Supersonic passenger jets could make comeback

Companies are working on designs for aircraft that will replace the retired Concorde and again transport passengers at speeds faster than sound.

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

The Concorde was retired in 2003 after one crashed in Paris in 2000 killing 113 people.

After the demise of the supersonic Concorde passenger jet, faster-than-sound commercial air travel was moth-balled.

But now engineers are beginning to visualise its replacement – ultra-fast passenger jets capable of flying at speeds faster than 30 kilometres (20 miles) per second.

The Concorde was a British-French government project. It had its maiden flight in 1969 and operated until it was retired in 2003, following a crash on take-off in Paris.

The Concorde's fastest transatlantic crossing was in February 1996, when it completed the flight from New York to London in 2 hours 52 minutes and 59 seconds.

Now companies with names like "Boom Technology" and "Aerion Corporation" are working on designs for a new generation of passenger aircraft that will break the sound barrier.

TRT World’s Dana Lewis spoke to Jock Lowe, a former Concorde captain, about the past and the future of commercial supersonic flight.