No Time To Die, Daniel Craig’s fifth and final James Bond film, has finally arrived on American shores. The film caps off a five-picture run for Craig’s iteration of 007 in big, explosive, and ambitious style. No Time To Die is not lacking in the action department, with inventive set pieces and a diverse array of ass-kicking ability that flashes this franchise’s ravenous ambition. At the same time, the movie also manages to be an emotional culmination of Craig’s 15 years in the iconic role.
This recent era of Bond flicks have been defined by their serialized storytelling with narratives that carry over from film to film rather than the standalone chapters of previous Bonds. As a result, there’s a lot of weight behind No Time To Die‘s story, for better and for worse. This helps to both bolster the thematic value of the film, but also leads its plot all over the place in a bit of bloated merit.
Due to the serialized foundation of Craig’s 007 pictures, and the blockbuster trend popularized by Marvel Studios, fans online have been asking if there’s a post-credits scene attached to No Time To Die.
Does No Time To Die Have a Post Credits Scene?
I’m sorry to report that, no, No Time To Die does not include an after credits scene. There is no tease to the next adventure nor is there a sneak peek at what may come next in the franchise. No Time To Die is very much a conclusion to Craig’s tenure that is in no need of an epilogue or continuation of any sorts. So when the credits begin to roll, feel free to leave the theater.
Of course, that doesn’t mean the James Bond franchise is out of ammo. The film series is poised for a particularly interesting future given Amazon’s acquisition of MGM, a partial owner of the 007 series. Producer Barbara Broccoli has said that the search for Craig’s successor will begin in 2022 and we’ve already begun to draft a handful of worthy candidates for the role. So while there is ample opportunity to speculate on the future of James Bond, do not expect any such hints from a post-credits scene in No Time To Die.
Despite the promise of two-hour flights from New York to Los Angeles, the supersonic airline industry never really got off the ground. That is largely because of physics: specifically, the sonic boom, the thunderclap noise made when an aircraft breaks the sound barrier, which essentially doomed supersonic aviation as a viable business.
In 1960s-era tests, booms reportedly broke windows, cracked plaster and knocked knickknacks from shelves; in 1973, the Federal Aviation Administration forbade civilian supersonic aircraft from flying over land. Planes could go supersonic only over the ocean — most famously, the Concorde, the sleek British-French passenger plane that flew a handful of routes in less than half the average time. But potentially lucrative overland routes were off-limits, restricting supersonic travel’s business prospects.
NASA and aviation entrepreneurs, however, are working to change that, with new aircraft designed to turn the boom into a “sonic thump” that is no louder than a car door being slammed 20 feet away. That may induce the FAA to lift the ban, which could allow for two-hour coast-to-coast supersonic flights.
“The main reason NASA is working on this is to enable regulation for supersonic flight,” said Craig Nickol, NASA’s low-boom flight demonstration project manager. “The main objective is to open up new markets.”
The supersonic age dawned Oct. 14, 1947, when Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier while piloting the rocket-powered Bell X-1 over the Mojave Desert. In the following decades, the barrier was also broken by a succession of military jets, once by a passenger airliner (during a test flight of a Douglas DC-8 in 1961) and, ultimately, by regular commercial service from the Soviet Tupolev Tu-144 and the Concorde, both long defunct.
The far more successful Concorde mostly traveled trans-Atlantic routes at about $6,000 to $7,000 per ticket for a 3 1/2 hour flight in a cramped, noisy cabin, which was nonetheless considered glamorous. The Champagne-and-caviar flights were discontinued in 2003 after 27 years of intermittent profitability and one crash that killed 113 people. What the Concorde’s chief pilot called “the airliner of the future” was consigned to the past.
But the possibility of a supersonic renaissance was arriving even as the Concorde was on its way out. The slide rules and log tables used to design it had been pushed aside by supercomputers, which enabled engineers to test and tweak virtual aircraft designs comparatively cheaply and quickly.
That is exactly what DARPA, the research and development wing of the U.S. Defense Department, and NASA did in 2003 with the Shaped Sonic Boom Experiment, which confirmed that computer-designed modifications to a Northrop F-5E jet would hush the sonic boom in the way the software forecasted.
