The Future of Supersonic Air Travel

Posted on September 02, 2021
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Short History (back in time)

The world saw an end to supersonic speeds in 2003 after the Concorde was retired from service(sad emoji, future ends in the past). It was built by France and Great Britain. The airplane was only flown by British Airways and Air France and could reach speeds of up to Mach 2, 2180km/h (twice the speed of sound).

Air France Concorde

British Airways Concorde

The plane saw its retirement in 2003 after the crash of Air France Flight 4590.

But before the Concorde era, the Russian Tupolev Tu-144, that had a cruising speed of 2300km/h(Mach 2.15) with a range of 6500km. Tu-144 operated between 1928 and 1999. It was the only concord’s true competitor. Only 14 models of the Tu-144 were built.

Russian Tupolev Tu-144

Although Concorde offered amazing speeds for Trans-Atlantic routes, it had its cons; sound and fuel, and of course it was not as sustainable.

Almost 10 years have passed without any supersonic commercial travel, what’s in store for us? (The future is actually fast)

The Future of Supersonic Travel

United Airlines Overture Model

We are now looking into speeds of up to 5X the speed of sound! Engineers and innovators have been on the drawing board and coming up with great speedsters.

By far there are two at least startups that are already building prototypes for the supersonic jets, and some airlines already have orders lining up!

Boom Supersonic

Boom

Boom Supersonic is building its first jet, Overture, which will be introduced in 2025, perform its first flight in 2026 and start transporting passengers at supersonic speed in 2029.

The overture airliner has some incredible features and specs:

PASSENGER CAPACITY:

  • 65 to 88

CRUISING ALTITUDE

  • 60,000 FT

CARBON

  • NET-ZERO

LENGTH

  • 205 FT

SPEED

  • MACH 1.7/2099km/h

RANGE

  • 4250 NM (4888 MI/ 7860KM)

Wait a second, Overture can take you between New York and London in 3 ½ hours, instead of 6 ½ , Los Angeles to Sydney in 8 ½ hours instead of 14 ½ .

Hermeus

Boom

Hermeus technically races you there LOL! They are building 5X-speed-of-light aircraft.They are building their first prototype, quarterhorse. hermeus recently got $60 MILLION in funds from U.S Air Force to build the aircraft.

Get this, flying from New York to Paris in 3 ½ hours compared to the normal 7 ½ hours.

Here are some of the specs the startup is promising:

SPEED: MACH 5

RANGE: 4600 Miles/ 7400 KM

Boom

As we wait for the future to be fast. Let’s enjoy the technological advancements in the aviation sector. Stay safe!

author image, Chris Achinga
Chris Achinga
the next captain
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