* Posts by petboy

50 posts • joined 15 Dec 2011

London's 'automatic' Tube trains suffered 750 computer failures last year


I'm very confused at the assertion a train driver's "systems" are always operational (except when they're not - on strike, off sick, doing "training", "union activities" etc.).

By definition a SPAD incident on a manual train means the train driver's systems were not operational. And the statistics indicates the train drivers failed more often than the automatic systems.

Very strange conclusion from this article.

Tesla's Model S autonomous mode may have saved a life


Re: @Bazza: PR stunt

Are you guys arguing over "driving too fast" forgetting that in the USA it is an offence for the pedestrian to jaywalk? So there is no expectation on the part of drivers that people will simply walk off the pavement in front of them, nor any legal requirement to consider it.

Gov to pull plug on online ID verification portal Gateway in 2018


[i]£900,000 doesn't sound like enough money to run such a service resiliently and securely...[/i]

No, they are being paid £900,000 to turn off the old service.

Yes, £900,000 to turn it off. Welcome to corporate IT land.

Watch: SpaceX finally lands Falcon rocket on robo-barge in one piece


Re: Post euphoric bliss

but where does the road go now?


Tesla books over $8bn in overnight sales claims Elon Musk


Re: Great looking but...

" ... Do the cables lock in at both ends? ..."


NASA funds new supersonic airliner research


Re: Now if there was a way to talk to people in far away places...

To put it bluntly, the sky is full. There is simply no more capacity in the air over London and South East of England, Holland, New England, Tokyo metropolis and to a lesser extent other large metropolitan areas.

Having flown in it, I can assure you it is mostly empty. The reason you see aircraft "stacking" is because there are no runways on which to land them. Aircraft are really tiny in comparison with the amount of air around and even with the spacing required by old-fashioned ATC systems they can get pretty close. The FAA is working on bringing down the separation requirements and even our Air Traffic guys are working on "Continuous Descent Approaches" where the aircraft are sequenced from way out over the sea to avoid the "stacking" problem.

It is a Spruce Goose NG - a flying boat,

The reason for Flying Boats in the 1930s-1940s was because the technology did not exist to make sufficiently robust undercarriage in the absence of long hard runways. Spreading the load over a hull made it much easier to build heavier aircraft. It also avoided having to build a really long runway or deal with crosswinds, whereas after WWII there were loads of long runways and lots built on the three-runway military pattern, together with a wide range of heavy duty tyres and landing gear. Better piloting techniques and the increase in nosewheel rather than tailwheel aircraft (more tolerant of a crosswind) sidestepped the drawbacks which had driven the use of flying boats.

The penalty of that huge hull is massive drag, as you note it would mean aircraft would be much slower but they would also burn huge amounts of fuel. Not many people would be keen on a 24 hour Atlantic Transit that cost £2000 for a cattle-class seat!

If you do a seaplane rating you will also find there are distinct limits on how rough the sea can be for a landing, so you would need to build massive (really massive) artificial harbours.

The Caspian Sea Monster and other ekranoplanes require very smooth water so are not really relevant to North Sea/Atlantic/Pacific operations. Inland waters only really.


Re: Now if there was a way to talk to people in far away places...

IIRC most of the UK air space is reserved for the MOD. Civilian traffic has to keep to its allowed lanes to avoid "free running" planes.

Nope, the vast majority of the UK airspace is "Class G" - totally free and open, you don't have to talk to anyone.

There is no "MOD Airspace". There are zones around airfields, same as any airfield. Even the "Military" ATZ is not legally enforceable.

You may be thinking of the meaningless "Areas of Intense Aerial Activity" or "Low Flying Zones" in some remote parts of the country. Neither of which are controlled or exclude normal aircraft.


Re: Supersonic flight

With "Allow three hours to check-in" and then generally another 30-45 minutes at each end of hanging around (if you are lucky) you could beat Concorde's London-NY time simply by having a subsonic private jet where you turn up and go.

Doctor Who: Oh, look! There's a restaurant at the end of the universe in Hell Bent


Re: Car spotting!

Ah right you are - good to see it's not just sci-fi that has such a depth of knowledge around here. Apologies to the BBC!


What I'd like to know is why they had a Rover 600 as the "American" car owned by the chap who was looking after the unconscious Doctor in the *USA* desert. Not like the BBC to skimp on that prop, given they probably had plenty of pick-up trucks as crew vehicles which would have been far more appropriate.

