Excitement is growing about rumours that more concrete plans for such jets will be unveiled at the 2012 Farnborough International Airshow next month.
According to articles in The Times, NASA scientists have been working with a number of aerospace companies, including Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Gulfstream, to build a plane that can fly its passengers from London to Sydney in just four hours.
Deemed, ‘Son of Concorde’ such a jet would be around four times faster than today’s speediest aircraft, and could be ready for take off by 2020. The biggest hurdle is silencing the ‘sonic boom’ produced by supersonic aircraft such as Concorde. It was so noisy that it was banned from flying at supersonic speeds over land by international law.
Like its Anglo-French predecessor, a seat on a supersonic jet would probably be pricey and aimed at business travellers, at least to begin with, so for the next decade at least, it’s likely that if you want to fly to Australia from the UK, you’ll still be looking at a twenty-something-hour haul.
Meanwhile, the race for flights to space continues...