Getting into a remote airport in the Himalayas has its own special little challenges. This was my first piece in an actual mass-market publication (w00t!), at Air & Space Smithsonian.
Concerned about what happened to SpaceShipTwo (and you should be, because if you hang out at this blog then you probably care about commercial space) but can’t slog through the NTSB report? This story might help you understand.
This one was a brazen little bit of self-promotion for my former employer, but hey – the editors asked for it.
If you’re interested in how we plan for Really Bad Stuff™, like losing an engine during takeoff, this should explain it. Likewise, lose an engine over some place like the Andes Mountains and things can get interesting. Here’s a way to deal with it (though you’ve probably noticed we put a lot of thought into engine failures, but it rarely happens. Like one-in-a-million. Really. Trust me).
And if your flight is getting crowded and they start asking people to sit in specific zones, here’s why. But don’t get me started on why airlines charge you just for checking a single @$%#! bag. It’s complete BS. You can trust me on that one, too.
2 Replies to “Articles”
Liked your book a lot, particularly the stealth gospel message. Also I can let my son read it since there is no sex and little violence.
I wonder if loading the plane with O2 and converting it LOX on climb out is technically feasible.
Thanks Mark. I wrote it from the perspective of having kids myself and therefore kept things PG13-ish.
The O2-to-LOX idea has been around for a while, though it would be quite a feat to supercool that much air in a plane zipping along at Mach-whatever. None of the technical leaps in the book are made up from whole cloth – they’re all concepts that have been thought through by people much smarter than I. And in some cases they’re being actively developed – check out Reaction Engines UK if you haven’t heard of them before.