Inside the race to master supersonic air travel

June 2, 2022
Nearly 20 years after the Concorde jet failed, aircraft-makers are still trying to master high-speed flights. But can they? Pranshu Verma asks for The Washington Post.

WASHINGTON - When British Airways flew its supersonic Concorde jet for the last time nearly 20 years ago, the era of shuttling between New York and London in under four hours while indulging in champagne, caviar and lobster seemed to be gone forever, Pranshu Verma reports for The Washington PostContinue reading original article.

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

2 June 2022 - The Concorde supersonic jetliner was a novel aircraft compared to the long-haul carriers. Flying at 60,000 feet at supersonic speeds, the legendary jet could get from New York to London in about three hours - roughly half time time of a regular passenger jet.

Its single-row layout could only hold 92 to 128 passengers, and it was expensive to fly. With tickets running into the five figures, the Concorde was retired nearly 20 years ago.

Now, commercial aviation companies are looking to roll out more technologically advanced supersonic aircraft. Bombardier recently announced its next-gen business jet, the Global 8000, broke the sound barrier during a test. Boom Supersonic in Colorado has announced a firm order from United Airlines for its commercial flyer, which significantly tops 1,000 MPH.

Getting up to speed hasn't been a problem since Chuck Yager broke the sound barrier just after WWII. The noise eminating from a sonic boom has been, however. NASA has been working to muffle those booms in concert with Lockheed Martin in its X-59 aircraft. While the Concorde remains a memory, technological breakthroughs cited in Verma's piece for the Post outlines how supersonic travel may soon come back.

Related: X-59: the next supersonic ‘Concorde’?

Related: Ames' contributions to the X-59 quiet supersonic technology aircraft

Related: NASA Langley works to revive supersonic flight - without sonic booms

Jamie Whitney, Associate Editor
Intelligent Aerospace

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