Supersonic Flights Are Making A Comeback

Boom Supersonic jet Overture
In 1973, the FAA banned civilian supersonic flights overland, a global ban followed and remains in effect today. But the tides are changing and soon we might have commercial supersonic flights once again.

Why Fly Supersonic?

“Supersonic” means faster than the speed of sound (Which is 761 miles per hour). Supersonic flights break the sound barrier. Therefore, supersonic planes can fly at double the speed of conventional commercial flights or more. Such high speeds can revolutionize our society, so why isn’t supersonic the standard of commercial flights?

Why Are Supersonic Flights Banned?

While flying at supersonic speeds comes with the advantage of high speed, it also comes with disadvantages. Apart from fuel inefficiency and a steep ticket cost, the main negative is sound.
Breaking the sound barrier causes sound waves to accumulate in front of the aircraft. Which leads to a loud shockwave known as a sonic boom that can be heard on the ground below. Consequently, this led to the global ban on supersonic flights overland.
Although the ban was enforced in 1973, flying supersonic continued until 2003 over water. The last Concorde was retired due to lack of profitability and sonic boom restrictions. In almost 2 decades, no supersonic planes for civilians were operating.

Are Supersonic Flights Making a Comeback?

Lawmakers in the United States have agreed to pave the way for supersonic flight over land once again. Which lead to the rapid Research and development of new commercial supersonic jets. Several companies have joined the race to develop their own “quiet” and fuel-efficient supersonic aircraft. In hopes to carve out a slice of the upcoming market boom in supersonic flight.
Firms including Lockheed Martin, Boom Supersonic, Virgin Galactic and others are using cutting edge technologies to design a Low-boom aircraft. With new computers they are able to virtually simulate aerodynamic ability of new designs. Which aspire to pass the noise regulations.
American Airlines and United Airlines have agreed to purchase 20 and 15 Supersonic Overture planes respectively from Boom Supersonic. With jet engines designed in collaboration with Rolls Royce, and should roll out in 2025.
Supersonic flight speeds are permitted over open bodies of water for now. But that didn’t stop companies from advertising the advantages gained by flying supersonic.
Boom Supersonic Flying at supersonic speeds remain legal only over open bodies of water map
Source: Boom Supersonic. Flying at supersonic speeds remain legal only over open bodies of water, but that might soon change.

What Supersonic Means For The Future Of Aviation?

Imagine flying from Paris to New York in just 4 Hours, Los Angeles to Sydney in 8 hours. Or basically cutting trip time by half, that could soon be a reality. There are even plans to transition high capacity commercial flights to supersonic speeds.
The UN International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Which sets global standards in the aviation industry, is assessing options for noise and emissions. Flying at supersonic speeds will take travel to the next level and will be a massive driver of human progress.