booms? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2251898)

Yeah, Popular Science had something on this a little while ago. They are trying to create less drag by increasing the number of wing surfaces, but decreasing the curvature or something. Thus the amount of sonic bomb would be smaller, and over multiple air surfaces, instead of just the main wings. Or something to that effect.

Re:Extending Length to PREVENT Sonic Booms? (1)

Mr. Eradicator (470089) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251921)

Do you have a link to that article? I'm curious to find out how they reduce the shock effects. I guess they could create lots of small angles on the leading edges, thus making several shockwaves that transition to subsonic more "smoothly", but I still don't see how that would reduce the effects of the shockwave to "innocent bystanders".

Re:Extending Length to PREVENT Sonic Booms? (1)

bark76 (410275) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251945)

What I got from the article is that extending the length of the aircraft widens the shockwave of the sonic boom. I've never heard of sonic booms being prevented...

Re:Extending Length to PREVENT Sonic Booms? (5, Informative)

costas (38724) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251959)

Short lesson on high-speed aerodynamics follows:

* The "intensity" (read: energy) of a boom is proportional (roughly) to the speed of the aircraft and the angle of attack of the wing or fuselage.
* To lower the energy wasted in a sonic boom, you can either go slower (neah...) or lower the angle of attack. For a wing, this is kinda easy: either sweep it back (notice a how much further back a fighter's wings are than an airliner's?) or make it thinner (so that the cross-sectional angle of attack, so to speak, is less).
* For a fuselage it gets trickier: a fighter need only fit one person, and you can extend the nose long enough to lower the leading angle of attack. And you don't care about traling shocks or really shocks at all, because you're in a fighter. You're supposed to terrify people.
* But for a commercial jet, you will have to take care of both ends of the fuselage, and the only way is to make them longer, and have them taper out smoother. Look at the Concorde's absurdly long nose (so long, it has to be pivoted so that the pilots can see the runway at take-offs and landings) and its thin tail. Now, you know why they're there.

Supersonic business jets have always been possible. However, new, more efficient engines and cheaper high performance materials are only now making them affordable (well, relatively at least :-)...

Concorde Avionics (or lack thereof) (4, Interesting)

green pizza (159161) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251782)

Have you seen a photograph of a Concorde cockpit? It looks like something straight out of a 707, it's ancient. There's not an LCD, CRT, or even an LED to be seen. The typical "flight computer" is usually the pilot's own handheld PDA, ditto for GPS. If I were going to pay $big for private use of a Concorde, it by gosh better have some real avionics [] .

Even the B-52H [] has a nice modernized cockpit with screens galore. If that old clunker can be up to date, there's no reason why a Concorde can't.

Re:Concorde Avionics (or lack thereof) (4, Insightful)

SirWhoopass (108232) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251836)

Aviation is one of those areas where, if it ain't broke, don't fix it [insert Concorde crash joke here]. People's lives are at stake with the equipment in an aircraft, so you don't want to upgrade simply to make everything look cool.

If it ain't broke... (2)

Robber Baron (112304) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251849) know the rest. Besides, pilots are like any other user. They get used to a certain type of display and moan like hell if it's changed.

Re:Concorde Avionics (or lack thereof) (1)

Turmio (29215) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251899)

If i recall correctly, Concorde did her maiden flight in 1968 so it must've been designed in the early 60's. Those fancy LCD's just didn't exist back then. And no, you just can't, or atleast you shouldn't, redesign the cockpit of old supersonic yet just because some cool new gear is available nowadays. The old stuff just works.

Re:Concorde Avionics (or lack thereof) (1)

terrymr (316118) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251902)

GPS doesn't work at supersonic speeds anyway so there wouldn't be much point in having it.

Of course this may not be true for militray GPS receivers I don't know I've never seen one.

Re:Concorde Avionics (or lack thereof) (2)

gorilla (36491) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251927)

It's no different to any other plane of it's era, compare it with say a 747-100. No airline in the world can afford to replace the entire cockpit and get it certified as flight ready. The miltary can afford the costs of major refits, so that's why the very expensive refit of the B52's included a new cockpit.

Re:Concorde Avionics (or lack thereof) (1)

qmrf (52837) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251930)

In general, pilots tend to prefer old-school analog dials and needles to digital readouts. Especially in high-performance aircraft. It's a heck of a lot easier to look at a needle and say, "oooh, that one's getting close to the red part," than to look at an LCD and say, "73. what does 73 mean? is that close to too high, or close to too low, or just right?"

