A New Supersonic Passenger Jet on the Horizon

Five years ago, the famed Concorde supersonic jet made its final flight. Most people thought that when the final French-designed craft set down, it would be the last anyone would hear about supersonic passenger jets for a long time.

But one American company is making big and brash talk about its Concorde-like craft, which could be in the air in 2012 and ready to carry passengers by 2015. The Aerion Supersonic Jet will not be as large or spectacular as the Concorde. But the manufacturer claims that it will be able to travel at mach 1.6, a velocity that will allow it to reach New York from London in 3 hours.

It wasn’t lack of speed that killed the Concorde, though. It was high operating costs. A spokesman for Aerion claims that new technology can keep the cost of flying at supersonic speeds from overwhelming airlines and operators:
“Concorde was a beautiful machine and a product of its time, but technology has moved forward and new designs such as the Aerion jet offer greater efficiency. Concorde was withdrawn due to high operating cost, which Aerion technology has successfully overcome.” The company has already received 50 orders for the plane, which will retail for more than $70 million.

[Via The Daily Mail]