If you can think of one instance of how we’ve gone backwards instead of forwards in terms of technology, you might have to take a moment or two to really identify an example.
That is, unless, you’re a super sonic flight enthusiast and are familiar with the still impressive capabilities of British Aircraft Corporation’s and Aerospatiale’s Concorde.
The turbojet-powered, supersonic airliner flew passengers across the Atlantic at speeds of up to Mach 2.04—more than twice the speed of sound—making it possible to get from JFK to Heathrow in just three hours. That’s a far cry from the sluggish seven hours it takes today.
Faster Than The Craft That Inspired It
Since the Concorde’s retirement twelve years ago, supersonic flight has been far beyond the reach of most air passengers, but many hope that will soon change. Super fast, super quick transatlantic flights made possible through the Concorde may be met and bested if a new design for a “rocket-motor” propelled aircraft gets off the ground.
The aptly named Concorde-2 from Airbus may make it possible to fly from New York to London in about an hour. Through the use of turbojets, ramjets, and a rocket motor in three separate engines, the Concorde-2 would reach speeds 4.5 faster than the speed of sound.
Super Speeds With Limited Seats
When considering its speed capabilities alone, it sounds like the Concorde-2 could revolutionize commercial flight, but there’s one major shortcoming: the current design only seats up to 19 passengers.
To get a seat on board a Concorde-2, you’d probably have to play a pretty hefty price. That doesn’t mean the Concorde-2 is doomed to stay grounded. Airbus’ patent application does include possible military use for the compact, supersonic jet.
Will The Concorde Rise Again?
While the Concorde’s glory days are over, two of the twenty original crafts appear to be destine for new life. One is set to be used as as tourist attraction and eatery located near the London Eye ferris wheel. The second will actually get off the ground as soon as 2019 as a private charter plane reserved for airshows and corporate events.
Do you think we’ll soon see a modern airliner that’s comparable to the Concorde? Share your thoughts in the comments.