FEATURE: Remembering Concorde: the firms aiming for a supersonic comeback

Rich McEachran

The Spike S-512 jet (Credit: Spike)
The Spike S-512 jet (Credit: Spike)

50 years after Concorde's first flight, these ambitious companies want to bring supersonic passenger travel back to the skies.

Read part one, "Concorde engineers share supersonic stories 50 years after first flight".

Read part two, "Concorde engineers remember Paris crash and the end of an era". 

Boom Supersonic

Founded in 2014, this American company is developing a 55-seater supersonic jet capable of travelling more than twice the speed of sound. It’s aiming to introduce the aeroplane in 2023, but plans to run a one-third-scale demonstrator in 2019. 

Spike Aerospace

Spike Aerospace claims its ‘quiet’ supersonic jet, carrying up to 18 passengers, will be able to fly non-stop from London to Hanoi in Vietnam at a top speed of 1,100mph. Instead of windows, the plane will have external cameras that will send footage to thin LCD screens inside the cockpit.

Aerion Supersonic

Also aimed at business travellers, the Aerion jet is being developed in conjunction with Lockheed Martin. It will carry just 12 passengers, and will have three engines. One of the many challenges faced by Concorde was the sonic boom, and Lockheed Martin is working on ways to mitigate this with new technology.

Content published by Professional Engineering does not necessarily represent the views of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

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