TODD: This is inspired by the fact that United Airlines has decided to bring back supersonic flight and they’re looking at a deal to do this. Do you remember the days of supersonic flight? There is in the Boeing Museum. Yeah. It’s in Seattle. One of the Concords is there — and what was it, an hour flight from New York to London, something like that? Remarkable, that we can do that.
That is using mathematics and science to study order, in order to be ordered on top of it. That form of understanding of order, means that we’re capable much enforcing great order, and taking advantage of great order. We’ve been given this intelligence, which on the one hand, in a scientific discovery sense, it’s very inspiring. On the other hand, watching disorder purposely inserted into our political world — in fact, our life world — is very frustrating.
Now, Rush loved political order, rule of law, right? He shared with us, his belief in God, particularly towards the last few months of his life. He was so gracious in that regard. The Maha loved his airplanes. He loved airplanes. He loved tech. I can hear him talking about going to visit with the captains of EIB One. “How does this work?
“How does that work?” and he wanted to understand this. So the news of the supersonic flights might be coming back. It would have thrilled the Maha, and Rush would have been so anxious to discuss this with us. He loved technology. He loved aeronautics. Listen to him, how he explains flight.
RUSH: Flight is a series of compromises. To get something that weighs as much as your average jet airliner off the ground requires more power than you ever stop to consider. You hear all about lift or aerodynamic air pressure that makes an airplane fly, but you have to get a certain speed going before that air pressure differential is created. And the heavier the airplane, the faster it has to go.
I was on an El Al 747, they let me sit up in the cockpit, a long time ago. It took nearly every foot of the 10,000-foot runway at JFK to get the thing off the ground. You’ve got to get up to speed, it takes a long time, just the weight of these things. It’s all about what you’ll pay for. If you want to travel supersonic you are gonna be paying out the nose for it, at current technology.
And then you can’t do it over-populated areas ’cause of the sonic booms. It break people’s windows or your animals would go nuts and go crazy. So you can’t even do it unless it’s over the ocean. But the whole thing was fuel. The wings, parts of fuselage, in order to have enough to even fly supersonic. And here’s the thing about flight. The faster you go — people don’t think about this — the faster you try to go through the air the more fuel it takes because the resistance that you face builds up.
If you’re going through the air faster, the air coming against you is faster, that’s more resistance. That’s why you want to fly as high as you can, where the air is thinner and there’s less resistance, so it takes less fuel. That’s why, if you can fly at 51, you’ll do it. If you can fly at 43, you’ll do it. If you can only fly at 35, 37, it’s gonna cost. There really is no way that we can fly at current prices any faster than we do.
I just know they’re always looking at it. But there’s only so much you can do if you want to fly right up to the speed of sound. I think the fastest corporate jet is the Cessna Citation X, and it is Mach .9, something or other, but only on precise conditions. And it costs. It’s just the faster you go the more fuel it takes to get you through the air that fast, because the resistance builds up.
You start going supersonic at 2,000 miles an hour as opposed to 550, which is what the Concorde did, Concorde 1500, how do you get to London in three hours? It takes a lot of fuel. So you gotta buy the fuel. Then you gotta maintain the airplanes. You gotta cater them. You gotta pay the people that maintain and staff them and so forth. It just became cost prohibitive. And the only two destinations were to London and Paris.
I remember Bill Buckley once chartered one for an around-the-world trip with National Review donors and so forth. They went to Australia. That’s the one where they had to fly in a replacement because a portion of the rear rudder came loose, fell off during flight, on their way in to Australia or something. I remember seeing a picture of it on the ground. Commercial aviation.
I was once on a flight around Christmastime to California, and a pilot was deadheading, and he was sitting next to me, and he was explaining this theory. He was the one talking about flight being a series of compromises. “Look, you want to get something this heavy off ground this fast? Here’s what it’s gonna cost you. Are people gonna pay that? That’s what the airlines have to determine, and there are demands that people have.
“They expect speed to be this and that but it costs X, and it’s all contingent on the price of oil.” By time you start talking about going supersonic, that’s an entirely different aerodynamic design and fuel consumption. They fly at 60,000 feet. In order to get there… You know, it takes awhile to get up that high because you’ve got to burn off burn off a certain amount of fuel to get rid of the weight.
The windows on the Concorde were three inches. I mean, you couldn’t see out of them. They needed that space. They couldn’t trust the windows not to blow out. The structural integrity has to be really precise when you do that, and then you start talking about space travel and escaping the atmosphere? The power needed to do that is huge. This is one of the reasons why when I listen to these yokels talk about wind and solar, it’s an absolute joke.
You know, the principle of the airfoil and how it all works? Some people get into one of these puritan conversations. “There’s no such thing as lift. It’s air pressure differential. What do you mean, lift? There’s no lift.” If you look at an airplane wing, the bottom is flat, for the most part. The top is curved, and it’s a bulbous curve at the front and tapers toward the back.
That means that it takes air longer to go over the top of the wing, more time. It’s minuscule, but it’s enough. It takes air longer to go over the top of the wing than it does over the bottom ’cause the bottom’s flat, there’s nothing stopping it, and bam! But you’ve got a little bit of an obstruction, and that creates — for the lack of a better term — sort of an air-pressure differential.
The air weighs more underneath the airplane than above it, and lifts it up if you have the right speed. And if you notice on a propeller airplane, even the props have that airfoil. The fuselage and the nose is also an airfoil. Everything is oriented toward getting that airplane off the ground and then flying at the right speed. The whole thing, it’s always fascinated me. I still to this day am fascinated watching something that big get off the ground. Still. Even though I know how it’s happening, it still amazes me.
TODD: I was just talking to someone earlier on Team EIB who took one of these planes. I’ve been in one, but to take one and to experience that speed… They had a little sign or readout in the airplane to tell you how fast you were going, right? Now, again, that was order. You can’t have flight like that… You heard El Rushbo talk about the order necessary. The fuselage. The design of the airplanes. The understanding of this. Right? That is… That’s the scientific order of the world, as I see it, employed by God.