How cyber insurance actually works


I was disappointed at how little the insurer cared about having proper security when negotiating for cyber insurance with our finance director.

We were given the initial premium on the basis of having no idea at all about security. I asked what the price would be if I put us through as IASME or even a full ISO27001 audit and ensured compliance. The discount was a couple of hundred pounds.

So, basically, it was cheaper to leave systems wide open and claim on the insurance than actually make an effort to be secure.


Who's running dozens of top-secret unpatched databases? The Dept of Homeland Security


Re: Utah rubbish!

I think the post about Wizard of Auz was a poor attempt at satire ... American logistics? As the Germans said "they fought a rich man's war - instead of attacking a machine gun next with grenades, they call in an air strike".

Reg reader escapes four-month lightning-struck Windows Vista farm nightmare


Re: Carl sounds a bit passive

It is very very easy to be taken in at interview by a swanky boardroom and nice carpet. Budget discussion at interview is hardly likely to be cast in stone.

I always ask if I can go and meet the team as it's both useful to see the actual people with whom you will work and you can see the workplace environment.

The Emissionary Position: screwing the motorist the European way


Thatcher actually fought *for* lean burn (she was a trained chemist after all) but was overruled by the EU (aka VW/Mercedes lobby) who had not done the R&D on lean burn engines and so pushed for mandatory catalytic converters of a type which didn't work with lean burn.

Tesla X unfolds its Falcon wings, stumbles belatedly into the light


Re: Door mirrors...

How about periscope mirrors? I.e. a very small outside mirror and a much larger mirror inside the car to show the image. All the advantages of removing the door mirrors without the complexity of a camera and screen system.


NASA preps lobotomy for Opportunity rover to cure amnesia


Re: Necessary XKCD Reference

Depends whose body you get as part of the swap?

My HOUSE used to be a PUB: How to save the UK high street


Re: A missed opportunity

Yes, there is also the "InPost" company now who have parcel lockers, totally automated. I needed to post a parcel at 2130 on a Sunday. Went to their site, printed off the label, nipped up the road to the local set of lockers and popped it in. Arrived first thing Tuesday morning without any hassle for me at all.

Programming Office 365: Hands On with Microsoft's new APIs


It's interesting that there seems to be an implicit assumption that because this is Microsoft, everyone will fall over themselves to use it "It is inevitable that if Microsoft sustains the momentum behind Office 365, there will be increasing demand for mobile apps that integrate with the service."

Demand from whom? Sensible developers will see the new Microsoft standard of half-baked documentation; missing code from samples and non-working "features". They will then run a mile, or at least quote based on the effort required to wade through the morass - and add a huge maintenance fee to cover the inevitable failures that will occur as Microsoft flings more mud at the wall in the hope some might stick.

"The Business" might "demand" integrated mobile apps, but it is likely to have a heart attack when presented with the price tag to produce them.

This said from a twenty-year Microsoft veteran who has watched it become ever harder to produce a working application on the Microsoft stack ...

Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know


Which Google self-driving cars are modified Ford Fusions? The original Toyota Priuses, or the newer Lexus rx450h? Genuinely interested if they have switched allegiance ...

BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff


The rare earths are also, ironically, not that rare :-)

EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app


Happened to my mum too - she burned through £60 of top ups (about five years' worth, for her) before I took a look. Now on Vodafone ... and watching it like a hawk.

Morrisons supermarket hit by MASSIVE staff payroll data robbery


Re: By payroll data

Well no, Morrisons provide their own data. If you check the first link you'll see the Oracle system was implemented by Wipro


Re: By payroll data

Oracle provides Morrison's payroll (via Wipro) - http://www.wipro.com/Documents/MORRISONS%20CASE%20STUDY-final(curve).pdf


Microsoft claims victory over second-hand software broker


But they are committed to saving us from the risks. Any business with half a brain will look at this case, the Microsoft T&Cs and the veiled threat from Microsoft and immediately use someone else's software instead.

The Microsoft Spokesman didn't specify *how* Microsoft was aiming to protect us ...

UK.gov: NO MORE tech deals bigger than £100m. Unless we feel like it


Re: Is this the first time that ...

Thanks for the long post, but you mention "stood up this team in a week". That rather implies a total lack of planning - on the part of the customer, or on the part of the supplier?

I presume your 300-table database was only one tiny component of the system BTW?

El Reg's contraptions confessional no.3: the Apple G4 Cube


Re: Bloody British 3 pin mains plugs.

