Until the fatal 2000 crash that signaled the beginning of the end for the Concorde, it was widely considered the pinnacle of consumer based aviation. The Supersonic plane could fly from London to New York in half the time that a typical jet did it because it flew at supersonic speeds. The trip was not inexpensive though. Since the grounding and retirement of the great plane, the need and want for another commercial plane that travels faster than the speed of sound is both wanted and needed.
Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Gulfstream and NASA are working on a collaborative effort called the "Son of Concorde" that has the potential to get from London to Sydney in 4 hours! The plane would obviously have to be a Scramjet hypersonic plane that NASA and the Air Force are currently working on and would have to be able to go into the low atmosphere.
The biggest obstacle that the companies are facing is overcoming the sonic boom problem that planes face when they go faster than the speed of sound. According to the Daily Mail a Gulfstream engineer described the sound the new jet will make as "closer to a puff or plop." The new aircraft Codenamed X-54, will 'prove that an aircraft can be shaped for low sonic boom'
The 12-seat planes are expected to cost $80 million each and are being marketed to European and Middle East buyers under the slogan, 'To the USA and back in a working day.' Look for the jets to be in use by 2020-2030 if they are ever in use at all!
Picture comes courtesy of the Daily Mail and is an artists rendition