Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Supersonic: New Jet Could Fly London to Sydney in 5 Hours

A proposed new supersonic jet could be capable of flying from London to Sydney, Australia in as little as five hours.

Jetliner manufacturers Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Gulfstream are working in tandem with NASA to develop the first supersonic passenger aircraft for the business jet market. The consortium is working on the project, dubbed "The Son of Concorde", which would be capable of traveling at speeds of up to 2,485 miles per hour. Such a plane would be able to fly from London to Sydney-a distance of over 10,000 miles- in under 5 hours, a trip that would take almost 24 hours using conventional commercial aircraft.

As of now, the biggest obstacle the consortium faces is the "sonic boom" produced by aircraft traveling faster than the speed of sound. This problem has prevented supersonic aircraft from being feasible to use over land in the past. As of now, the fastest commercial aircraft in use, Gulfstream’s new G650, can fly 646 miles per hour and has a top speed of just 704 mile per hour.

The last supersonic aircraft in commercial use was the Concorde, which was taken out of commission in 2003 after a series of accidents, including a deadly crash at Paris' Charles du Gaulle Airport in 2000, which killed all 109 passengers aboard.

A prototype of the experimental aircraft is expected to debut at the Farnborough Air Show in London next month.  The jet, given the code name X-54, would start limited runs in 2020 and be commercially viable by 2030 if is determined to be safe and reliable.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...