Are We Going To Travel In An Affordable Supersonic Aeroplane Soon?

Supersonic commercial aeroplanes are in play  for a while now. But it is not affordable and commercially profitable. It is a showpiece speed star not doing any real good for the humanity. But there have been some major breakthrough in past decade and rumours are by 2025 this new prototype would be ready to serve as a regular flight.

Three US aerospace firms – Boom Supersonic, Aerion Supersonic and Spike Aerospace – are racing to be the first to slash travel times across the globe, with passenger jets that can travel faster than Mach 1 – the speed of sound (761mph or 1,225km/h at sea level).

The Aérospatiale/BAC Concorde is a British-French turbojet-powered supersonic passenger airliner that was operated from 1976 until 2003. It was really ahead of its time. It was a massive technological achievement but it was incredibly fuel-inefficient and for that reason was very expensive to operate.

Technologically, supersonic flight is not complex to achieve. The challenge is offering a service that passengers can afford, is less polluting, and crucially, that eliminates Concorde’s window-rattling sonic booms. The huge thunder-clap-like noise created when an aircraft breaks through the sound barrier can even cause damage to structures.

The most important Question has been asked by you is that How? What solution the engineers have found?
The simple answer is by killing the sonic boom.

Lockheed Martin won a $248m (£191m) contract from US space agency Nasa to build a low-boom flight demonstration aircraft. Known as the X-59 QueSST [quiet supersonic technology], it will fly at Mach 1.42 (940mph) at 55,000ft, and generate a sound about as loud as a car door closing, Nasa says.

The key to eliminating the sonic boom is in the design of an airframe. In a conventional supersonic jet, the shockwaves coalesce as they expand away from the nose and tail – leading to two distinct sonic booms.

The trick is to shape the aircraft in such a way that the shockwaves remain separate as they travel away from the aircraft. This means they reach the ground still separated, generating a quick series of soft thumps.

The aircraft should be completed by the end of 2021, and in mid-2022 Nasa will start flying it over various US cities to collect data about how people on the ground respond to the flights.

So no boom means no harm will come to people on land. Current regulations say civil aircraft can only go supersonic over water. But to get these Supersonic aircraft on market International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has to draw up new rules regarding supersonic flight over land. After some testing and experimentation that can be achievable.

One Question Remain “what about the costs?”

A flight on the Concorde could cost four times the first-class fare. But all three firms say they aim to make supersonic travel no more expensive than today’s business class fares.

The flight time from Shanghai to Los Angeles – currently about 12 hours – would shrink to a little over six hours.

Instead of a $20,000 round-trip across the Atlantic, it’s more like $5,000. That is still expensive relative to the economy, but if you can afford to fly front-cabin you can afford to get there in half the time.

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