Most people remember the Concorde -- the supersonic jet that flew transatlantic flights for Air France and British Airways until its retirement in 2003. Some might also remember the 2000 crash outside Paris that marked the beginning of the end for the aircraft.
For those who might wax nostalgic about the sleek, modern aircraft, or its ability to fly from New York to London or Paris in half the time of other aircraft, there's a new supersonic jet on the block. Aeronautical engineers in the U.S. are developing a "Son of Concorde," which aims to fly from London to Sydney in four hours, reports News.com.au.
The new jet is a collaborative effort between Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Gulfstream and NASA, and is targeting the business jet market. A prototype is set to be revealed next month at the Farnborough air show in London.
The biggest obstacle designers are working to overcome is the sonic boom sound that was produced by the Concorde. According to the Daily Mail, a Gulfstream engineer described the sound the new jet will make as "closer to a puff or plop."
"Traditionally low boom and good performance have been mutually exclusive, but we have broken that paradox," Peter Coen, NASA Supersonic Fixed Wing program manager, said to Aviation Week. “We achieved low boom with good supersonic-cruise lift-to-drag ratio.”
Currently, "the fastest subsonic executive jet, Gulfstream's forthcoming G650, can fly [roughly 6,900 miles] at a mere 1041 km/h and has a top speed of 1133 km/h," according to the Brisbane Times.
The new "Son of Concorde" jets, codenamed codenamed X-54, will be able to fly faster than 4,000 km/h, which is about double the speed of the Concorde. Just don't expect to fly on them until about 2020 or 2030.
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