“We flew it and measured it, and our model predicted the boom very well,” Nickol said. “It was the first time we could prove that we could shape the sonic boom in a way we could predict.” That demonstration set the course for research to follow.
Taming the boom is complicated. Air has substance, which an aircraft slices through, much as a boat moves through water. A plane pushes air aside as it flies, creating ripples of air pressure. As an aircraft approaches the speed of sound, pressure builds up on surfaces like the nose and tail, creating waves of high pressure in front and low pressure behind. At the speed of sound, waves pile up and combine to reach the ground as an abrupt change in pressure that is heard as that thunderclap sound.
“It’s the change in the pressure that makes the sound,” Alexandra Loubeau, a NASA acoustics engineer, said. And that boom happens not just when a plane first breaks through the sound barrier; it also trails the jet continuously, like a boat’s wake.
NASA research led to the X-59 QueSST (for Quiet Supersonic Technology), a needle-beaked aircraft with lift and control surfaces spread over the 100-foot fuselage, of which 33 feet are nose.
The shock waves of a sonic boom cannot be avoided completely, but by minimizing the surfaces where pressure builds up — like the air intake and control surfaces — and spreading them over the length of a fuselage, shock waves can be reduced, shaped and aimed.
“You can modify the aircraft to alter what the wave looks like when it hits the ground,” Nickol said. “What we are doing is trying to spread those waves out and make them weaker.”
NASA is not alone in trying to reestablish supersonic travel. Blake Scholl, CEO of the Denver-based company Boom Supersonic, has declared an audacious goal of delivering passengers anywhere in the world within four hours for $100. He said Boom would begin with international transoceanic supersonic service so that it would not have to worry about noise or wait for regulation changes, although domestic routes would mean more passengers, giving the business “a huge boost, a factor of two or three times in opportunity,” he said.
Scholl added that he thought that just making faster aircraft would not create a sustainable supersonic business; planes must also be faster, cheaper and eco-friendly. The effort “has to be 100% carbon-neutral,” he said.
In his view, speed, economy and reduced emissions can be achieved through cleaner fuels and new engines designed expressly for supersonic flight. This approach contrasts with that of the Concorde, which used “converted military engines that were super-inefficient and rip-roaring loud,” Scholl said. (There are no realistic estimates on how or when such engines will be available.)
These engines — as well as modern materials, building methods and efficiencies introduced since the 1970s supersonic vogue — would let Boom operate for 75% less than the Concorde, Scholl said, although he added that his goal was to be 95% less expensive. Even so, he estimated initial fares at about the cost of a business-class ticket.
“Still a long way from $100,” he acknowledged.
A handful of companies have proposed private supersonic business jets to whisk international bankers, CEOs and hedge fund managers around the globe in swift, exclusive opulence. But despite the stated intentions of established players such as Gulfstream and credible upstarts like Spike Aerospace, private supersonic jets have yet to streak across the skies.
The chief barrier appears to be economic. It is the norm for aircraft to take longer and cost more to build than projected, and private supersonic jets are no exception.
NASA has government backing and shares much of its research so that any aerospace company can benefit from it, although it does not work with any specific airline or manufacturer. But without government financing, it is tougher for companies like Gulfstream and Boom.
There is a cautionary tale in the experience of Aerion Supersonic, a company of aviation veterans that was underwritten by billionaire Robert Bass, in partnership with Boeing, and that claimed preorders of $11.2 billion. Unable to raise enough cash to keep the doors open, Aerion shut down in May and is now being liquidated in a Florida court.
While supersonic travel would be a boon to international trade, there are too many unknowns to predict its viability as a business, said Bijan Vasigh, who teaches economics at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida.
“Are there 50 people a day who want to fly to London?” he asked. “Do we know how much people are willing to pay?”
He added: “We do our best analysis, but everything in the future could change. The best economist cannot find the answer.”
Adam Pilarski, an aviation economist and consultant, agreed that the numbers were uncertain, but he still expects to see supersonic aircraft produced, although not by a major aircraft manufacturer.
