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Mofomon

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Archive for March, 2014

Air travel and technology, we can do better

As many of you are aware due to the media coverage, two days ago Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 took off from Kuala Lumpur and about 50 minutes later the Boeing 777-200 went missing. Now they are searching for the wreckage, unsuccessfully, to find the black boxes so they can figure out what happened.

I’ve posted previously about my frustrations with air travel and the way it really has not improved or changed much since the 70s. We mostly fly in planes designed then and at speeds even slower to maintain fuel efficiency. (I won’t even get into my rant about how we should be flying faster, at least at concord speeds, by now). Lately, there have been a few improvements… we can now watch satellite TV and surf the internet. I’m not trying to discount these awesome upgrades in entertainment and productivity options, but this accident or disappearance reminds me again of how the air travel industry just refuses to change with the times.

Why are we relying on these black boxes that are so hard to recover when planes mysteriously crash or disappear? We have the technology and ability to communicate with the airplanes, get them internet and satellite TV. Why is the aircraft flight data not being uploaded real time onto remote servers? Doesn’t that seem like a better way to figure out what happened, considering we can’t find the plane? I suppose some would say that some flights lose communication before crashing. Sure, but we could still have data up until communication is lost. And a remote upload system could be redundant with an on board black box system…

Just a late night rant addressing an issue I feel could be better handled. Is it just me?

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