The future of supersonic travel is looking promising, with several private companies and NASA currently working on projects.
With the one and only supersonic airliner, Concorde, last taking to the skies 20 years ago – it can’t come soon enough.
Concorde will always be iconic but it if was still around today, what would it look like?
A quick fiddle with AI-image generator, Midjourney, has thrown up some interesting results.
The mock images are very similar to that of the real Concorde, in the sense that they all feature an elegant delta – or triangular – shaped wing.
What’s more, they still have the same narrow, but long, fuselage, as well as the iconic pointed nose cone.
Interestingly, the engine configurations are different on the designs.
The first image in this piece (top of article) depicts the supersonic jet engines mounted at the rear of the aircraft.
This provides a cleaner wing design, would be easier to control in an engine failure event, and would create less cabin noise.
However, this would require a stronger wing, and a more complex fuel system, while also potentially taking away cargo space.
On the other hand, the other pictures depict supersonic jet’s engines both on its wings and at the rear of the aircraft.
Speaking of engines, a Concorde engine recently sold on eBay with a sale price that’s unimaginable.
But the plane’s engines are part of the reason why we haven’t had supersonic commercial travel since.
Concorde flew at twice the speed of sound, and breaking through the sound barrier would make a huge noise.
The sound was so disturbing that many countries banned the jets from flying over them.
This meant fewer routes and therefore less money.
While the planes are no longer in service, the interest in supersonic flight has never disappeared.
There are multiple companies currently developing the next generation of these planes, addressing the challenges of speed, sound and fuel efficiency.
It’s predicted that commercial flights will be available in the 2030s.
Whether any of the new supersonic planes will offer caviar and Dom Perignon upon arrival like Concorde did remains to be seen.