Supersonic Airliners On The Horizon
SP's Airbuz|February - March 2021
Although the aviation industry has been severely hit by the coronavirus pandemic, the nascent field of high-speed civil aviation is one area that is recording noteworthy progress
Joseph Noronha

Seventeen years – that is how long commercial aviation has been stuck in the subsonic flight regime after British Airways ended Concorde flights in October 2003. In a world obsessed with speed and timesaving, that is remarkable. After all, the prospect of flying from London to New York in three and a quarter hours instead of the current seven hours or from San Francisco to Tokyo in five and a half hours instead of 11, would strongly appeal to most travellers.

That is why several companies are racing to get their supersonic jets to the market. These include Boom Supersonic’s Overture Mach 2.2 airliner, Aerion Supersonic’s AS2 Mach 1.4 Business Jet and Spike Aerospace whose S-512 Mach 1.6 aircraft has both Business Jet and commercial possibilities. And in August 2020, Virgin Galactic announced plans to collaborate with Rolls-Royce to build a Mach 3 airliner. In fact, although the aviation industry has been severely hit by the coronavirus pandemic, the nascent field of high-speed civil aviation is one area that is recording noteworthy progress. But can the supersonic hopefuls overcome the stiff challenges they face?

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