Eyes on Supersonic Flight!


As fear of COVID-19 decreases and international travel increases, it is time for us to keep in view the most recent technology in air travel – supersonic aircraft. Supersonic aircraft is a term used to describe all types of aircraft that fly faster than the speed of sound. With more and more people travelling internationally by air, the development of these supersonic aircraft would contribute a lot to the modern connected world.
The development of supersonic flights excites the world already. The market impatiently looks forward to the commercialisation of this latest technological advancement. In 2018, NASA signed a funding agreement valued at $247.5 million with Lockheed Martin for its ambitious project to develop supersonic planes that do not cause deafening sonic booms. In 2022, Boom Supersonic announced that it has chosen Greensboro, North Carolina, the United States, as a central site to commence its building of a commercial supersonic flight, the Overture. The process of the aircraft building is planned to start in 2024, with the first test flight planned in 2026 and the first commercial service in 2029.
Moreover, some companies are daring enough to look beyond the supersonic aircraft – the hypersonic aircraft. Hermeus is an Atlanta-based hypersonic aircraft start-up company, founded in 2018. In March 2022, it received investments that amount to $100 million to continue the company’s project to build a hypersonic aircraft, which flies at a speed five times faster than the supersonic aircraft. Using the Chimera engine, the company’s original design for its hypersonic aircraft, Hermeus aims to build sustainable hypersonic aircraft, with the ultimate goal being the Halcyon, a hypersonic commercial passenger jet. In addition to that, Space Transportation, or Lingkong Tianxing, a Chinese hypersonic aircraft company, endeavours to create a hypersonic passenger carrying aero vehicle for suborbital space tourism. If the project goes according to plan, a full-scale hypersonic vehicle will be capable of the global trip by 2030.
We, as humans, have made huge progress, from the days when the only method of movement was our two feet to today where not only do we have multiple types of vehicles, but we shorten the travelling hours constantly. The development of the supersonic aircraft, and later the hypersonic aircraft, will reduce the importance of physical distance.