Thus, when they rip out the old dials to put in computer screens, the computer screens display digital versions of the same old dials, because that's the way the pilots like it. (there was an article on /. a year or two ago on this in the space shuttle. but i'm too lazy to bother even thinking about finding it.)

And a CRT/LCD has a lot more that can go wrong than does a mechanical dial (considering that most of the data is gathered in a mechanical fashion anyways). Meaning that if you can have the exact same info displayed on a mechanical dial or on a picture of a mechanical dial on a digital display, replacing the dial with the digital makes no sense whatsoever.

It doesn't do any real damage when your computer crashes, so it's perfectly fine to "upgrade" to the latest whiz-bang, bleeding-edge, doesn't-actually-work technology. When an airplane travelling at super-sonic speeds crashes, it does a lot more damage, so it pays to consider your upgrades a little more carefully.

Re:B-52H Avionics (or lack thereof) (2, Informative)

wufpak (204617) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251986)

The B-52H [] [] does have a cool looking CRT in it, but we are NOT talking glass cockpit here. All of the instruments are conventional dials (and, with 8 engines, that's a lot of dials). The CRTs are merely used to see outside.

Of course, seeing outside the aircraft is pretty important, too. Especially when you consider that, when these aircraft take off in a nuclear scenario, all the cockpit windows are covered with heavy (and opaque) thermal curtains. The only way the crew can see out is by looking at the CRTs.

For those who might be curious, the B-52H has two cameras mounted just below the nose: an infrared camera, and a visible-light camera. The view from those cameras is displayed on the cockpit CRTs, along with radar-derived terrain-avoidance data. Very handy for skimming the ground at night over hostile territory, with intermittent thermonuclear detonations occuring in the middle distance ...

Now, for a truly cool-looking glass cockpit, check out the B2 [] . Yours for only $1,999,999,999.95 [Prices are MSRP including delivery, plus any options. Your final price may vary, contact your dealer.]

Formula for Slashdot articles (3, Redundant)

Macaw2000 (103146) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251783)

Article = cool technology + attack on Bill Gates + class envy + conspiracy + neo-liberalism.

Re:Formula for Slashdot articles (0)

notestein (445412) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251876)

Hey, I'll give you two points for that.

They wanted to impress Chirac (1)

imr (106517) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251785)

He paid only $300 000 ws id_1438000/1438362.stm

Corporate Interceptor (5, Funny)

Nick Number (447026) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251787)

for a cool US$80 million, you too can overtake the Concorde on a dash to Harrods for dinner

Er, for that kind of money you might as well pick up a used F-14 Tomcat. It may not have a cushy interior and cleverly-shaped bourbon dispensers, but show me another corporate transport that mounts Phoenix missiles. You'll be envied (and feared) by all your rivals chugging around in those wimpy Learjets.

Re:Corporate Interceptor (1)

zulux (112259) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251894)

Actually, a F-14 would be really cool for one really important reason: you can eject when nesessary.

It's their money... (0)

MatthewLovelace (465003) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251794)

...and if they want to blow it on toys like this, more power to them. After all... new toys for rich boys make new jobs for working slobs.

Why the Sydney morning herald? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2251798)

The original Telegraph article [] is much longer and talks about the economics of production, and other developments in the fast-plane industry.

Re:Why the Sydney morning herald? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2252039)

because the submitter (zerogeewhizz) is australian. (has a .au email at least)

Newscientist Article (2, Informative)

null-loop (111543) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251800)

There's a very cool article over at about this ( 044700 free reg required), I read the print version of it. They've got a number of technologies they want to bring to supersonic travel, lengthening the plane being just one of them.

woohoo! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2251801)

VA Linux stock just went up 3 cents! oh shit! 1.40 oh ya!

Oh darn Microsoft is up 1.59 to 58.64!

Now that VA Linux has switched to a proprietary closed source business model things are really looking up! Microsoft stands no chance! Lin0x rulz0rz!!!!

Re:woohoo! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2251832)

doh, back down to 1.37...

