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I've never seen an airplane like this one. It's way sleeker than most: the nose is more pointed, without looking edgy. The tail tapers out without a rudder. The windows are shaped as two merged rhombuses, the top and bottom edges are hooking parabolas. The cabin is small, only maybe fifteen rows, and polished, brand new-looking. You wouldn't call it chic in a British Airways sense; it's very clinical, yet comfortable anyway. I take an aisle seat on the left hand side. I then understand this is the fastest commercial jetliner ever, and we'll be going at speeds mach three or four. In addition, this one has the maneuverability of a jet fighter and, apparently, I ended up on the demo flight. The seat pockets are stuffed to the brim with barf bags.

We take off and are doing retentively tight vertical spirals at mach something or other. It's the most disorienting experience ever and for some reason there's no diziness at all. All of this is happening over a stretch of land looking like any given level in Super Mario 64: fast-paced terrain and vegetation. We're flying very low over desert and i can see past some dunes monkeys swinging in a jungle canopy.

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