At the peak of the supersonic era, passenger jets raced across the sky at over twice the speed of sound. While today we have to settle for cruising speeds just over 1,000 km/h, one company intends to have us back breaking the sound barrier within the year. And if Boeing’s R&D department has its way, by their passenger planes will do London to New York in as little as two hours.
First, a little flashback: On the morning of January 21, 1976, two Concordes — one each from British Airways and Air France — took off simultaneously on what would be the aircraft's first commercial supersonic flights
with fare-paying passengers. The British Airways jet took off from London's Heathrow Airport bound for Bahrain, while the Air France flight left Paris Orly Airport headed for Brazil with a stop in Senegal. Later that year, Air France and British Airways put the cutting-edge jet into service — making daily flights from Europe to the US."The iconic plane could fly from London to New York in just three hours, but was retired from service because, people are lame..."
— Flight Enthusiasts, everywhere
What happened to the Concorde?
The jet was retired from service nearly 30 years after its public launch. It's exit was in 2003, having had one fatal accident three years prior when Air France flight 4590 crashed just after taking off from Paris-Charles de Gaulle. Looking back it is had to understand why the illustrious aircraft, with so much potential, never recovered after the crash near Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport in 2000, in which 113 people died.
A Successor is Born
Behind the scenes interest and planning in speeding up passenger planes has never really subsided... Meet the ‘Son of Concorde’, taking flight in 2021 (allegedly). Thanks to a joint venture between Airbus and Aerion, supersonic flights are making a comeback. The Aerion AS2 nicknamed the ‘Son of Concorde’, is a new plane that will be made using carbon fibre and be capable of holding up to 12 passengers (it's a start, right?). The manufacturers which are currently working on the AS2, say it is private passenger jet capable of flying at 1.5 Mach (max), with the plan being to have it in the skies as soon as possible. The combined efforts of these two juggernauts to reintroduce supersonic travel, would see travellers once again regaining the ability to fly, really, FAST. Strap in for ride, cross your fingers, hope and pray, supersonic flights may be having a renaissance.