People all around the world have always been fascinated by supersonic flight, which is defined as flight at speeds higher than the speed of sound (about 767 mph). Supersonic flight has a long history; the Concorde, which ran for almost 27 years, is the most well-known supersonic passenger aircraft. Unfortunately, the Air France Concorde was retired after its fatal accident in 2000, marking the end of the era of supersonic passenger travel.
The development of new supersonic passenger aircraft has been the focus of various businesses as interest in supersonic flight has recently grown. These brand-new aero planes are anticipated to outperform their forerunners in terms of speed, effectiveness, and environmental friendliness. Following are some significant advancements in supersonic flying and what they may portend for future global aviation:
- Boom Supersonic: Boom Supersonic is an American startup that is working on the Overture supersonic passenger plane. According to the manufacturer, the plane can carry up to 75 passengers and reach speeds of Mach 2.2 (about 1,700 miles per hour). With the ability to offer flights from New York to London in just three and a half hours, or less than half the current travel time, Overture is anticipated to begin operations in the middle of the 2020s.
- Aerion Supersonic: The US-based company Aerion Supersonic is creating the AS2, a supersonic business jet. According to the manufacturer, the plane can carry up to 12 passengers and travel at speeds of Mach 1.4, or over 1,000 miles per hour. The AS2 is scheduled to launch in 2027 and may provide four-hour trips between New York and London.
- Spike Aerospace: The S-512 is a supersonic passenger jet being developed by Spike Aerospace, a similar US-based business. According to the manufacturer, the plane can carry up to 18 passengers and travel at speeds of Mach 1.6 (or roughly 1,200 miles per hour). It’s anticipated that the S-512 will go into service in the late 2020s.
Although the development of these new supersonic aircraft is encouraging, a number of obstacles still need to be overcome before supersonic flight can be used for long-distance international travel. Following are a few of the main difficulties:
- Noise: People on the ground may find the powerful sonic boom from supersonic flying upsetting. New supersonic aircraft are being created with quieter engines and more aerodynamic forms to address this problem and lessen the severity of the boom.
- Concerns for the environment: Supersonic travel uses more fuel than subsonic travel, which results in higher greenhouse gas emissions. In order to address this, new supersonic aircraft are being created with fuel-saving engines and lighter materials.
- Operating costs for supersonic flights are high, and many passengers may find the cost of tickets to be unaffordable. New supersonic aircraft are being developed with more fuel-efficient engines and lighter materials, which can slash fuel costs and make supersonic travel more economical.
In conclusion, the future of supersonic flight in international aviation is hopeful, despite the fact that there are still a number of issues that need to be resolved. Companies like Boom Supersonic, Aerion Supersonic, and Spike Aerospace are developing new supersonic aircraft that have the potential to revolutionise aviation by drastically cutting travel times. It is yet unclear how these new planes will handle the problems of noise, environmental issues, and expense, as well as if they will be able to find a broad audience in the aviation sector.