from the urls we dig up dept
Supersonic flights haven’t been available to the public since the Concorde (and the lesser known Tupolev Tu-144) stopped flying. The economic reality of flying faster than the speed of sound doesn’t look too profitable, but maybe someday an airline will figure out a way to do it (and do it safely AND quietly). Or maybe we should just look forward to riding trains inside evacuated tubes.
- NASA is looking to design “low boom” (aka quieter) supersonic planes. The Quiet SuperSonic Technology (QueSST) project will be just the first part in a series of ‘X-planes’ for NASA’s New Aviation Horizons initiative. [url]
- A hypersonic cargo plane has been patented by Airbus — with claims to reach Mach 4.5 (much faster than a Concorde at Mach 2). To reduce the sonic boom, the plane has a rocket engine to boost it nearly vertically so that the sonic boom would dissipate in the upper atmosphere — and turbojets and ramjets would provide horizontal thrusts at appropriate altitudes. [url]
- If you were thinking it’d be great to ride in a hypersonic plane with a broadband wireless connection, you might have to solve the communication blackout problem that comes with superfast vehicles traveling through the atmosphere. If an ionized plasma forms around your hypersonic plane (usually at around 5 times the speed of sound), you might be able to get around it with some special signal processing equipment. [url]
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