NASA’s supersonic plane promises to travel from London to New York in just 90 minutes

NASA has announced its ambition to build a supersonic airliner that can travel faster than the speed of sound. This is what we know.

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NASA is working to reduce flight time from London to New York to just 90 minutes.

NASA supersonic plane from New York to LondonPOT

The space agency announced this week that it has identified potential passenger markets along some fifty established city-to-city routes. One route is expected to allow flights from New York City to London to be up to four times faster than they are now.

Boeing, Rolls-Royce and GE Aerospace have been commissioned to develop non-proprietary designs for concept vehicles.

According to NASA, they recently evaluated the business case for supersonic passenger air travel aboard aircraft capable of traveling at speeds ranging from Mach 2 to Mach 4 (between 1,535 and 3,045 mph at sea level).

By comparison, today’s largest commercial airliner cruises at around 600 mph, or about 80% the speed of sound. With a cruise speed of Mach 2.02 (1,354 mph), the Concorde was the first commercial airliner to fly faster than the speed of sound. It was flown by British Airways and Air France and was in operation from 1976 to 2003.

NASA studies conclude that there are potential passenger markets

NASA studies have shown that there are potential passenger markets; however, because the United States and other countries ban supersonic flight over land, the study’s findings focused on transoceanic travel, particularly high-volume North Atlantic and trans-Pacific routes.

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With its X-59 silent supersonic aircraft, NASA’s Questst mission aims to deliver data to regulators that will help revise supersonic ground flight rules. “We conducted similar conceptual studies at Mach 1.6-1.8 more than a decade ago, and the resulting roadmaps helped fuel NASA’s research efforts thereafter, including those leading to the X-59,” Lori said. Ozoroski, director of NASA’s Commercial Supersonic Technology Project. .


NASA’s Advanced Air Vehicle Program (AAVP) has entered the next phase of high-speed transportation research, which includes awarding two 12-month contracts to companies to develop concept designs and technology roadmaps.

The roadmaps will investigate the outlook for air travel, define the risks and challenges, and identify the technologies needed to make travel at Mach 2+ speeds a reality.

The initial team is led by Boeing, with Exosonic, GE Aerospace, Georgia Tech Aerospace Systems Design Laboratory, Rolls-Royce North American Technologies and others as partners.

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