Supersonic Concorde-style air travel could be set to make a comeback, courtesy of a new jet that can fly from London to New York in under three hours. The Spike S-512 Supersonic Jet, built by Spike Aerospace, also boasts a unique design where the entire interior of the cabin wall is a giant screen that can be used to project panoramic views.
Flying at incredible speeds of Mach 1.6, the aircraft is 450mph faster than any other non-military jet.
The Multiplex Digital cabin wall enables passengers to see panoramic views taken by cameras on the outside of the plane, and can also be used as a screen for showing films, maps or presentations.
The lack of actual windows enables the maker to keep the weight of the plane down and also reduce drag, in order to reach higher speeds. First unveiled as a concept in 2013, the S-512 has been given a thorough overhaul including an entirely new wing design. Billed as the ‘first supersonic business jet’, the S-512 is designed to carry 18 passengers, making it a likely contender for private airlines, rather than the big commercial flight operators. The Spike S-512 is expected to be in service by the end of 2018.
American space agency NASA recently invested $2.3million in studies aimed at reducing the noise and emissions from supersonic jets, potentially paving the way for the return of Concorde-style high-speed travel. Commercial supersonic flight is currently banned over the US - a ruling which is likely to stay in place until quieter, more eco-friendly planes are developed.