It's worth pointing out, however, that the British plug design had a great deal of thought put into it.

For example, the sockets have shields so that children cannot put their finger in - the designers actually tested it.

The shield and socket system means the plug won't go live until the earth prong is connected (whether that is wired up inside the plug of course is out of the socket's control, this is just a physical connection!)

UK plugs can't be pulled out by the lead - you have to exert significant force to overcome the friction, and that applies in every direction. Anyone who has tripped over a US lead and found it flying out the socket will understand how frustrating that can be ...

So yes, a bit big and clunky but when they were designed electrical appliances were fixed installations.

Visual Studio 2013: 50 Shades of Grey not a worry for MONSTER dev TOOL


Re: I Confess

"Executive summary: The world does not work on VS20xx developed code and is not likely to -- ever. We need better tools."

If I could upvote this more I would. Those of us old enough to have written code in the days when memory was measured in Kilobytes are often ignored by the cool new kidz.

Android 4.4 requires nearly 2Gb of storage just for itself and "should" run in 512 Mb of RAM. We stand in awe at how "modern phones have more processing power than a 1990s mainframe". But ignore that all that power is sucked up just running an email client.

I can recall the days of VB6, being able to sit with a business user and bash out a quick-and-dirty application for them more or less in real time then walk away with confidence it would keep working.

No, we didn't have deep Computer Science constructs such as generics, delegates or lambda functions. But for 95% of Line-of-Business applications being able to bang it out in a week won over spending three months designing a beautifully pure architecturally perfect platform. Yes, there were times I was knee deep in VB6 code and wished I'd written it in Java, or C++ for that matter. But there were plenty of other times when the speed of connecting everything up and plugging in a tiny bit of business logic *while the user who needed it was there* made me much happier.

Good programmers write good code no matter what language they are using - bad programmers can make a mess in C#, F#, Erlang ...

Today we not only have gigantic frameworks, but the prevalence of the internet means it's nigh on impossible to have confidence your code will work, keep working, and deploy nicely to a new server too. If it's not Patch Tuesday tripping something up, it's a minor undocumented glitch buried somewhere deep in the recesses of the millions of lines of code on top of which your three text boxes and a button app sits. Anyone who tells you every single deployment they have made with .net went without a hitch has either been amazingly lucky; is a genius who has someone psychically absorbed all the workarounds required for various non-working pieces of the framework; or has only written tiny simple "example code" systems.

The people who comment that no-one should take 20 minutes to compile an application seem unaware that the world has been in recession since 2007.

A former employer has staff still using 2006-era machines. Hard to justify buying new shiny-shiny when staff are being ushered out the door to the dole queue.

But customers still want their new systems, so the poor programmer has to run at least VS2010 on a wheezing 2-4Gb Core2Something. Should the coder need a fire-breather of a new machine with "more processing power than a Cray" just to create a tiny little tool that makes querying someone's database easier? Probably not.

It is the pareto effect at work - as the old joke goes, 80% of problems can be solved with duct tape and WD40. But as programmers we have a horrible tendency to dismantle the entire house just to fix a light switch.

SR-71 Blackbird follow-up: A new TERRIFYING Mach 6 spy-drone bomber


Re: Remember battlecrusiers?

"'Speed is Life' - The Israeli Air Force"

All pilots say that. Stop moving and you stop flying as your wings stop generating lift (*)

The second part of the saying is " and Altitude is life insurance". Since you can convert height to speed by diving (i.e. gliding if the engine stops).

That isn't to say it doesn't also hold true for avoiding the missiles of course as if you are high and fast then the interceptor has to go a long way both vertically and laterally in order to close with you.

However, as radars operate line of sight if you cruise along at 100,000 feet you are making it very easy for the enemy to spot you coming from a long long way. So they have plenty of time to get their missile to the same altitude.

The U-2 incident was a nasty shock as no-one thought the Soviets had updated their WWII lend-lease radar units to see above 60,000 feet. Turns out they had and in fact, today you can't get high enough to avoid detection. Hence the old idea of hugging the ground to use the "line of sight" limitation on the radar - it can't see round the curvature of the earth. But an AWACS can. As can a satellite if you are hoofing along at Mach 6 leaving a thermal trail visible from space. In fact, this aircraft would almost certainly be bright enough to trip ICBM launch detection satellites.

So unfortunately there is no altitude at which the aircraft can avoid being detected from several hundred miles away.

