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Flights too short to finish your drink

During Los Angeles’ “carmageddon,” Interstate 405 was completely shut down. So JetBlue Airways decided to run flights that made the highway redundant: Long Beach nonstop to Burbank, a drive that would normally be under 40 miles.

When the highway reopened, JetBlue stopped flying that route. But there are a bunch of other ultra-short routes that airlines run year-round. They’re so short you probably won’t get a drink, and even if you did you’d have to race to finish it before landing. All of them are flown in propeller planes or small regional jets.

Below are a sample of flights in North America that are under 75 miles by car.

1) Clarksburg, WV to Morgantown, WV: 30 minute flight, 38 miles by car. United’s regional airlines fly this route, subsidized by the federal government via the “Essential Air Service” program that encourages airlines to fly to small towns. (If that program sounds familiar, it’s because it was at the heart of the dispute that had the government briefly stop collecting some taxes on airlines.)

2) Victoria, BC to Vancouver, BC: 24 minute flight, 51 miles by car (including a car ferry). Air Canada Jazz shuttles people back and forth across the Salish Sea.

3) Flint, MI to Detroit, MI: 46 minute flight, 73 miles by car. Delta’s regional airlines use this to connect passengers to and from their Detroit hub.

4) Milwaukee, WI to Chicago, IL: 50 minute flight, 74 miles by car. Both American’s and United’s regional airlines fly this route to connect to the massive Chicago hub.

5) Allentown, PA to Philadelphia, PA: 33 minute flight, 74 miles by car. US Airways’ express airline flies this route to connect flyers to and from their connections in Philadelphia.

What’s the shortest flight you’ve ever taken?

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The future of commercial aircraft – an Airbus vision

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_czyTOB35xY] via youtube.com

Just in time for the Paris Airshow. Tnooz reports on this latest installment from Airbus’ Future of Aircraft series. Apparently even the seats on the planes of 2050 are self-cleaning. This is the future. Sadly, no word on whether or not we all have jetpacks.

For some perspective, here’s what French futurists in 1910 imagined for the year 2000.

Air_firemen And that’s just how the firefighters got around.

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