“It will make all of their other planes obsolete,” he said.
Instead, he looks to a maverick outfit on the order of Elon Musk’s venture with Tesla or Space-X.
“When Musk started going to space, who believed him? Nobody!” Pilarski said. “The CPA type thinks, ‘How much people will pay?’ Who cares?”
Although Pilarski predicts eventual success for a supersonic airline, he is reluctant to place any bets.
“Will Blake Scholl make it?” he asked. “I don’t know; he is a nice boy. But would I put my money on it, and grandchildren’s education fund on it? No.”
The crash that hit Interstate 225 in Aurora at the height of the evening rush hour was garden-variety: A sedan smashed into the back of a sport-utility vehicle, and nobody was hurt.
But the wreck quickly backed up northbound traffic all the same, with the heavily damaged Toyota Camry stuck, its engine dead, in one of the middle lanes near Colfax Avenue.
John “Boston” Alborghetti knew just what to do. Arriving before police, the CDOT Safety Patrol driver first checked to make sure no one was hurt. Then he used his specially outfitted Ford F-250 pickup to nudge the Camry over to the shoulder, where it joined the Jeep that had been hit.
Traffic was moving in all four lanes within five minutes.
Patrollers in the Colorado Department of Transportation’s roadside assistance program have kept tabs on a growing network of metro Denver and Colorado highways for 29 years, offering free help to stranded motorists while assisting authorities at crash scenes. The Safety Patrol recently added new routes in metro Denver to its network and signed up a new sponsor, the Geico insurance company, which will contribute $550,000 a year toward the program’s $6.5 million budget, CDOT says.
Alborghetti’s response on I-225 on the recent Monday evening prioritized safety and speed, since a quicker clearance of the highway lessens the chances for another crash. He left broken glass and debris on the pavement, but the people involved in the crash were safely on the shoulder.
“If (the stalled car) was in the left lane or right lane — not in the middle — I would have kept the lane shut down with my cones and I would have swept the debris up,” said Alborghetti, 50, a no-nonsense Army Reservist with a Boston accent whose nickname was inspired by his upbringing there.
“But people just want to go — I want to open it up quick and fast, get people going.”
Safety Patrol drivers don’t investigate crashes or issue tickets, but they do help responding state troopers and police officers with traffic control and safety. They also can clear most anything that’s blocking the highway, whether it’s a car, a large appliance that’s fallen off a truck — or even an 18-wheeler, which takes two Safety Patrol drivers working in tandem, Alborghetti said.
For three years, he’s been the operational manager for IncidentClear, CDOT’s Safety Patrol contractor. Its drivers assist more than 40,000 motorists a year, CDOT says, between crash responses and helping drivers who need a flat tire changed, a jump-start, extra fuel or lockout assistance.
When needed, the program’s towing partner provides free tows to safe, well-lit locations off the highway.
“We see accidents happen right in front of us”
Alborghetti was joined by a Denver Post reporter and photographer on that Monday in early November as he drove nearly 100 miles of metro Denver highways in three and a half hours.
As Alborghetti drove, he kept an eye out for collisions and for vehicles pulled over on the shoulders.
“So as I’m looking, I’m not only looking at this side (of the highway), I’m looking at that side, too,” he said as he neared the Sixth Avenue exit on Interstate 25 near downtown. “Because an accident may happen before CDOT or everybody else knows about it. We see accidents happen right in front of us.”
The afternoon had started quietly. Alborghetti’s first stop was on Interstate 70 near Sheridan Boulevard, where officers were responding to a car traveling the wrong direction in the eastbound lanes. He stopped in the left lane, his truck’s yellow emergency lights flashing, and placed cones to block it off for extra safety.
The driver turned out to be an older man who entered on the wrong ramp. By then, he’d pulled over on the inside shoulder and was talking with the officers. Alborghetti said they asked family members to come and drive the man home.
A half-hour later, while driving on I-25 near University Boulevard, Alborghetti spotted police and a CDOT incident management crew on the other side of the highway. He exited and turned back. They were managing traffic for a food truck that was stranded and blocking the right lane after its back axel busted, throwing the wheels out of alignment.
