The return of supersonic flight: from Europe to the U.S in 4 hours
Following in the footsteps of Concorde
10 years after the grounding of the super-speed aircraft Concorde, plans for a new transatlantic supersonic flight have been revealed by American engineers.
The Concorde was discontinued in October 2003 after a tragedy in 2000, when Air France Flight 4590 crashed in Gonesse, France after departing from Paris Charles de Gaulle en route to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City, killing all 100 passengers and nine crew members on board the flight, and four people on the ground. It was the only fatal accident involving Concorde. 11 years on and engineers seem to be exploring the return of a 4 hour journey from Paris to New York.
Boston-based engineering firm Spike Aerospace has recently announced plans to develop Spike S-512, a 12-18 seater supersonic private jet designed for commercial use. Current commercial flights typically fly at Mach 0.85 (567mph), however the Spike S-512 is predicted to reach speeds of Mach 1.6-1.8 (1,060-1,200mph), allowing passengers to travel across oceans in a record time of only 4 hours.
The aircraft will cost around USD$80 million per private jet - but the developers have spent years honing their design and believe the first Spike S-512 will take off by late 2018.
Spike Aerospace are not the only company committed to getting supersonic aircrafts back in the sky, Nevada-based company Aerion Corporation has submitted plans for the development of a private jet which would be able to reach speeds of Mach 1.6, potentially carrying its first passengers by the end of the decade.