Supersonic boon

Sir Richard Branson is set to order 10 supersonic jets and herald a new era of 'affordable' supersonic travel. Courtesy - BOOM
Sir Richard Branson is set to order 10 supersonic jets and herald a new era of 'affordable' supersonic travel. Courtesy - BOOM

As every frequent traveller knows, a plane is not just a plane. When we book our trips abroad, more than ever we are paying attention to the type of aircraft we will be flying in. Planes are bigger and/or better than they used to be. They are quieter, more comfortable and more fuel efficient. But they are not faster.

As The National’s Review section noted, some would like to see a modern supersonic airliner – an update of Concorde, which could travel from London to New York in three-and-a-half hours but was costly and impractical and last flew 13 years ago.

There are compelling reasons why some people would want to get from one place to another in double-quick time – if you have a meeting, or an emergency or you simply don’t enjoy flying – but supersonic flight, even if affordable, is not for everyone. Sometimes, the journey itself is worth savouring. Perhaps a leisurely trip on a sustainable aircraft inspired by Solar Impulse 2, which had a top speed of just 80 kph, would be more to some people’s tastes.

Published: July 30, 2016 04:00 AM

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