After two decades without the Concorde, supersonic flights are back on the table

Concorde Supersonic Flights back

On May 31, 2003, the last flight of an Air France Concorde landed in Paris from New York. Since then, a supersonic plane has never been seen in the sky again. More than 18 years without this technology. However, large companies want to bring this idea back to life.

The Concorde had too many faults: the noise, the excessive price of the seats, the maintenance costs. However, there were two major triggers that led to the disappearance of these aircraft. In the first place, the accident of Air France flight 4590, on July 25, 2000, in which the 100 passengers of the aircraft, its nine crew members and four people on the ground died. Second, the attacks of September 11, 2001, caused a drastic drop in air travel.

The legal problems faced by the Concorde

The first scheduled flights aboard a Concorde took place on January 21, 1976 with the London-Bahrain and Paris-Rio de Janeiro routes. The US Congress was forced to prohibit the aircraft, owned by Air France and British Airways, from operating in its territory, due to the great protests of citizens over the immense noise it caused. However, months later, Washington and New York began allowing the Concorde to operate at their airports.

The same thing happened when British Airlines wanted to bring this technology to Singapore. After reaching an agreement with Singapore Airlines, the route was suspended after only three flights due to Malaysia alleging that these aircraft were making excessive noise. A short time later the route was resumed but, again, India refused to allow the Concorde to reach supersonic speeds in its airspace.

The same problems occurred when Air France wanted to make a Washington-Mexico route. The laws of the state of Florida made it impossible for him to reach supersonic speeds when passing through their territory, so he was forced to decelerate to accelerate again once he crossed the border. In addition, the economic crisis of the time made these flights practically empty, so they were also closed.

Supersonic jets could make a comeback in the middle of this decade

While it’s true that the Concorde had a host of issues like speed, fuel efficiency, and sonic boom noise, it’s also true that several industry giants want to bring this technology back. Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Airbus are in various stages of development to bring back the supersonic airliner, and the Federal Aviation Administration stated in 2008 that “interest in supersonic aircraft technology has not disappeared,” as pick up Insider.

For its part, Spike Aerospace is in the process of creating private supersonic aircraft. Its modern design appears to have reduced the sonic boom to the sound of a car door slamming. Now the aircraft will be fitted with a long, pointed nose to help the shock wave bounce back into space rather than the ground.

In addition, the materials with which the Concorde was made, which was basically aluminum, have been renewed so that they are able to tolerate high temperatures.

According to Insider, the trick is that the company plans to fly at a slower speed of 1,100 miles per hour. That is, the aircraft will soar through the sky at a speed even faster than the speed of sound but slow enough to control temperature, sonic boom, and engine efficiency.

Everything indicates that this technology will reach the most empowered public in the middle of this decade and, hopefully, launch it to the mass public in the middle of the following decade.