Sure maybe you've heard a sonic boom.... (2, Informative)

moniker_21 (414164) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251817)

but have you ever seen one? Check out this image [] I found a little while back.
( for the concerned web surfer)

When I read stuff like this, I can't help but wonder how long it's going to be before we'll all travel at super-sonic speeds for our presonal excursions, not just the ultra-rich.

Re:Sure maybe you've heard a sonic boom.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2251954)

Credit: Ensign John Gay, USS Constellation, US Navy

... in the navy you can sail the 7 seas ...

Bill? (3, Redundant)

Otter (3800) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251823)

Bill and his mates..Huh? There's no Bill in the article. If this is a reference to Bill Gates, it has to be the most contrived jab at Microsoft in the history of this site. (And that's saying something -- remember "Hotmail About To Collapse Under Load" or the whining about X-Box bundling recently?)

Geez, Larry Ellison flies a MiG! And Gates flew in coach, sleeping with a blanket over his head, until the mid 90's, IIRC.

For this kind of money... (5, Interesting)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251824)

... I bet that you could put together a teleconferencing system with close to IMAX quality. It would use a lot less fuel, too.

A dedicated 100-Mb fiber link should be sufficient. Imagine hardball business negotiations in 9-channel Dolby surround sound.

Re:For this kind of money... (3, Funny)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 13 years ago | (#2252044)

That's what I was thinking...and whenever the CEO makes a statement, he can press a button for some incidental music! Or maybe rimshots whenever someone says something stupid. Think of the possibilities for humiliation of your subordinates!

What happened to "Getting there is half the fun"? (4, Interesting)

Robber Baron (112304) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251830)

Some of the my most memorable journeys have been long train trips. So what if it takes you three days to travel coast to coast? You get to relax, get up, walk around, meet some of your fellow's great fun and a hell of a lot more civilized than being strapped into a supersonic missile like so many Aztec sacrifices...

Besides, you know how much we get pissed-off when some Yuppie asshole's cell-phone starts ringing when we are trying to enjoy a nice restaurant or theatre performance? "Look at me! I'm so fucking important that I need to disturb everyone around me!" Well that's just going to get a whole lot worse. "Look at me! I'm so fucking important that I need to smash out everyone's windows as I race off to yet another "important" meeting!"

Anyone know where I can get a Patriot missile battery cheap?

Re:What happened to "Getting there is half the fun (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2251913)

Paul Allen comissioned a barge to land his helicopter on - because it was on water, it skirted the local laws banning helicopters. Rumor has it that some guy with home-made model rockets put an end to that idea.

No Mention of Gates (0)

sucko (257144) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251835)

The article doesn't even mention Microsoft or Bill Gates. You bigots got your panties in a bunch over nothing. Again.

Sloppy Reporting (3, Interesting)

hanway (28844) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251838)

Concorde is "the world's dirtiest and loudest aircraft?" That's pretty sloppy reporting. It's probably true for commercial airliners, but there are probably many military planes that are louder and belch more smoke. I'll bet that the B-52 is dirtier and the SR-71 is louder.

Re:Sloppy Reporting (1)

macsforever2001 (32278) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251874)

I'll bet that the B-52 is dirtier and the SR-71 is louder.

Certainly, and the Space Shuttle is probably loudest of all when it is returning to Earth in airplane mode - gotta love the double sonic booms! Granted it is completely clean because it is gliding at this point.

Re:Sloppy Reporting (2)

elefantstn (195873) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251977)

I'll bet that the B-52 is dirtier and the SR-71 is louder.

Yes, but neither lands in residential areas quite as frequently.

Dertouzos said it better... (-1, Offtopic)

cascadefx (174894) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251846)

Michael Dertouzos, Chair of MIT's Computer Science Department and columnist for The MIT Technology Review [] said it better in an article titled The People's Computer: E-mail: Freedom or Jail? [] .

He is more concise and he offers some simple rules that would help stem the tide if everyone abided by them.

The meat of his point is summed up in the following paragraph:

Just because we have become electronically interconnected, we have not acquired the automatic right to send a message to anyone we wish, nor the automatic obligation to respond to every message we receive.

Here, here!

What 'bout us? (1)

manon (112081) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251859)

How come companies make tech's like us always economy?
That way we, man and women that have most right to it, will never fly supersonic.
I bet those MBA people will!