But this time, there was nothing for him to do, since the truck was upright and couldn’t move on its tires. If it had overturned and “it’s sitting out there, then boom! We will push it,” he said. Instead, Denver police called in a flatbed truck.
New patrols added on I-270, I-76
The Safety Patrol has nearly two dozen trucks stocked with equipment, extra gas and cleanup materials. Its drivers patrol interstates 25, 70 and 225 as well as the Sixth Avenue Freeway and C-470 in the Denver area; stretches of I-25 near Colorado Springs and Fort Collins; and I-70 in the mountains between Golden and Vail.
In mid-November, the Safety Patrol added new regular patrols on interstates 76 and 270 in metro Denver.
Most shifts cover the morning and evening rush hours, but some Safety Patrol drivers roam the highways during off-peak hours and on weekends, especially on the I-70 mountain stretch. They operate everywhere except construction zones, which have their own safety crews.
“I really want to tell people,” Alborghetti said, that “if you see one of our trucks … move out of the way — because there is something hindering and stopping you from going home to your family, going to work, going out on a hot date or something,” and the Safety Patrol can get traffic moving again.
The Navy veteran lives in Castle Rock and now is in the Army Reserves. He said his most recent deployment was in the last year at the U.S. military’s detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He worked in security at Lockheed Martin’s Jefferson County campus, he said, before joining IncidentClear and the Safety Patrol.
Five years from retirement, he says he enjoys overseeing the patrol crews, while driving routes himself occasionally.
It’s a job that brings gratitude from the people helped by the patrol drivers. But the job also comes with its share of dangers, despite extensive training aimed at minimizing safety risks while working in traffic. Safety Patrol drivers also might be the first ones to arrive at a fatal crash scene — an incident that’s more likely to shut down a highway while it’s sorted out.
The drivers’ pay starts at $18 an hour and increases by $1 each year, Alborghetti said, with drivers eligible for safety bonuses.
For some, the variety is appealing. Drivers see similar patterns of crashes and roadside breakdowns, but each day brings a reshuffled deck — with winter storms throwing an extra wildcard into the mix.
“What’s today, Monday?” Alborghetti said, noting it had been relatively tame. “It’s a free-for-all on Fridays.”
Reducing the risk of more crashes
The quiet afternoon would soon give way to a flurry of radio traffic after 5 p.m., as rush-hour traffic grew denser.
But before that happened, Alborghetti talked about how the Safety Patrol responds to crashes. There’s a reason the drivers move quickly, with the program touting an average clearance time of less than 12 minutes.
As traffic backs up and drivers slam on the brakes, each minute brings a greater risk of another crash.
Alborghetti took the ramp from C-470 back onto I-70 as the sun was setting. He passed the stretch in Lakewood where the driver of a runaway semitrailer crashed into stopped traffic in April 2019, setting off a fiery chain-reaction pileup involving 28 vehicles. Four people died, and the driver recently was convicted of vehicular homicide.
The tragedy was a secondary crash, Alborghetti pointed out: That traffic was stopped because of a less-severe crash involving a car, a semitrailer and a school bus that happened five miles up the highway in Wheat Ridge about an hour earlier.
Clearing that one was more complicated than a fender-bender. But he said the time it took prompted hindsight discussions within CDOT and the Safety Patrol that underlined the importance of clearing most crashes quickly, to lessen the traffic backup.
“If we had moved that quicker,” Alborghetti speculated, perhaps the semitrailer driver in the fatal crash “could have slowed down just with his gears and made it all the way down to here … and gotten (his truck) under control.”
At 5:15 p.m., soon after turning south on I-225 on the other side of the Denver area, Alborghetti spotted the aftermath of a fresh two-car crash — the one involving the Camry and the Jeep — on the northbound side. After turning around at Colfax, he arrived and got to work, clearing the Camry from the middle of the highway within minutes.
After he departed, the radio popped with reports of other drivers responding to a four-car crash on Sixth Avenue at Wadsworth, a crash on I-25 at Colfax, one near I-25 and 58th Avenue, and another on I-25 in Castle Rock.
