When the supersonic Concorde stopped flying nearly 15 years ago, most folks thought a new supersonic transport would never be commercially viable.
The cost of fuel coupled with noise restrictions made it operationally impossible for supersonic passenger jets to fly over land.
Well, never say never.
Next generation supersonic jets are being developed, and the U.S. Congress is now considering changing the overland rules.
Currently, the U.S. prohibits civilian supersonic flights from operating overland because of the noise disturbances caused by sonic booms.
Right now, a number of manufacturers are developing supersonic aircraft that feature sonic boom reduction.
But let’s not forget how loud the Concorde was when it was flying at 50,000 feet.
The plane still produced a deafening 110 perceived noise decibels—about the same sound as a crowded nightclub.
Engineers feel the new planes will produce just 75 perceived decibels, the equivalent of a telephone dial tone.
Test flights are scheduled for 2019, and it’s entirely possible a new supersonic plane will be operational by 2023.
There are still a lot of factors, not the least of which is the price of fuel, and what our noise tolerance will be.
Then, of course, is the ticket cost.