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Flight: The Next 100 Years

Flight: The Next 100 Years

This video was recorded at MIT World Series: 100th Anniversary of Flight. This panel delves into both the fabled and likely future of air travel. As a boy, Joseph Corn treasured the Popular Mechanics issue whose cover featured a man parking a helicopter in the garage. America's romance with aviation, which started soon after the Wright Brothers' flight, wasn't just about hardware or transportation, says Corn, but about a utopian dream. Air travel would bring about a world of peace and brotherhood – a dream, says Corn, shattered by the dropping of the nuclear bomb. Jane Garvey reminisces about Y2K knuckle-biting – she was bravely aloft on New Year's Eve 1999. The tremendous growth of regional jet travel and urban hub congestion will shift aviation to rural communities, Garvey projects, but believes no new runways will be built without strong local commitment. Allen Haggerty says that with only five airplane manufacturers left, expect streamlined plane travel -- you get to your desired destination more directly but without amenities. Some new and different planes are in the works: the Airbus A-380 will carry 555 passengers, with less noise than a 747. Boeing is designing a cargo plane called "The Pelican," which will have a 500-foot wing span and length greater than a football field.

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