That means you only hope is to be travelling so fast there isn't time to put a missile in the air.

Unfortunately there are already claimed Mach-12 missiles out there (The S-400, http://www.dtig.org/docs/S-300_Familie.pdf).

Since space launch requires around Mach 25, a Mach 12 SAM is not unreasonable even if its performance has been slightly exaggerated. More importantly with 20 years to get ready, taking a Mach 25 ICBM and converting it to a SAM is not going to be a huge stretch.

So we have an aircraft which is visible around half an hour before it arrives overhead and is flying at about between one half to one quarter the speed of any intercepting missile.

I wouldn't bank on gaining any useful intelligence from it ...

(*) Unless the wings themselves are doing the moving, i.e. a helicopter

Borland's heir Embarcadero says one dev tool can rule them all


Yep, if there is no indication of pricing then given the press release comments about "taking the hit" it's going to be way more than £10000.

Even an MSDN Universal licence has a price tag online.

Given that as I type this there are adverts for developers offering only £18k p.a. (and presumably people to bite or else the salary would quickly change) then the overwhelming probability is that it will be cheaper to hire extra developers for each specific platform. Even if the coders aren't that good, they will probably work as well as an "automatic" quad-platform converter ...

Microsoft cans three 'pinnacle' certifications, sparking user fury


Re: What the Frack!

Well, just to give the official answer rather than having things swing back and forth.

Unless you hold a Masters Degree in Engineering, followed by at least five years' of Professional Development and Experience and then pass an assessment by a panel then you aren't going to be granted the status of Chartered Engineer by the Engineering Council.

Osbo jacks up spending on spooks to keep us safe from TERROR


Re: I'm a big fan of the security industrial complex, but...

Er, surely Mr Franklin rebelled against the Government of the day and therefore was, as they say "a freedom fighter". That he happened to win is why he is remembered as a "Founding Father" and not a "Rebel Martyr".

Scramjet X-51 finally goes to HYPER SPEED above Pacific


Can be recalled?

The bootnote points out that an ICBM would be cheaper and already exists.

However, an ICBM once launched is impossible to recall. At a certain point you can't even initiate self-destruct (like when there is a plasma sheath preventing radio communications ...)

This sort of weapon could be launched at the first sign of trouble but give the politicians an extra 30-45 minutes of negotiation time during which it can still be "called off". Which may be all that is needed. Depending on the situation, the simple launch of such a vehicle may be sufficient to resolve it.

How much will Google pay to bring fiber to Provo, Utah? Try $1


Re: Legal oddity.

A contract is only valid if there is a "consideration", i.e. a payment. [Okay, that's a simplification but close enough]

Standard law in UK and US - hence lots of things in the UK are "sold for a pound" (and I don't mean at Pound Saver type shops!).

'Not even Santa could save Microsoft's Windows 8'

Thumb Up

Re: How things have changed....

Agree completely about Microsoft's loss of direction for developers.

They seem to be throwing a rising volume of half-finished development "platforms" out the door at a frantic pace hoping that one will stick. The forums are full of people asking how to get XYZ framework to function, or wondering why a call that works in "A" fails on "B" even though they appear identical. The days when Microsoft had a reputation for "making it easy" are long gone - it's now the same sort of "Knife and fork the install, then pray it hangs together" as the worst flaky platforms of the past. Add to the that the predilection for dumping anything which doesn't grow as fast as the Ballmer bully wants ... Silverlight has managed to go from "next big thing" through "wunderkid" to "deprecated" in the blink of an eye.

It is not just annoying, but also deeply worrying. As programmers we cannot "just switch" to Java, or gtk C++, or whatever. It would take time and effort - and a degree of fudging on the CV.

Right now it would be a very brave professional who decided to bet their career on sticking with "the Microsoft. way"

Rocket 'Grasshopper' leaps higher than tall building in single bound


Navigation Budget

I see some people have pointed out the difficulty of returning to the launch site, or the amount of fuel required to reach the landing site.

Has anyone got a link to the explanations by Musk regarding what the ultimate plan is? Logically you would time separation such that the returning booster could simply go ballistic with gravity doing the work. Aim for one of the Shuttle alternate landing sites such as the one in Spain. That would minimise the fuel required

Musk's SpaceX gets foot in door of US secret 'black' space program



The weather can seriously affect the military, even today.

The "Battle of the Bulge" was primarily because low cloud and rain prevent Allied aircraft from operating and gave the Wehrmacht an opportunity to deploy its forces effectively for the first time in months.

