A New Supersonic Passenger Jet?
SPACE.com Download time: Jul 23 2010 8:14 AM ET
Supersonic passenger travel was grounded in 2003 when British Airways and Air France cancelled their transatlantic Concorde service because of falling revenues and rising maintenance costs. The Aerion Supersonic Business Jet (SBJ) promises to help travelers break the sound barrier again.
Named after a fleet-of-foot horse in Greek mythology, the Aerion SBJ will be able to carry a dozen passengers at speeds of up to Mach 1.5 for more than 4,000 miles. It is currently undergoing proof-of-concept aerodynamic testing of critical components in NASA wind tunnels and under the belly of a NASA F-15 supersonic jet.
This Aerion SBJ will make it possible to fly from Paris to New York in four hours and 14 minutes, shaving three hours off the trip compared to conventional jets.
And even in the United States, where supersonic flight is banned because of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) sonic boom restrictions, the SBJ will be able to fly at a high subsonic speed of Mach 0.98 because of its unique, patented wing design, reducing coast-to-coast travel by 41 minutes vs. conventional aircraft.…
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