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Concorde Successor?

Its been 7 years since the Concorde was retired. Now, the Aerion Supersonic Business Jet (SBJ) promises to bring supersonic air travel back into reality. Right now, it is undergoing proof-of-concept aerodynamic testing in NASA wind tunnels and under the belly of a NASA F-15 (TechNewsDaily).

The SBJ is planned to carry up to 12 passengers at speeds of Mach 1.5.

Design...

The new wing design of the Concorde is, according to Brian Barents, vice chairman of Aerion, the prime factor that allows the SBJ to fly economically at subsonic and supersonic speeds, because it reduces drag.

This wing design can also be seen on the F-104 Starfighter, but according the Barents, it is the advancement of materials, such as carbon fiber, that enabled this design to be incorporated onto a passenger plane.

Subsonic speeds...

Because of the wing design of the SBJ, it will be able to fly economically at subsonic speeds, which means that the SBJ will able to operate in the US where supersonic flight is banned due to sonic booms. Its speed will remain at Mach 0.98, which reduces coast-to-coast flight by 41 minutes vs conventional aircraft (TechNewsDaily).

The Future...

High performance while satisfying environmental regulations, the SBJ already has orders and the company hopes that this new aircraft will be certified by the FAA and ready to go by 2015.

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