Rewarded with multi-year contracts days apart during the Broncos’ bye week, receivers Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick spent several minutes last Monday expressing gratitude for the organization’s faith in them and recounting the personal adversity they’ve overcome.
The talk then pivoted to the state of the Broncos entering Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers.
The Broncos are 5-5 and five of their seven remaining games are against AFC West competition. The message from Sutton and Patrick: Why not us?
“If we take care of (the last seven games), we’ll get that (playoff) taste,” Sutton said. “It’s hard to even put into words how bad we want that and how bad we want that for us, the team and the city. It’s been way overdue for the city to be able to have a playoff game here and the Broncos in the playoffs.”
Said Patrick: “Everything is right in front of us. We have five division games left. We win those and we’re in the playoffs. It’s very possible.”
Sutton is right — a real playoff pursuit has been lacking around these parts since winning the Super Bowl in 2015.
And Patrick is right — if the Broncos take advantage of their division-heavy schedule, they will snap their five-year postseason drought.
The Broncos, however, will need a major course correction to be in the division and/or wild card conversation when mid-December rolls around. A couple of facts to consider:
Dating back to last year, they have lost five consecutive division games (outscored 144-99), tied for the team’s third-longest slump since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger and the longest since a six-game streak in 2010-11.
Since the start of the 2016 season, the Broncos are a woeful 10-21 in AFC West games, worst in the division by 2 1/2 games. Kansas City is 27-5 (two eight-game winning streaks) followed by Las Vegas (14-19) and the Chargers (13-19).
Overall, Denver must play better at home. The Broncos are 21-24 at Mile High since the start of 2016, including 2-3 this year in which they were favored in each game.
“All three of them are really good teams,” coach Vic Fangio said of the Chiefs (7-4), Chargers (6-4) and Raiders (6-5). “Good offenses and good defenses. Kansas City’s playing really good defense now. The Chargers and Raiders have stepped it up defensively. I see complete teams that are led by really good quarterbacks.”
Is the season on the line Sunday? Absolutely.
A loss to the Chargers would drop the Broncos to 5-6 (0-2 in the division) heading to surging Kansas City next week. Beat the Chargers and the Broncos have hope.
“I still believe in this team,” general manager George Paton said earlier this week. “Obviously, the last two (games, a win at Dallas and loss to Philadelphia), it was up and down, but you saw what we can do when we put it all together against Dallas.”
Said safety Justin Simmons: “We’re right in the thick of it and it’s all going to start against the Chargers. We’re going to get some guys back healthy for this last stretch and we’re going to need all hands on deck.”
Which team will emerge as the division winner? Here is a team-by-team outlook:
Remaining games: vs. Chargers, at Kansas City, vs. Detroit, vs. Cincinnati, at Las Vegas, at Chargers and vs. Kansas City.
Current form: Even steven. Won three, lost four, won two and lost one.
Numbers of note: Offense — 27th on third down (34.7%) and red zone touchdown rate (50%). Defense — tied for eighth in red zone touchdown rate (52.4%) and third in fewest points allowed (18.3 per game). Special teams — second-to-last in kick returns (17.1) and kick coverage (35.7).
Key injuries: Out for the season are WR KJ Hamler, RG Graham Glasgow and ILBs Josey Jewell and Alexander Johnson. Currently out are CB Bryce Callahan, OLB Bradley Chubb (although he could return Sunday) and LT Garett Bolles.
Reasons for optimism: WR Jerry Jeudy has 21 catches in his three games back from a high ankle sprain that cost him six weeks and Simmons is tied for sixth in the league with four interceptions.
Reasons for concern: Pat Surtain II has the only interception among the team’s cornerbacks, opponents have 30 sacks (sixth-most in the league) and the offense is averaging only 20 points per game.
Predicted final record: 9-8 (third place).
Remaining games: Bye, vs. Broncos, vs. Las Vegas, at Chargers, vs. Pittsburgh, at Cincinnati and at Broncos.
