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Terrifyingly Fast ‘New Concorde’ Jet Will Fly From NYC to London in Just 90 Minutes

Are NASA and Destinus revolutionising air travel with high-speed jets? What supersonic travel might mean for the future of aviation.

The "X-59", a plane painted with red, blue, and white stripes, flies through the sky.
Credit: Lockheed Martin

What’s next for the aviation industry? A supersonic jet developed by NASA could potentially take passengers from New York City to London in under four hours.

Affectionately dubbed the ‘New Concorde,’ the high-speed aircraft officially known as the ‘X-59’ is a collaborative project between NASA and aerospace company Lockheed Martin, capable of traveling up 925 mph, or Mach 1.4. It was born from modifications to the latter’s original model for the ‘X-59 Quesst’.

Bold and Striking

NASA has employed a special design for the aircraft to create an enjoyable experience for its passengers and those on the ground. Its external is set to be painted in red, white and a signature NASA ‘sonic blue’ color using paint that safeguards against corrosion and moisture.

They also aim to keep the jet’s sound to a minimum by reducing the ‘sonic boom’ and maintaining noise levels of approximately 75 PLdB, which ‘creates a sound about as loud as a car door closing,’ according to Lockheed Martin’s official website.

By introducing the ‘New Concorde,’ NASA hopes to eventually link at least 50 cities between the US and Europe.

The "X-59", a plane painted with red, blue, and white stripes, flies through the sky.
Credit: Lockheed Martin

Harnessing Power for Speed

Another company looking to debut in the high-speed aircraft industry is Swiss start-up Destinus, which aims to revolutionize travel with not just supersonic but hypersonic, jets that can supposedly take passengers from Europe to Australia within a four-hour duration.

The aircraft relies on hydrogen-fueled turbojet engines for takeoff and landing, while a separate ramjet rocket engine is used for hypersonic speeds. Destinus’ CEO, Russian physicist and entrepreneur Mikhail Kokorich, mentioned the company’s mission in a statement on X.

“We’re committed to revolutionizing air travel by harnessing the power of hydrogen for supersonic speeds. The future of eco-friendly, efficient, and lightning-fast transportation is just around the corner.”

X (formerly Twitter)/Mikhail Kokorich, CEO of Destinus
The "X-59", a plane painted with red, blue, and white stripes, flies through the sky.
Credit: Lockheed Martin

Between various plans for new modes of transportation, NASA’s ‘New Concorde’ aircraft most concretely holds the promise of transatlantic flights in record time. With an upcoming test flight on the horizon, the future of high-speed travel looks more exciting than ever.

Written By

First-year English student and aspiring writer at University College London.

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