After the failure of the Concorde, commercial supersonic flight seemed like an idea too economically divorced from reality to be obtainable. Massive fuel consumption, high prices, and limited routes eventually buried the idea for good. But aerospace company Boom is hoping for a resurrection, and digs into why it just might happen
Although the tricky physics of supersonic flight still remain, engineers' means of solving those aerospace riddles have drastically improved. With a more rapid process for designing, prototyping, and testing, Boom can create a structurally perfect plane for ferrying humans beyond the sound barrier.
But it's not just better CAD software that's changing the supersonic game. According to Real Engineering, Boom's perfection of the aircraft's delta wing, along with huge industry-wide improvements to turbofan technology, allow Boom's aircraft to theoretically land in a wider range of airports compared to its doomed European predecessor.
Boom's three medium bypass turbofan engines (as opposed to the Concorde's two jet engines), also allow greater leeway in handling the FAA's tricky ETOPS regulations when traveling over the open ocean. In the end, Boom's supersonic plane could travel two-and-a-half times faster than a traditional flight at business class prices.
Boom plans to test its 1/3 scale plane next year, and if successful, commercial supersonic flight might be available in our very near future.