Mach 2 or Mach 5. In the history of mankind there has never really been a setback bigger than what happened to supersonic flights. Ships has become bigger and faster, trains likewise at least speed-wise, the development of the automobile industry is almost exponential, and generally everything has gone forward. Longer bridges, higher buildings, whatever. Then – in 2003 – high-speed passenger flights came to an abrupt halt.
After a crash in 2000 and a brave effort to pretend everything was ok, the Concord era came to a sad end 2003, mourned by many. The general opinion was that the demise was caused by the fact that it never became an economical – let alone successful – enterprise. Some meant that lack of competition played a role. Tickets were expensive and for the elite. Cheaper prices was however hampered by the enormous operational costs compared to subsonic transport. Others claimed the need for subsonic flight above ground was in part a decisive factor.
Now mankind is again moving forward. Boeing and a few other companies are working on projects ranging from twelve to one hundred passengers, from 1,5 to 5 times the speed of sound, with new sound-boom-reducing design enabling supersonic flight also above ground, and trials and estimated first flights anywhere between 2022 and 2030. Whatever comes out of this is not written in the stars anymore. A 15 years unprecedented lull in technical development is coming to an end and, environmentally friendly or not, things are back to normal. Development.