June 25, 2018

Supersonic Travel, Part Deux

Traveling this holiday season? Here’s a little food for thought: What if you could get to your destination 2.6x faster? Say, LA to NY in just under 2 hours? Yes, please?!

A new, more economical supersonic jet is on the horizon, cutting travel time without breaking the bank. For example, London to NY in 3 hours and 15 minutes for $2,500 per ticket. It sure would make traveling for work and pleasure more enjoyable while we await teleportation.

Concorde remake

Hollywood loves a remake. Right now there are 111 remakes or reboots in the works. And, who isn’t excited to see Emma Watson as Belle in the latest adaptation of Beauty and the Beast? (Don’t answer that…)

Why not extend that policy to other parts of our lives?

First up, supersonic air travel. Boom Technology is a Denver-based startup established in 2014 that is attempting to reboot supersonic transportation. While Concorde and British Airways isn’t likely to make a comeback, this latest supersonic project recently unveiled a third-scale prototype.

Baby Boom takes flight

As a proof of concept project, the Boom Technology team finally has a prototype to play with:

The demonstrator vehicle, called Baby Boom, is slated to take to the air in 2017. If development goes as planned, the full-size version, including cockpit systems from Honeywell and engines manufactured by General Electric Co., could start carrying passengers early in the next decade.

Supersonic passenger jet has the potential to be closer to reality than previously thought. Boom cites that technology seems to have finally caught up to our lofty ideas for this type of travel:

Nearly six decades after the dawn of the jet age, we finally have the technology for efficient, economical, and safe supersonic flight. Key technologies, such as composite fuselages and high-temperature material systems, have only recently been accepted by the FAA for commercial aircraft.

Danger: Sonic boom ahead

Wait a second. What about the dreaded sonic boom? Air and Space Magazine indicates that breakthroughs have been made in that arena in the last two decades:

Back at Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works, aerodynamicists claimed a breakthrough: computer codes that made it possible to design a supersonic airplane with a much reduced sonic boom. The snag was that the craft could not be very large. It would be a corporate jet.

No wonder the full size Boom plane is only designed to seat 45 passengers. A smaller 3-engine jet may be the key to success.

Apart from the design and manufacture of the plane, the other hiccup is that supersonic flight is banned over the United States and Europe. Overland travel bans must be repealed for the jets to live up to the hype. Until then, the pilots would have to slow down to subsonic over land and then crank up the speed again while going over the ocean.

Once that is sorted out, the possibilities are endless! And, for as much travel as CPAs end up doing, it’s fun to think about.

Image: Boom Technology Press Kit

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Grant Thornton to Close Greensboro, NC Office

We’ve received multiple tips informing us that Grant Thornton’s Greensboro, North Carolina office will be closing in the spring after busy season has ended.

Greensboro has approximately 35 professionals in all three service lines although our sources indicate that many tax professionals were laid off late last year in anticipation of the closure. Greensboro currently functions as a satellite of the Charlotte office which houses the support professionals.

What’s not known at this time is whether the office will become virtual, similar to the setup that Ernst & Young arranged for its Greensboro office other whether it will be an outright closure.

We contacted Grant Thornton for comment and had not heard back from them at the time of this posting.

If you’re familiar with the situation in Greensboro and have more information, get in touch with us. We’ll continue to keep you updated as we learn more.

Dita von Teese’s Accountant Understands Why She Has to Spend $70k on a Dress

Last month we mentioned that while we enjoy her genius, we wouldn’t want to be of Lady Gaga’s accountant. She definitely falls into the “clients that make you want to jump out the window” bucket.

Likewise, if we had our choice of clients, we wouldn’t be chasing down burlesque artists that marry rock stars, in this case, Dita von Teese. Not because we don’t enjoy burlesque artists and the rock stars they love, quite the contrary actually; it’s just seems that the headaches associated with such a client would be more trouble than it would be worth.

Surprisingly, DVT takes money quite seriously and is not as slipshod as you might expect.

I refuse to go to the hair salon and have a $300 hair dye job – I do it myself at home with an $8 dye kit… I’ve always been a saver…I saved at least 15[%] of everything I earned and invested it in mutual funds

Jesus, talk about sensible. However there is this glimmer:

I think nothing of spending $8,000 on a corset for my show. My accountant once said he couldn’t understand how I spent $70,000 on a single dress but then he came to my show and saw how lavish it was and told me afterwards that now he understood.

Those are work related expenses though; count us unimpressed. We’re expecting Gaga-esque negligent wasting of money. Like seriously getting carried away.

I bought [a Jaguar] one night on eBay for $35,000 when I’d had too much champagne.

Yes. That’s the best she can offer. Plus, there’s this:

I pay my [credit card] balances off every month.”

More sensible behavior. Doesn’t sound like she’d be that bad of a client at all. Hell, she probably even keeps all her receipts. L. Gaga’s accountant might consider asking her for some advice.

Dita von Teese: ‘I spent $70,000 on a single dress for my show’ [Telegraph]