When we talk about passenger transport in aviation, we can say that airplanes have increased their capacity to transport a greater number of passengers, but what has not increased during the last years is the speed at which airplanes can make their trips.
In the 1950s, the possibility of creating a commercial aircraft capable of reaching supersonic speeds, speeds beyond 1,234.8km/h, began to be raised.
That’s how the Concorde was born. A supersonic airplane with a length of 62m, capable of reaching a maximum speed of 2,179km/h. He was able to travel the distance between London and New York in just over 3 hours.
It’s been 15 years since the Concorde made its last flight. It was on October 24, 2003.
The British Airlines and Air France Airlines were the only ones to have the Concorde among its aircraft fleet.
The Concorde, from its foundations, was born as an unprofitable project. The high cost of aircraft maintenance and high fuel consumption made the cost of tickets unattainable for many people.
In addition, the drop-in demand for flights after the attacks on 9/11 and several accidents, including the one that occurred in July 2000, ended up ending this supersonic aircraft.
At present it seems that interest in this type of aircraft has resumed and there are already four companies that want to put supersonic aircraft in the air again. Interested companies are: Aerion, Spike Aerospace, NASA with its experimental ship QueSST, and Boom Supersonic.
All these companies have already announced that they will have their respective models before the year 2023.
The American company Boom Supersonic, based in Denver, announced that it will have a prototype of a two-seater model in this year 2019. And that in 2023 it will have a supersonic aircraft with a capacity for 55 passengers capable of flying at Mach 2.2 (approximately 2,700Km/h) with a range of 8,300 km.
Much of the future success of these projects will depend on the ability of these companies to counter some more decisive elements of this type of aircraft. As, for example, the need to fly higher to reach supersonic speed. What affects the duration of the flight, since it takes more time to ascend and descend.
Or, the environmental impact of the sonic outbreak.
Or, the need to create engines with new technologies that allow a lower consumption of fuel, since the higher the speed the higher the fuel consumption. At the same time, these engines emit less greenhouse gases.
Therefore, it remains to be seen how the use of the new biofuels projected by these new companies can reduce the emission of these gases.
And we must not forget that they must also demonstrate their economic viability, since, after all, it was one of the keys to the disappearance of the extinct Concorde.