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Is commercial supersonic flight set to return?

American aerospace company Lockheed Martin is working on a jet that could see the return of commercial supersonic air travel, more than a decade after the retirement of the Concorde fleet.

The proposed Lockheed Martin N Plus 2 jet could soar at speeds of Mach 1.6, which would cut the travel time from New York to Los Angeles from five hours to just 2.5. The company aims to be able to carry 80 people on the journey from west to east by around 2022.

According to the special CNN Money report into supersonic flight, engineers at Lockheed and Boeing are working with NASA on lowering the Sonic Boom, with the aim of legalising breaking the speed of sound when traveling over US airspace.

The Sonic Boom makes a sound equivalent to a loud clap of thunder for the entire duration of its flight, which currently means supersonic flight is outlawed in many countries.

Lockheed isn’t the only company with plans to put supersonic planes back on the runway. Aerion, based in Reno Nevada is also working on a 12-passenger business jet that’ll also travel at Mach 1.6 which could cut London-New York journey to just four hours.

While the N Plus 2 would be geared towards commercial flight, Aerion’s $110m jet would be primarily aimed at business passengers and the firm has already cashed deposits from hundreds of customers.

Considering BA and Air France’s Concorde first entered service in 1976 and enabled Londoners to get to New York in about two and a half hours, we’d say these developments are very much overdue.

Any how about we get some transatlantic Wi-Fi installed too? Is that too much to ask?

Read more: Smartphones cleared for in-flight use in Europe


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