Why have we gone 18 years without building another supersonic plane like the Concorde?

On May 31, 2003, the last flight of an Air France Concorde landed in Paris from New York. Since then, a supersonic plane has never been seen in the sky again. More than 18 years without this technology. However, the big companies want to bring this idea back to life.

The Concorde had too many flaws: the noise, the overpriced seats, the maintenance costs. However, there were two big triggers that caused the demise of these planes. In the first place, the accident of Air France flight 4590, on July 25, 2000, where the 100 passengers of the aircraft, its nine crew members and four people on the ground died. Second, the attacks of September 11, 2001, which caused a drastic drop in air travel.

The legal problems faced by the Concorde

The first regular flights aboard a Concorde took place on January 21, 1976 with the London-Bahrain and Paris-Rio de Janeiro routes. The US Congress was forced to prohibit the aircraft, owned by Air France and British Airways, from operating in its territory, due to the great protests of the citizens due to the immense noise it caused. However, months later, Washington and New York began to allow Concorde to operate at their airports.

The same thing happened when British Airlines wanted to bring this technology to Singapore. After reaching an agreement with Singapore Airlines, the route was suspended after only three flights due to Malaysia’s claim that these aircraft made excessive noise. A short time later the route was resumed but, again, India refused to allow the Concorde to reach supersonic speeds in its airspace.

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The same problems occurred when Air France wanted to make a Washington-Mexico route. The laws of the state of Florida made it impossible for him to reach supersonic speeds when passing through its territory, so he was forced to slow down to accelerate again once he crossed the border. In addition, the economic crisis of the time meant that these flights were practically empty, so they were also closed.

Supersonic planes could return in the middle of this decade

While it’s true that the Concorde had a host of issues like speed, fuel efficiency, and sonic boom noise, it’s also true that several industry giants want to bring back this technology. Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Airbus are in various stages of development to bring back the supersonic airliner, and the Federal Aviation Administration stated in 2008 that “interest in supersonic aircraft technology has not died out,” as collects Insider.

For its part, Spike Aerospace is in the process of creating private supersonic aircraft. Its modern design has apparently reduced the sonic boom to the sound of a car door slamming. The aircraft will now have a long, pointed nose to help the shock wave bounce off into space instead of the ground.

In addition, the materials with which the Concorde was made, which was basically aluminum, have been renewed so that they are able to tolerate high temperatures.

According to Insider, the trick is that the company plans to fly at a slower speed of 1,100 miles per hour. That is, the aircraft will fly through the sky at a speed even faster than the speed of sound but slow enough to control temperature, sonic boom and engine efficiency.

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Everything indicates that this technology will reach the most empowered public in the middle of this decade and, pretend, launch it to the mass public in the middle of the following decade.

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