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News Link • Transportation: Air Travel

Fifteen years after Concorde, supersonic jets are booming back into style

•, by Andrew J. Hawkins

You might not remember, but there used to be a jet called the Concorde that had a cruising speed of 1,354 mph, which is twice the speed of sound. New York City to London, typically a seven-hour flight, only lasted three-and-a-half hours on the Concorde. But the Concorde went bust in 2003, and supersonic jets fell out of favor. A new crop of aviation startups is hoping to resurrect it, and thanks to a new set of laws in the US, that comeback seems all but assured.

Buoyed by rich investors who want faster private jets, these startups are testing new technologies that could muffle the sonic boom that occurs when an airplane breaks the sound barrier. These cannon blast booms led Congress to ban supersonic jets from flying over US soil in 1973. But in October, President Trump signed a bill directing the Federal Aviation Administration to consider lifting the ban, breathing new life into the industry.