Current form: Rolling. The Chiefs’ uneven start (1-2 and 2-3 records) have been erased by a four-game winning streak in which they have outscored opponents 93-47.
Numbers of note: Offense — first on third down (51.5%) and second in most turnovers (22). Defense — 30th in yards per snap (6.1) and tied for 21st in fewest points allowed (25.5). Special teams — third in punt returns (12.8) and seventh in kick returns (24.1).
Key injuries: RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire returned last week after missing six games and the Chiefs have started three right tackles, but the other four linemen have started all 11 games.
Reasons for optimism: The Chiefs have started to figure things out defensively. Since their Week 7 blowout loss at Tennessee, they have improved from 30th to 14th on third down and tied for 27th to tied for 13th in points allowed. And, oh yeah, they have QB Patrick Mahomes, who is second in yards (3,200) and tied for second in touchdown passes (25).
Reasons for concern: The Chiefs still turn it over too much, posting multiple giveaways in seven of their 11 games (including two four-turnover games) and the defense has only 19 sacks, sixth-fewest in the league.
Predicted final record: 11-6 (second place).
Remaining games: vs. Washington, at Kansas City, at Cleveland, vs. Broncos, at Indianapolis and vs. Chargers.
Current form: Rejuvenated. Thursday’s 36-33 overtime win at Dallas stopped a three-game skid that threatened to make it a third consecutive late-season collapse (1-5 and 2-5 finishes in 2019-20).
Numbers of note: Offense — second in passing yards per game (296.5) and tied for 27th in red zone (50%). Defense — 26th stopping the run (125.9) and last in red zone touchdown rate (75.9%). Special teams — 31st in punt coverage (12.6 yards per return) and 25th on kick returns (19.8-yard average).
Key injuries: The Raiders entered the Dallas game with 11 players on injured reserve, including starting OL Richie Incognito and Denzelle Good and LB Nicholas Morrow. TE Darren Waller was injured against the Cowboys.
Reasons for optimism: QB Derek Carr leads the NFL with 3,414 passing yards, RB Josh Jacobs was more involved Thursday (season-high 22 carries for 87 yards) and DE Yannick Ngakoue has eight sacks in the last six games.
Reasons for concern: The Raiders rank 28th in rushing (89.1 yards per game) and the defense isn’t getting any stops in the red zone (opponents are 7 for 9 in the last three games).
Predicted final record: 8-9 (fourth place).
Remaining games: at Broncos, at Cincinnati, vs. Giants, vs. Kansas City, at Houston, vs. Broncos and at Las Vegas.
Current form: Primed-to-take-control. The Chargers are 2-0 in the division (only undefeated team) and can move to 2-0 in AFC West road games if they beat the Broncos on Sunday.
Numbers of note: Offense — eighth in scoring (26.0) and fifth in yards per play (5.0). Defense — last in rushing (145.1) and 31st on third down (46.8%). Special teams — last in punt coverage (13.4 yards per return) and 27th on kick returns (18.9).
Key injuries: The Chargers have only four players on injured reserve, but two were Week 1 starting offensive linemen — RT Bryan Bulaga and RG Oday Aboushi.
Reasons for optimism: RB Austin Ekeler has 573 rushing and 405 receiving yards, QB Justin Herbert has five games with a passer rating of at least 107.6 (all wins) and S Derwin James leads the team with 86 tackles.
Reasons for concern: The Chargers’ 20 sacks are tied for seventh-fewest in the NFL and they aren’t getting much out of their return game (26th on punt returns, 27th on kick returns).
Predicted final record: 12-5 (first place).
AFC West futility
The Broncos’ enter Sunday’s game with a five-game losing streak in AFC West games, their longest in a decade and tied for their third-longest since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger. A look at the streaks:
Broncos went 0-5 in division during strike-shortened ’82 season
Four one-score losses, Josh McDaniels fired after second defeat
Two double-digit losses, three defeats to Las Vegas
Three one-score losses, Chargers won by 10 and 17 points
Allowed at least 37 points in three losses (all by at least 20 points)
Looking up at rivals
The AFC West teams’ in-division record since the start of 2016: