Everything old is new again. There are artist such as Lady Gaga, Fall Out Boy and A Tribe Called Quest releasing their news albums on vinyl available at big box stores, the players, known as ‘turn-tables’, also going back into wide availability. There are remakes of several classic Television shows such as Miami Vice and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and pre-stressed, pre-faded ‘vintage’ clothes are seen as trendy with price tags to match. Something else from that good old, bygone century that may be poised to make a glorious and well deserved comeback is the notion of supersonic flight. Yes, you read that correctly.

The rebirth of supersonic flights

Since the final demise of the Concorde jet some 14 years ago one has barely heard the phrase ‘supersonic,’ except in references to the ill-fated Seattle basketball team officially coming to an end in 2008. Refusing to be daunted and wanting to get to their meetings on time like anyone else, manufacturer Lockheed with assistance from no less than the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or ‘NASA’ to use the flaccid acronym are working an updated model of the technology, that allows human beings to go faster than the speed of sound in a chair in the sky. Not without competition a start-up, inauspiciously christened Boom, are at their own drawing boards, hard at work on a version of faster than sound international travel, projected to begin service in the early-2020s. Not quite flying robot maids but still pretty darn neat.

How it works

‘Supersonic’ is one of the recognized speeds of flight. Ranging from Mach 1 to Mach 9.6 and generally termed Subsonic, ‘Supersonic’, ‘Transonic’, ‘Supersonic’,’Hypersonic’ and ‘High-Hypersonic’ at a High-Hypersonic Mach 9.6. Supersonic is the third level overall and second in terms of Mach measures. Due to the radical difference in air friction, Supersonic jets have a great deal of design changes from their Transonic precursors. Common differences include alterations to the shape and including more sharp edges to assist in cutting the air. There are also differences in terms of material and functionality, such as thin areas of aerofoil and a tailplane that can move in all directions.

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Supersonic flights go how fast?

Following the death of the Concorde program, commercial jets were reduced to a frankly clunky 550 miles per hour (885 kilometers per hour). Depending on niggling factors such as the temperature of and the wind, a supersonic jet could go 768mph (1,235 kph). Not to be out done or held back by what is considered possible or safe – not always an entirely positive attribute – the dreamers and lunatics over at Boom are about to have a passenger plane with a fair chance up against an F-16 in a drag race, boasting an average speed of Mach 2.2 or 1,451mph. And they should be able to afford it too, proposed supersonic flights pricing will run between $5,000 and $10,000 USD, effectively limiting its use to the massively rich, very important and other extremely tardiness adverse types.

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Trevor McNeil spent much of his childhood playing video-games on early-form personal computers back when the disks were literally floppy. He attended the University of Victoria, completing a degree in Social Science with a concentration in Technology In Society, while also writing for the campus newspaper. He has written articles for such diverse publications as Humanity Death Watch, PopMatters and Perfect Sound Forever. He is a veteran of numerous “watershed moments” in the history of technological development and firmly believes that Han shot first.

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