Nov. 9th, 2016

chickenfeet: (mew)
 Just back from a few days in Australia.  It's been twenty years since I last flew to Australia and, I think, thirty since I did it in cattle class.  Observations:

1.  I'm 20/30 years older than last time.  This does not help.

2. The introduction of new, really long range planes, has changed the game.  Used to be that LA to Sydney was about the longest flight segment out there (12 hours or so).  Now AC flies Vancouver to Sydney (15 hours).  This is quite a big change.  Also much shorter layovers as same plane Sydney to Toronto which makes for a lot of plane time pretty much non-stop (22 hours or so).  I could take this in J/F as it does shorten the overall journey time but it's very hard on the body in cattle class.

3.  It's going to get more that way.  The latest airliners have the range to do Sydney to London in one swell foop.  Guessing 20 hours plus.  The airlines will love this as it means lower costs (less fuel for takeoff/landings, fewer airport charges) and it will be a big win with the front cabin who will certainly prefer shorter journey times and where comfort, already not bad on e.g. 747s now allows for real sleep.  Could be pretty hard in cattle class though.

4.  No prospect of reduced journey times though until someone revives supersonic.  Air speeds are currently up around 900 km/hr which is about as fast as subsonic gets.

5.  I really think this will be my last Australia trip.  Another few years and I really will not be able to take it.


chickenfeet: (death)
 Vlad's dream just came true...

Forget Syria.  Russia has no real strategic interest there.  The front line is the Donbas and the Baltic States.  Suppose, just suppose (and for fun let's pick inauguration day) Russia were to annex the Donbas?  Or even couple it with an invasion of the Baltic states?  Answers on a post card please.  Oh, and if I were Netanyahu I would choose the same day to announce the annexation of the West Bank and Gaza.  Strange times make strange bed fellows.

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