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New Freedom of the Skies
I was wondering whether anyone had read [link|http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200106/fallows|this article]  written a few months before 9/11 by James Fallows in the Atlantic Monthly about a section of the aviation industry trying to create alternatives to the large commercial carriers based on smaller planes that had most of the speed of the larger jets and as much of the safety features as they could fit into the design.

Certainly seems like a nice idea, but one that 9/11 made a lot more difficult to achieve.

Whether or not the pilot population increases in the long run, for the foreseeable future small planes will make a difference mainly if they constitute the operating fleet for a new national system of air taxis. A supply of inexpensive, safe, comfortable small planes, flown by hired pilots and available at rates comparable to today's coach air fares, could bring freedom and convenience to a broader share of the traveling public than the class to whom "flying commercial" is a badge of shame.


Seamus
New I hadn't seen that.
Fallows is one of my favorite writers that I never seem to find time to read. Ever since I heard he was an OS/2 fan, in fact.

I've seen him a couple of times on TV and he's always seemed well-reasoned and thoughtful. His recent [link|http://www.amazon.com/Blind-Into-Baghdad-Americas-Vintage/dp/0307277968/|collection of pre-war and post-war essays] is on my To-Read List.

Thanks for the pointer.

Cheers,
Scott.
New Pick up a copy of Atlantic Monthly
for this month. He's writing about China. Pretty interesting.
New Agreed. Though I haven't finished it yet.
Seamus
New NASA's been promoting the idea for some time.
[link|http://sats.nasa.gov/|http://sats.nasa.gov/]

Most pilots I know are dubious about this because of the general public's fear of "flying in those little bitty airplanes."
bcnu,
Mikem

Microsoft Vista. The best reason ever to buy a Mac.
New The safety issue was a big part of the article
They were looking at, for lack of a better phrase, whole plane parachutes and other ideas to make the small planes in the same ballpark, safety wise, as the commercial jets.

If they could get close on the safety issues, I would think a lot of people would jump at a chance to avoid the large airports. But, the security upgrades that would probably be necessary at the smaller airports would effectively kill the issue for a long time.

Seamus
New Re: Security Updates.
Yep. Never underestimate the ability of the FAA to screw up a free lunch.
bcnu,
Mikem

Microsoft Vista. The best reason ever to buy a Mac.
     Freedom of the Skies - (Seamus) - (6)
         I hadn't seen that. - (Another Scott) - (2)
             Pick up a copy of Atlantic Monthly - (dmcarls) - (1)
                 Agreed. Though I haven't finished it yet. -NT - (Seamus)
         NASA's been promoting the idea for some time. - (mmoffitt) - (2)
             The safety issue was a big part of the article - (Seamus) - (1)
                 Re: Security Updates. - (mmoffitt)

Dutch man on the mizzen mast!
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