Supersonic travel to be resurrected for elite businesses
-- "Once upon a time, travelers could fork over a few thousand extra dollars and lop off three hours of a trans-atlantic flight by hopping aboard a supersonic aircraft. Sadly, since the disasterous demise of the Concorde, passengers have had to make do with subsonic speeds. A new Boston-based aerospace company aims to fix that inconvenience, at least for the very rich.
Spike Aerospace has recently unveiled a concept aircraft that they believe will have the elite of the business world traveling in supersonic style. The S-512 is a small, 18-seat aircraft capable of cruising at mach 1.6 to 1.8. That's a little slower than the speeds achieved during the heyday of the Concorde, but it would still cut travel times in half for those monied enough to garner a seat.
Still in early development, the S-512 is being marketed as a private corporate airplane — one with a sticker price that could exceed $80 million. Eventually, Spike Aerospace plans on allowing customers to book individual berths on their planes, but not for a few years yet, as even the private aircraft aren't slated to hit the tarmac until 2018. Design challenges like getting the aircraft's sonic booms below FAA regulation requirements will likely take up much of the company's time until then.
The S-512 supersonic aircraft could begin taking reservations as early as next year, so if you're the type who really really needs to get to Europe a couple hours before the competition, get to searching under those corporate couch cushions. ..."more