Re:What 'bout us? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2252011)

well, im always in executive class. ;)

Re:What 'bout us? (1)

manon (112081) | more than 13 years ago | (#2252065)

People, there actually IS a MBA guy reading Slashdot ;)

The regulation on sonic booms (5, Informative)

mr_death (106532) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251875)

The government takes a dim view of sonic booms over the US land mass. tl e_14/14cfr91_00.html

91.817 Civil aircraft sonic boom.

(a) No person may operate a civil aircraft in the United States at a true flight Mach number greater than 1 except in compliance with conditions and limitations in an authorization to exceed Mach 1 issued to the operator under appendix B of this part.

(b) In addition, no person may operate a civil aircraft for which the maximum operating limit speed MM0 exceeds a Mach number of 1, to or from an airport in the United States, unless --

(1) Information available to the flight crew includes flight limitations that ensure that flights entering or leaving the United States will not cause a sonic boom to reach the surface within the United States; and

(2) The operator complies with the flight limitations prescribed in paragraph (b)(1) of this section or complies with conditions and limitations in an authorization to exceed Mach 1 issued under appendix B of this part. (Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 2120-0005)

Didnt want concorde (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2251938)

Didn't they bring in those laws, cos they were pissed @ Britain & France making this plane, so decided to scupper it @ a time when people werent too bothered about environmental laws?

For that kind of money (2)

gelfling (6534) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251879)

I could have anyone in the world kidnapped and brought to my secret Caribbean base while coffee colored lesbians peel me grapes and fan me.

Re:For that kind of money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2252058)

I am intrigued, sir, by your views and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

Eye Candy (5, Interesting)

Kozz (7764) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251883)

Take a look at a photo of a sonic boom [] .

And for the record, the Lameness filter sucks.

The +Mach 1 Club. (0, Offtopic)

Macfox (50100) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251911)

Gone is the Mile high Club.

Enter the Mach 1!

"Boom... Oh!... Darling!... "


Here's a picture ... (1)

JoeGee (85189) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251914)

on Boeing's site. The Boeing Sonic Cruiser [] was unveiled a few months ago.

From what I gather the Boeing offering is not longer than Concorde. It DOES have a longer range. It flies at Mach .98, at roughly 40,000 feet in altitude, and can be configured to fly non-stop from London to Sydney.

The images at this point in time are still concept but I like the look. The dual inswept tail fins, and the dual canards at the front along with the delta wing make this beastie look really sleek. :)

Censorship! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2251915)

The Slashdot is Still Censorware FAQ, v1.1

Q: What is this all about?

Despite the fact that the Slashdot FAQ [] claims the editors "never" delete comments, proof exists that they have deleted comments on occasion:

Notice the first comment in the cached version of the story is an ASCII graphic, which had been modded up to +1 at the last minute before the story was archived. That comment is now gone. As you can see, the comment was posted by this user [] . Notice the user info page now says the account has posted zero comments. All comments posted by that account, regardless of moderation score, have been wiped.

Q: Didn't the comment just get modded down?

No, the comment is gone. It is nowhere to be found in the current version of the story. One must go to the Google cache to view it.

Q: Maybe it got modded down just before the story was archived, and is now gone because comments at 0 and below don't get archived?

No, the story had already been frozen into Slashdot's static HTML archive. Look at that Google cached copy again. It clearly says:

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

That also means no more moderation could take place. The comment did not get modded down, it was deleted.

Q: So? It's their site, they can delete comments if they want to!

True. But it's also true that I can criticize them for being liars. Here is what the Slashdot FAQ says [] about the deletion of comments:

The only time we ever delete comments is if the comment contains malformed HTML that is somehow causing Slashdot to fail to display properly.
Comments are not deleted on the basis of content. [emphasis added]

As you can see from the Google cache, the comment displayed just fine in a standard browser. It was not deleted because it contained malformed HTML. It was deleted for no reason, save that they didn't like it. That is in direct conflict with the statements in the FAQ.

Q: Yeah well, that comment was an ASCII representation of [] , which is disgusting. I'm glad it's gone.

Odd that you find the human body "disgusting". Do you take showers with your eyes closed so you won't have to look at it?

Q: Look, that comment was posted by a troll; it was modded up by trolls, and therefore it was invalid!

I once again redirect your attention to the Slashdot FAQ. Slashdot brags about being user-moderated. The comment was posted and moderated up by users. How is that invalid?

Q: Because! I said it's a troll! Didn't you hear me?!


