Next-Gen Concorde: Are Superdupersonic Planes Coming?
Not long ago, we talked about the ever-increasing possibilities for travel via vacuum train technology, which would make it possible to scoot around the planet at an unprecedented speed. Well, there seems to be something in the air, as it were, regarding innovations in high-speed travel, because reports are now beginning to emerge about the increasing feasibility of a sort of "son of Concorde," a plane that would overcome the technical difficulties that previously hampered the evolution of supersonic flight.
As it turns out, the biggest problem the Concorde faced was its inability to move at supersonic speeds over land, due to what's known as the "sonic boom" effect. But now, writers at Aviation Week and Space Technology are suggesting that science is quite close to conquering that issue, suggesting that for the new breed of supersonic planes, the sonic boom would be more of a "sonic puff," making supersonic speed above land a workable proposition at last. Of course, that doesn't exactly mean you should start making your vacation plans around it — the wheels of science and commerce spin slowly together, so it's likely that this technology wouldn't be widely available for a good 15 years or more. But nevertheless, the notion that one day we'll be able to eat breakfast in London and then hop over to Sydney in time for lunch really puts the "super" in supersonic.