Category: transportation

Will supersonic travel make a comeback?

 an artist’s concept of a possible Low Boom Flight Demonstration Quiet Supersonic Transport (QueSST) X-plane design. The award of a preliminary design contract is the first step towards the possible return of supersonic passenger travel – but this time quieter and more affordable. Credits: Lockheed Martin
An artist’s concept of a possible Low Boom Flight Demonstration Quiet Supersonic Transport (QueSST) X-plane design. The award of a preliminary design contract is the first step towards the possible return of supersonic passenger travel – but this time quieter and more affordable. Image courtesy Lockheed Martin.

NASA teams with Lockhead to develop faster-than-sound jet

Staff Report

World travelers itching for a faster ride may see their desire satisfied in the years to come. NASA announced this week that it’s budgeted about $20 million for developing a design for a new “low-boom” supersonic jet that could fly faster than the speed of sound (about 760 mph). Most existing passenger jets cruise along at about 570 mph.

The new NASA initiative is aimed at designing the first in a series of X-planes as part of the  New Aviation Horizons initiative, introduced in the agency’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget. Continue reading “Will supersonic travel make a comeback?”

Morning photo: Skyward …

More #windowseat love!


A few more aerial views, just because looking at the world from above is so cool. The air was filled with a wintry haze during a recent flight to LA, but with a little editing I was able to bring out some of the detail in the Denver cityscape, and a black and white edit of the mountains helped sharpen the image a bit. It was also fun to see the giant jets at Heathrow all lined up, looking a bit like toy planes. Just a couple of hours later, our flight path took us along the mighty Danube for the approach to Vienna, spread out and gleaming in late winter sunshine.

New NASA-developed technologies could cut jet emissions by 75 percent

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Emerging technologies could cut the airline industry’s carbon footprint. @bberwyn photo.

New designs, materials could also deliver huge cost savings for airlines

Staff Report

Airlines could cut costs and air pollution by adopting some of NASA’s latest green aviation technologies.

The nation’s airlines could realize more than $250 billion dollars in savings in the near future thanks to green-related technologies developed and refined by NASA’s aeronautics researchers during the past six years. Continue reading “New NASA-developed technologies could cut jet emissions by 75 percent”

Travel industry backs strong Paris climate deal

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The cruise ship industry aims to cut CO2 emissions by 30 percent in the next 15 years. @bberwyn photo.

Airline industry committed to cutting CO2 emissions 50 percent by 2050

By Bob Berwyn

World travel leaders say they’re on board with efforts to finalize a meaningful global climate agreement at the ongoing COP21 talks in Paris.

Highlighting the economic opportunities that the travel industry creates, several major international organizations reiterated the industry’s commitment to contribute to fight climate change. Continue reading “Travel industry backs strong Paris climate deal”

Climate: Can the transportation sector achieve big cuts in greenhouse gas emissions?

Evening train, platform 7.
A big shift away from automobiles to public transportation could help cap greenhouse gas pollution from the transportation sector. @bberwyn photo.

New studies sees potential for reductions with fundamental shifts in transportation policies

Staff Report

The heat-trapping pollution spewing from trucks, cars, busses, ships and airplanes adds up to a hefty 23 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions — and they are projected to double by 2050.

But with a concerted effort, the transportation sector could cut that amount by half within the next 35 years. Needed is more fuel efficiency and more public transit in cities, along with a large-scale shift to electric cars, according to a new study that took a close look at emissions from transportation. Continue reading “Climate: Can the transportation sector achieve big cuts in greenhouse gas emissions?”

NTSB report: Automakers lagging on life-saving collision-avoidance technology

Can new laws help ease I-70 congestion?
Can new laws help ease I-70 congestion?

Lack of incentives, limited public awareness has stunted the wide adoption of collision avoidance technology

Staff Report

FRISCO — Federal safety officials blasted the U.S. auto industry in a new report for failing to make progress on using life-saving collision avoidance systems in new cars.

The National Transportation Safety Board report says rear-end crashes kill about 1,700 people every year and injure half a million more. More than 80 percent of those deaths and injuries might have been mitigated had the vehicles been equipped with a collision avoidance system.

“You don’t pay extra for your seatbelt,” said NTSB Chairman Christopher A. Hart. “And you shouldn’t have to pay extra for technology that can help prevent a collision altogether.” Continue reading “NTSB report: Automakers lagging on life-saving collision-avoidance technology”

When will planners start considering the public health impacts of urban traffic congestion?

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Traffic haze settles on a busy street in Buenos Aires. Simple traffic control measures like synchronizing stoplights and using flyovers could reduce human exposure to toxic auto exhaust pollution. bberwyn photo.

New traffic pollution data screams out for better transit planning and improved emissions control technology for motor vehicles

Staff Report

FRISCO — Pollution from auto exhaust can quickly build to dangerous levels at stoplights, where drivers are exposed to about 25 percent of their total exposure during a typical commute.

More and more research is proving that the nanoparticles from exhaust contribute significantly to respiratory and heart disease, so University of Surrey scientists decided to study the exposure. Drivers spend just 2 percent of their journey time passing through traffic intersections managed by lights, this short duration contributes to about 25 percent of total exposure to these harmful particles.

Signalized traffic intersections were found to be high pollution hot-spots due to the frequent changes in driving conditions. With drivers decelerating and stopping at lights, then revving up to move quickly when lights go green, peak particle concentration was found to be 29 times higher than that during free flowing traffic conditions. Continue reading “When will planners start considering the public health impacts of urban traffic congestion?”