The only time in the history of mankind where progress stopped dead in its tracks, for decades, is when the last Concorde made its last flight 24 Oct. 2003. Until now. The Concorde was never a commercial success, mainly because of extreme fuel consumption, forcing the few airlines using the plane to charge higher and higher ticket prices. The sonic boom was another problem. New design is in the process of addressing those problems. The sonic boom will be reduced and possibly allowing supersonic speed over land.
Boom Supersonic, a Colorado start-up, have advanced plans to build a long and narrow fuel-efficient aircraft, with test flights of a small-scale prototype already by the end of this year, building of a factory next year, and full scale production 2023. Full speed ahead obviously. The company goal ”flying passengers anywhere in the world in less than 4 hours for 100 USD”. United has options for 50 planes, a model named Overture capable of Mach 1,7, for use by 2029. Readers of this blog are expected to wish Boom great success. (The 100 USD might be a reson for concern.)
Boom is of course not alone. Efforts are made in Japan to get a number of major companies, Mitsubishi, Kawasaki, IHI and Subaru to name a few, to pool resources for a development of a supersonic aircraft by 2030. And in Europe a 19-passenger Mach 3 Jet is planned by Virgin Galactic in a cooperation with Rolls Royce.
Mankind can stop worrying. Progress is back.