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Go back to the enewsletter Remarks by Sir Richard

first_imgGo back to the enewsletterRemarks by Sir Richard Branson that Virgin Galactic was only weeks away from entering space flights reignited excitement around the world recently that space tourism was finally on the cusp of fruition. It’s been more than 10 years since Virgin Galactic was first announced, and one of the top-selling travel businesses promoting the experience has been the Virtuoso luxury travel network.To date, Virtuoso has sold between 120-130 passengers so far on Branson’s space tourism venture, according to the travel company’s President and CEO, Matthew D. Upchurch. With tickets originally priced at US$200,000, and now selling for $250,000 a pop, that’s some very healthy travel agent commission.Virtuoso President and CEO Matthew D UpchurchUpchurch told LATTE he was excited about Branson’s recent remarks. He himself is a Virgin Galactic “founder” passenger; as an early investor in the project, the Texan will be among the first 84 customers to be propelled into space once Virgin Galactic is finally operational.Branson has since clarified that commercial space flights are likely still several months away, but each powered test flight of VSS Unity continues to go higher and higher.“But I am very enthused. I’ve been involved in Virgin Galactic since 2007, both having the relationship with Virtuoso and as a client,” Upchurch said.The future space traveller said that to Branson’s credit, those who committed to forking out a couple of hundred thousand dollars for the space experience have already seen a return on investment.“I will tell you this: every one of my friends and the people that I advised to buy a ticket who didn’t is now wishing they had. He didn’t take people’s money and sit on it for 11 years. People are looking for experiences, and I told people about this. Some listened and have had a great time and some didn’t listen and now wish they had.“Richard has created a community of his own. And now, I look back on the last 11 years – and while of course I’d like to have been in space already – that $200,000 that I spent has already been worth every penny based on the parties and experiences.“If there’s one thing Virgin and Richard know how to do, it’s throw a party. As a Virgin Galactic client, the things I’ve gotten to do… I got to go to the Farnborough Air Show in a Virgin Galactic enclosure where I had top military brass from all over the world taking pictures of me. It was like we were the latest scud missile!”Virtuoso President and CEO Matthew D. Upchurch (centre) at Camp Eclipse with other guests – Image : Virtuoso blog“Last Summer we did Camp Eclipse,” He continues. “Virgin Galactic literally built a tented camp in the middle of nowhere in Idaho and we had this three-day-weekend where we got to see the full eclipse of the sun. It was so cool.”The event included a silent disco, while a special guest at Camp Eclipse was Anousheh Ansari, the first female private space explorer.Guests taking in the eclipse – Image: Virtuoso blogUpchurch was also present at the unveiling of Virgin Galactic’s first commercial spaceship, SpaceShipTwo, with Californian Governor at the time, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Branson in the Mojave Desert.“So, the reality is that that 200 grand has been fantastic, and it’s all a bonus from here,” he told LATTE.The Virtuoso boss said he expects Virgin Galactic and space tourism to be categorised under the Virtuoso Ultraluxe Travel community when it launches in 2019.Go back to the enewsletterlast_img read more

Bentley Flying Spur PHEV Caught Recharging Its Battery

first_img Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on March 12, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News BMW i4 Spy Shots Capture Long-Range Electric Sedan In The Snow In regards to styling, “evolution” is the name of the game. Although at a first glance this prototype might seem virtually undisguised, the headlights and taillights are still covered while the body has a lot of sneaky black camo to hide the real lines. With the Flying Spur being more or less a sedan version of the Continental GT, expect the coupe’s sleekness to be adapted to the four-door body style.When will we finally see the all-new Flying Spur? Our money is on September at the Frankfurt Motor Show, although Bentley might want to wait a bit more before introducing this plug-in hybrid derivative.Photos: CarPix The luxobarge looks majestic even when hiding under a car cover.We’ve been spying on the new Bentley Flying Spur since October 2016, back when test mules were carrying Porsche Panamera bodies. Fast forward to present day, we still haven’t seen Crewe’s fullsize luxury sedan in full, but prototypes are being caught with less and less camouflage with each new batch of spy shots.More Spy Shots Source: Electric Vehicle News New Mini E Electric Car Spy Shots Surfacecenter_img It is believed the PHEV variant will also offer a pure electric mode, although the battery pack’s juice (14.1 kWh in the case of the Panamera) won’t last for more than 30 miles (48 kilometers). The version with the two fuel caps will be the most economical Flying Spur of the bunch taking into consideration Bentley doesn’t have plans to install a diesel engine underneath that long and imposing hood. Assuming the Porsche’s output numbers will carry over, the first-ever Flying Spur Hybrid will offer a combined output of 456 horsepower and 700 Newton-meters (516 pound-feet) of torque. With Bentley being positioned significantly above Porsche in terms of pricing, don’t be too surprised if the premium it will command over the electrified Panamera will come together with a bump in output. This particular Flying Spur is a bit more interesting than the others since it’s the electrified version. That’s right – the new generation will feature a plug-in hybrid powertrain joining the familiar V8 and W12 versions of the luxobarge. The prototype was caught charging its battery pack, which will be a part of a PHEV system likely inherited from the Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid. It won’t be the exact same setup as the Bentley Bentayga Hybrid since the opulent SUV uses a slightly bigger 3.0-liter unit whereas the electrified Flying Spur will pack a 2.9-liter unit. More Audi E-Tron Sportback Electric Spy Photos Surfacelast_img read more