By Brittany VanDerVille
If you think about it, travel can be an awesome leisure pursuit. We have certainly come a long way since the days of wagon trains and pioneers migrating out West in the days of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Back then, traveling just a few miles was a major undertaking and took a long time.
These days, we are fortunate enough to have cars that can eat up sixty miles of road in an hour (depending on whether or not you obey the speed limit, of course). We have trains that take us cross-country and motorcycles that let us see the world with the wind whipping all around us with nothing between you and nature. And of course, we have airplanes that can take us literally around the world.
Even as the travel industry remains on uncertain ground at the moment, it’s ever-evolving and even improving thanks to various technologies. In particular, the air travel industry could use a little more improvement in the comfort department, at least in my opinion.
Anyone who has taken a flight from the United States to anywhere overseas knows that eight or more hours in a teeny tiny airplane seat can get rather uncomfortable, to say the least.
The World of Supersonic Planes
Yes, that’s right: a supersonic plane. Travel + Leisure (T+L) reported recently that United Airlines is working on a supersonic plane that could drastically cut back on the amount of time world travelers spend on a flight.
United seems to be betting on this new and improved air transportation since they bought 15 of the ‘Overture’ airplanes from Boom, the manufacturer of these speedy planes. Their contract apparently also allows United Airlines to buy another 35 planes if they so choose.
Speed and Sustainability
So how fast are these supersonic planes? We’ll put it this way: travelers who frequently fly from New York to London will be overjoyed to learn that flight times may only be less than four hours. For those who may not have flown this route before, a typical plane ride will last somewhere around seven hours. For busy travelers, those extra few hours could be quite useful.
You might hear ‘supersonic plane’ and understandably assume it will consume a lot more jet fuel than typical planes. However, you would be (happily) wrong in this case. Eco-minded travelers will love the fact that these planes are reported to be “net-zero carbon,” according to T+L. Plus, these planes will run on fully sustainable fuel.
Unfortunately, the planes aren’t quite ready to take on passengers just yet. They’re expected to have their first flights in 2026. And it won’t be until around 2029 that they’ll take on passengers.
Improved Efficiency with Blockchain
While we wait for these amazingly speedy planes, we can certainly appreciate other improvements to the travel industry. Blockchain for instance has the potential to help airlines improve their planes’ efficiency.
Maintaining airplanes is a lot of work. And it involves a ton of data, from what work was done on it to who performed the work and how often maintenance checks were done. That can really add up and make things hard to track or hard to verify when needed.
Blockchain can add efficiency to this obstacle by providing a secure place to store all of this information and much more. That could add up to increased safety as well as improved efficiency.
Improvements to Travel
While supersonic planes aren’t here just yet, it is rather exciting to think that airlines can potentially halve the time it takes to fly to far-flung destinations. And as we eagerly await the arrival of the first supersonic flights for passengers, we can learn about other improvements to the airline industry such as increased plane efficiency and maintenance courtesy of blockchain technology.
Here’s to safer, speedier, and more sustainable air travel!