Tag Archives: Supersonic

How soon will supersonic jets return to our skies?

by Paul Sillers, CNN Travel

A new era of supersonic flight might be just around the corner, but there are three challenges to overcome when it comes to flying faster than the speed of sound.

Those are the three Es of aviation: engineering, environment and economics.

Concorde, the aeronautical marvel that made its last flight 16 years ago this week, only conquered the first of those three travel challenges.

Continue reading How soon will supersonic jets return to our skies?

How to go Supersonic without a Boom

by Ryan F. Mandelbaum, Popular Science

Breaking down the AS2 Business Jet

Until its retirement 13 years ago, the supersonic Concorde was plagued by two major problems: inefficiency and noise (the sonic booms it produced got it banned from over-land cruising). Now, heavyweights like Virgin and Airbus are planning to tackle supersonic speeds, and NASA began designing a “low boom” supersonic jet this year. But no one is as close as aircraft manufacturer Aerion Corporation, which is developing the AS2.

Quiet Cruise

When air molecules slam into a supersonic jet, they create a high-pressure wake that reaches the ground as a startling “ba-boom.” By slowing down its cruise speed to Mach 1.2 (the Concorde’s was Mach 2), the AS2’s wake will dissipate before it reaches civilization. Continue reading How to go Supersonic without a Boom