That’s right, supersonic is practically a thing of the past (not really!). According to information from the Forum on American Aeronautics–aviation, aerospace and military experts from the Mojave Air and Space Port, U.S. Air Force, NASA, and Lockheed Martin stated, “the world of aviation is about to be transformed as the advent of hypersonic planes is almost here.” As great as it would be to hop on the thirty minute flight from New York to London, hypersonic planes are not nearly ready for preliminary testing, let alone commercial flights.
THE GOOD NEWS!
Although you won’t be boarding a hypersonic plane within the next year, it is clear efforts are being made to bring the aviation industry to that level, as it has been relatively stagnant. NASA and Lockheed Martin are in the experimental phase of designing a plane that can fly at supersonic speeds without producing a sonic boom (one of the many reasons the Concorde is no longer with us, and why we can’t make any more Parent Trap references about it, but I digress). Member of the House Science Committee, Steve R. Knight has led the committee’s involvement with getting NASA to focus efforts on ‘a new set of experimental aircraft.’ Knight’s father was the last person to achieve a flight speed (in an airplane) of Mach 6.7, thus breaking the hypersonic barrier–back in 1967. This meant the airplane was actually flying 6.7 times the speed of sound!
NASA’s goal with Lockheed is to develop the technology to significantly reduce the sonic boom, which if successfully completed, could result in a lift in the ban preventing supersonic flights over land. This would result in a new beginning for air transportation, and lead to further development of revolutionary technologies.