London to New York in 90 minutes: NASA explores supersonic passenger jet potential

Tuesday, August 29, 2023


NASA is actively exploring the feasibility of a supersonic passenger jet that could drastically reduce travel times, aiming to transport commercial passengers from London to New York in just 90 minutes.
The Quesst mission, initiated by NASA in 2016, seeks to design an aircraft capable of mitigating the deafening sonic boom generated when planes surpass the speed of sound. These booms have led to bans on flying such aircraft over populated regions.

Lockheed Martin, a defense contractor, has developed the X-59, a research jet reminiscent of the Concorde, which can maintain a speed of 937 mph and an altitude of 55,000 feet without causing an undesirable noise level. NASA plans to conduct test flights over US cities in 2024, collecting data on public reactions to the sound, potentially influencing aviation regulations.

This week, NASA’s Glenn Research Center disclosed its investigation into the economic viability of supersonic travel, envisioning speeds ranging from 1,500 to 3,000 mph for jets crossing the Atlantic. The conventional large airliners travel at around 600 mph, and a London-to-New York journey takes approximately eight hours on average. Should these supersonic ambitions come to fruition, air travel could undergo a transformative evolution, dramatically shortening long-haul flight times and potentially revolutionizing the aviation industry.

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