The days of the long-haul flight are officially numbered, with engineers at Boeing and Lockheed-Martin competing to create supersonic jets that can subdue the sonic boom. Four hour flights to London from Sydney? Oh yes!
Although it’s unlikely we’ll actually see anything in the real world before 2020, and probably not a passenger jet before 2030 (if ever), the idea is one that many people can enjoy. Dubbed the “Son of Concorde”, engineers believe that they have managed to overcome one of the Concorde’s largest hurdles – the noise pollution from a sonic boom. Instead, it’s believed that these new jets will drop a sonic puff or a sonic plop.
By combining lighter materials, more advanced engines and lighter fuselages, boffins believe they’ll be able to create an aircraft class that can travel roughly twice that of the Concorde, or about 4,000 kph. That makes the 17,000km commute to London a frighteningly quick 4-5 hours.
Initially, the jets will target the private business market, but eventually should roll around to commercial airliners. Well, they will if it ever happens, which many people doubt is a possibility. It would be nice though…
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Nick Broughall is the Australian Editor of TechRadar.com, where he gets to indulge his passion for geekery and the lastest technology. He is also the Editor of EFTM.com.au, where he gets to indulge his passion for manliness, from sampling fine liquor to the joys of growing a beard. It's a pretty good life, really.