Q: Well, why are you posting this? What do you want them to do about it? What are you trying to prove?

The point of all this is that Slashdot's model of anonymous posting, never deleting comments, and purely user-based moderation doesn't work. They are, in fact, aware of this -- hence the deletion of comments (not to mention the vast number of comments modded down by editors rather than users).

There is nothing wrong with the administrator of a message board taking steps, even ruthless ones, to eliminate crap. In fact, most successful message boards on the web are run in this manner. However, since the Slashdot editors refuse to acknowledge this, and still publicly maintain their fantasy of a working user-regulated system, I think it's pretty funny to go around pointing out their hypocrisy and dishonesty.

Q: Don't you have better things to do?

Yeah, but I'm not doing them right now, am I?

Note: This FAQ is public domain. Copy-and-paste it to your heart's content. It is not released under the GPL.

Filler Article (1)

dohcvtec (461026) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251919)

Technology marches on, and to me it seems inevitable that supersonic transport will eventually become available to businesses and individuals. According to the article this technology will be available in 5-10 years' time. Isn't that what people were already thinking 10 years ago? And have we seen it yet? I'll be interested in a story on this technology when it is more than vaporware. After all, it's really easy to idly say that just about _any_ technology is about 5-10 years away from ubiquity.

One crash means a supersonic age is impossible? (2, Interesting)

alist (241245) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251944)

"Engineers say the baby Concordes will herald a new supersonic age, something that seemed impossible when the Air France Concorde crashed outside Paris just over a year ago."

Maybe it's just me, but I recall that the Concorde flew supersonically for years before one of them crashed, and the one that bit the dust was due to metal on the runway, not a major design flaw. When the first automobile crashed, did we mourn the end of the age of the car?

Bill who? (1)

Fizzlewhiff (256410) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251946)

I read the damn thing twice trying to figure out who the hell Bill is. Why do people need to add things to articles that are not there? Isn't that what Katz's columns are for?

missed the point (3, Insightful)

joss (1346) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251948)

Concorde can fly perfectly well across land, but Boeing successfully lobied US government to ban it from being used across continental USA.

This came as a rude shock and completely fucked the economics of concorde which was explicitly designed for long-haul, eg LA-London flights. It's the main reason so few were built.

Morons - what did they expect ? The US will always protect it's own corporations from competition if it can get away with it. This occurs at the expense of it's citizens, but nobody cares about that. Just like any other nation of course, but it's a lot harder to bully the US into accepting competition than smaller countries.

length no impact on boom (1)

slide-rule (153968) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251952)

Color me confused, but the whole behavior of a sonic boom is that "information" (such as the length of the craft) cannot travel upstream across shock waves, so the nose "boom" won't know how long the aircraft is. Besides, it is the Mach number of the craft in flight that determines the angle of the primary nose shock, not the geometry of the nose (or remainder of the craft) itself. So I figure the story has to be horribly mangled from the original source at this point to imply that stretching the craft can even "flatten" the generated shock waves. Very little to see here folks.

Learn more (3, Informative)

Blackjax (98754) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251963)

This article had an annoying lack of details. These stories have more information on why this is being explored now:

aviationnow []
savannahmorningnews []

this reminds me of .. (1)

platypus (18156) | more than 13 years ago | (#2251979)

... an interview I read with Shaquille O'Neal in a local magazine (shoddy translation by me).
Obviously having a private jet can be topped by simply not using it:

O'Neal:[...] Be young, have fun!
Do you wanna know how I travelled to germany?

Reporter: In your private jet?

O'Neal: No, in a Boing 747. We bought all tickets and the front of the plane hang down somewhat, because we all sat in first-class and everything else was empty. That's the way I wanted to live and so I do.

Boeing-Su (2)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 13 years ago | (#2252042)

Way back when I was in High School and the Cold War ended, there were articles in Aviation Leak...err...Week and Popular Mechanics about how the NeXT Big thing was going to be corporate jets that were transonic.

Rumor at the time was that Boeing and Sukhoi were working with Lear on a supersonic 40 seat corporate jet, and they had 50 confirmed orders.

So this kind of thing is kind of old news.

I'd expect Boeing to ship the Sonic-Crusier cheaper and more flexable than any other corporate type jet, even thought the article mentions Boeing. I'd see the Sonic-Cruiser being the replacement for the 737 and 727 in these circles.
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