Most of the attempts to invade Russia have foundered when encountering the, er, delightful winter conditions.

Even today, low cloud will blind many sensors; rain will make the infantry miserable; sandstorms can destroy electro-optical equipment etc.

Revealed: The gift that keeps on giving to Oracle ... is dying


Re: No one ever got fired for choosing to stick with Oracle...

"It's like when an ISV goes "oh we support Oracle or SQL Server" and I think "why? Shouldn't you have focused your efforts on a single database? If you can support those two then can you support postgres or mysql? I'm concerned..."

No reason to be concerned. If you tell customers that you support Oracle, SQL, postgres and MySql that means that each release needs to be tested on ... Oracle, SQL, postgres and MySql. Your support staff need to know their way around ... Oracle, SQL, postgres and MySQL. Your implementation team need to be trained up on and aware of the differences between ... Oracle, SQL, postgres and MySQL. And so on.

Add in that you need to support multiple versions of each database (SQL2005, 2008, 2008R2, 2012; 64-bit and 32-bit) and each new platform massively increases the size of your lab.

A large Enterprise application can take weeks to test each build, even with automated tools. If you move from supporting two platforms to four then you move your release cycle out by months. I know this from when we used to support Three different platforms. Reducing that to only supporting Two cut our overheads by roughly 50% (not 33%).

It is not just a case of "a database is a database", even if you have been careful not to use any platform-specific features (in which case your system will perform like a dog). With one product we went to the extent of coding *Foreign Key Relationships" into the middleware in order to avoid the overhead of supporting different methods on different platforms (one of the platforms in that case didn't do proper RDMS - this was many years ago). Even stripping back the database to be more like a set of name-value pairs, supporting the multiple versions and platforms was *still* a major headache.

So next time your ISV says they only support one or two platforms, have a think about how much testing and support you can expect on a product from a vendor which doesn't care what platform you use ...

Why did Comet fail? Hint: It wasn't just the credit insurers


Re: news to me

Which Nimrods would they be then? The ones that were cut up for scrap or the ones that are now in museums?

Gates: Microsoft will merge Phone and Windows platforms


Painfully obvious that MS are starting panic - wheel out Bill to boost Windows 8 and Windows Phone which are both sinking before they even ship.

It's worth noting that in the early years of the 21st Century Microsoft did come close to winning the Mobile OS race. Psion walked away, Palm never got to grips with Smartphones and Symbian took a long while to never-quite-make-it. Windows CE/Mobile found its way into a *lot* of devices.

Unfortunately Microsoft crippled this nascent Smartphone dominance by insisting that they wanted a common UI across PC and phone. So Windows Mobile was lumbered with a "Start" button, task bar and everything being driven by the stylus and tiny little icons/menus/etc. Which left the way wide open for Apple & Android who had "touch friendly" UI from the start.

Now Microsoft are going in the opposite direction and crippling their PC operating system by insisting on making it like a Phone.

You have to laugh.

Endeavour: donuts and a Toyota ease shuttle's drive through L.A.


Re: Lightweight Pickup?

Half ton refers to the payload capacity.

But these days it is a marketing term only.

iOS 6 Alarms bug hits Australia


Re: Spring forward?

Just consider what season it currently is in Australia ...

Google offers tool to bridge Android and iOS app dev


Re: That's one way of doing it.

Is that the Unity 3D game engine thing (http://unity3d.com/unity/engine/programming)? Only reason I ask is because at first glance to a C# programmer "Unity" brings to mind the IoC container that Microsoft created : http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff649564.aspx

What's your feeling on Xamarin's toolset (Mono/MonoTouch?)

Airbus predicts catapult takeoffs and formation flying by 2050


Re: Burst ear drums

@ Alan "Whats next.. 'Sorry Sir, you can't fly. Your ear canals are too narrow to withstand quick pressure drops..'?"

Probably - if that is made part of the conditions of carriage, then you can't sue them so they will have zero legal fees or medical bills. Although how would a first time flier know? Medical before you are allowed to fly?

I rather suspect that the accountants can quickly work out whether the loss of income from people with difficulty equalising the pressure in their ears and deduce whether that is greater or lesser than the fuel savings from a steeper descent.

In fact, I would not be surprised to find there is already a disclaimer in the conditions of carriage - much as the airline can refuse to carry someone who is drunk, pregnant past a certain point etc.

