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This week’s interesting stories from around the web

This week’s stories look at scientists developing electric airplanes, the world’s most beautiful airports, if there ever was a ‘golden age’ of air travel, travel experiences you can only enjoy on a budget, and aviation in Australia from 100 years ago to now. Enjoy!

  • The age of electric airplanes is just 30 years away. As everyone obsesses about electric cars right now, how long will it be until we’re jetting around in planes that don’t need jet fuel? Flying requires extraordinary amounts of energy, and doing so under electric power will take a huge leap forward in technology. This fascinating article from Wires surveys some of the issues scientists are grappling with right now.
  • Marvel at 12 of the most beautiful airports in the world. A new class of airports is leaving the dark terminals of the past behind, opting instead for light-filled spaces that provide both function and inspiration. Take a look at 12 of the most beautiful, and pray that one day Australia gets airport architecture it can be proud of.
  • There was no ‘golden age’ of air travel. After raft of highly publicised incidents in America, people are longing for the ‘good old days’ of air travel from decades past. But were things really that good, and are things now so bad? I think we’re living in the golden age of air travel RIGHT NOW, and this New York Times opinion piece by a pilot seems to agree.
  • Travelling on a budget can buy you amazing memories that luxury travel can’t. To quote the author: “Luxury travel is a holiday. It’s a break. A buffet of international cuisine is not an experience, and it is not a story. If you want a story … you have to go budget.” And he has a point: how much of a culture can you really experience when you isolate yourself in high-end hotels, resorts and restaurants? Not much, usually.
  • A conversation about Australia’s aviation market right now by Runway Girl Network deputy editor John Walton and Jamie Freed, a Reuters senior correspondent covering aviation and business in Sydney. They discuss how Qantas and Virgin Australia are faring, what’s in store for both in the future, and the peculiarities of air travel in Australia.
  • How aviation has shaped Australian society. As we near 100 years of aviation in Australia, a new project by the University of Canberra will examine how air travel has transformed Australian places, communities and cultures. This 12-minute interview on ABC’s Drive program with one of the research leaders describes the project and some of the little known stories it wants to explore.

Happy reading!

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