The scheduled (and postponed) test flight of SpaceX’s Starship spacecraft and Super Heavy booster has opened up a world of possibilities for the future of commercial flight.
The test flight, scheduled to launch from the SpaceX Starbase facility in South Texas and reach an altitude of about 150 miles before eventually falling into the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii, was meant to last 90 minutes. That Journey would cover roughly 22,000 miles, which is like going from New York to Sydney and back to New York in a round trip.
This flight path has sparked the idea of commercial flights that could take passengers worldwide in just one hour.
The Possibility of a One-Hour Flight
The idea of a one-hour flight around the world is not as far-fetched as it may seem. With technological advances, it is possible to fly from one side of the world to the other in a fraction of the time it would have taken in the past.
The Starship spacecraft and Super Heavy booster can carry more cargo and a larger crew while featuring a fully reusable design to help reduce the costs associated with spaceflight.
This means that the same technology could be used to create a commercial flight that could take passengers worldwide in just one hour.
SpaceX Commercial Flight Teaser
SpaceX actually teased this idea of one hour flights around the world back in 2017.
Here are the suggested flight times between major international cities:
- New York to Shanghai: 39 minutes
- Hong Kong to Singapore: 22 minutes
- Los Agneles to Toronto: 24 minutes
- Bangkok to Dubai: 27 minutes
- Tokyo to Singapore: 28 minutes
- London to Dubai: 29 minutes
- London to New York: 29 minutes
- New York to Paris: 30 minutes
- Honolulu to Tokyo: 30 minutes
- Tokyo to Delhi: 30 minutes
- Melbourne to Singapore: 30 minutes
- Sydney to Singapore: 31 minutes
- Los Angeles to London: 32 minutes
- Los Angeles to New York: 25 minutes
- London to Hong Kong: 34 minutes
- London to Cape Town: 34 minutes
- Sydney to Tokyo: 35 minutes
- Los Angeles to Buenos Aires: 35 minutes
- Los Angeles to Shanghai: 36 minutes
- Sydney to Delhi: 36 minutes
- New York to Tokyo: 37 minutes
- Sydney to Johannesburg: 37 minutes
- Delhi to San Francisco: 40 minutes
- Sydney to Dubai: 40 minutes
- Los Angeles to Adelaide: 42 minutes
- Doha to Auckland: 45 minutes
- Sydney to Athens: 47 minutes
- New York to Sydney: 49 minutes (currently the world’s longest direct flight, which is a 19.5 hour flight with today’s technology)
- Los Angeles to Johannesburg : 50 minutes
- Sydney to Zurich: 50 minutes
- Los Angeles to Honolulu: 25 minutes
- Los Angeles to Tokyo: 32 minutes
- Sydney to London: 51 minutes
- Rio de Janeiro to Hong Long: 52 minutes
The Challenges of a One-Hour Flight
While a one-hour flight around the world is possible, some challenges still need to be addressed. One of the biggest challenges is the cost of such a flight. The technology used to create a one-hour flight would be expensive, and it would be difficult to make it cost-effective for passengers.
Additionally, safety concerns need to be addressed, as flying at such high speeds could be dangerous.
Will Starship Offer Commercial Flights For International Flights?
A one-hour flight around the world would benefit passengers and businesses. For passengers, it would mean that they could travel to any destination in the world in a fraction of the time it would take with traditional flights. This would make it easier for people to travel to far-off destinations without spending days in transit.
For businesses, it would mean that they could send employees to any destination in the world in hours, allowing them to conduct business more efficiently.
No doubt Elon will make this happen for humanity, it’s just a matter of time.