Oh, and as for saving fuel by flying in formation - only if the computer is in charge. Anyone who has done any formation flying will be well aware that lead almost always lands with more fuel than everyone else - staying in position requires lots of throttle adjustments.

Emotional baggage


I've used the 5.11 range of backpacks for a while. The "camelbak pocket" is perfect for a laptop (had a 17" in there). They are covered in MOLLE strips which means that I can add and remove extra bags as and when required. Can be easier than trying to find one bag that works for everything.

As for the A-level; similar to another poster I took one without any input from the school (they just entered me for the exam). Still passed at A grade (no A* in those days). I'd be inclined to order a Syllabus from the Exam Board and if it looks do-able you son could take the exam only.

Devon NHS trust left data of 1,373 staff online for MONTHS


It's interesting how the thread seems to be that someone (albeit negligently) uploaded the file to the website and "should have known better".

Given the state of IT configuration in many organisations, it would not seem at all unlikely that there was simply an unsecured share on the webserver which was wide open (no DMZ, no firewall) to the internal network.

If, as a low level admin clerk, someone tells you "save that spreadsheet to \\thebigfileserver\myfileshares\" then you are hardly going to think "hmm, I wonder if one of the web team has created a path pointed at the file server and exposed it to the internet"?

Similarly, the web team may have been told "yes, we need a way to publish CSVs of waiting lists statistics in accordance with the government open data policy. Where can we put them" and created a share specifically for that purpose ... which just happened to be \\thebigfileserver ...

It's easy to see how this sort of thing falls through the cracks, when you have no proper separation of systems. So perhaps best not to just blame the staff?

Code glitch floored Reg reader altimeter


Re: Arcane measurements

In aviation feet are still used for altitude in the UK, USA, NZ etc. All the Flight Levels are in Thousands of Feet (or, in fact "500s of feet" here)

The only places that use Metres to measure altitude are the former Eastern Bloc.

Yet, other than in the USA, the altimeters are set using hectoPascals (not millibars anymore ... same thing though!)

A bizarre mix!

Man's car warns of AIR RAID OVER LONDON


Re: Alternatively

" a cameraman tripping over a cable and falling further than they would under normal gravity"

Surely they will fall exactly the same distance - to the ground? It would just take longer to get there if the acceleration from gravity was lower?

Iran spy drone GPS hijack boasts: Rubbish, say experts

Thumb Up

Interesting supposition that it is essential to prevent the drone losing GPS lock, as if there were a human on board who would think "that's strange, before we lost lock we were 14 miles from the coast of China, now it says we're 20 miles" (*)

Setting aside that it probably was incompetence, if an "attack" were to be made then It may well be enough to *force* a GPS loss-of-lock with any old jamming and then broadcast a fake Ephemeris at a higher strength than the actual signal.

If the receiver has not been programmed appropriately with how to handle a temporary loss of lock, it would happily start using the "reacquired" spoof signal and never know ...

Oh, by the way, I was under the impression that the military signal *was* encrypted, which lends credence to the "incompetence not conspiracy" angle.

(*) That was the plot of the Tomorrow Never Dies Bond film ... GPS spoofing by hacking the receiver itself I think ...

Paul Allen latest plan: Space rockets on MEGA PLANE



re: Market for 50 tonne objects too big to fit inside a 747/A380/An225 :

I must admit to having no idea!

Although I think the range is a very important part of the sale, if they are saying they can carry the 50 tonnes the entire 9600 nautical miles in one go (other aircraft in this calls have to trade fuel for payload I believe).

However, since they appear to have designed the "payload carrier" on a modular basis, it may be that it can carry more than 50 tonnes anyway if the payload is fixed rather than being launched; the weight limitation for the rocket could well be specific to things you plan to drop. There isn't enough information to be sure.

The modular approach also implies that they can build a bespoke fairing to suit anything, so awkward objects (e.g. oil rig derricks, bridge spans) can have a custom container. Could be a big as yet untapped market. Landing on the ice in Alaska perhaps?

We'll see ...


Ongoing Revenue

Alternative Payload Range - 9600 nautical miles

Having found the above nugget on their website, I suspect *that* is from whence the revenue stream will come. 9600 nautical miles hauling an An-225 size payload is a massive USP (nothing else comes close).

The airborne launch is probably a side-show, given that "Big Dumb Booster" (e.g. Sea Bee) is a cheaper way to get the "launch from anywhere" benefits.


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