Aircraft

"Son of Concorde" to fly London-to-Sydney in 4 hours?

"Son of Concorde" to fly Londo...
Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Gulfstream are said to be developing a successor to Concorde, pictured, that could fly from London to Sydney in four hours (Photo: James Gordon)
Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Gulfstream are said to be developing a successor to Concorde, pictured, that could fly from London to Sydney in four hours (Photo: James Gordon)
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Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Gulfstream are said to be developing a successor to Concorde, pictured, that could fly from London to Sydney in four hours (Photo: James Gordon)
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Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Gulfstream are said to be developing a successor to Concorde, pictured, that could fly from London to Sydney in four hours (Photo: James Gordon)

Recent days have seen reports emerge of a successor to Concorde capable of speeds of over 2,485 mph (4,000 km/h) that could fly from London to Sydney in a mere four hours.

Though very little is known for certain, a joint announcement from aerospace giants Boeing and Lockheed Martin along with business-jet specialists Gulfstream is expected at the imminent Farnborough Air Show, suggesting a collaborative effort between the three corporations. NASA is also said to be offering its assistance.

If accurate, the reported speed would make the supersonic jet, said to be called X-54, almost twice as fast as Concorde. Concorde hasn't flown since its retirement in 2003.

Reports assert that the three companies claim to be close to cracking the problem of the sonic boom, with an engineer purportedly describing the sound the new jet would make as "closer to a puff or plop." It'll be interesting to see if the X-54's eventual design bears any similarity to previously touted noise reduction measures such as v-tails and biplane wings.

It's far from clear who this information comes from, or when and where it emerged. However, Gizmag will be on the ground at the Farnborough Airshow, so if an announcement on a spiritual successor to Concorde is made, we'll be sure to bring you what we know.

Source: The Australian

43 comments
John Parkes
I always thought that speed should ba a goal for airlines, and loved the Concord idea. There just hasn't been much effort put into speed...safety, elegance, efficiency, yes. There are a lot of places i would like to see on our planet, but can't see myself sitting still for the better part of a day trying to get there. Maybe if every new plane was made faster we could give our grand children a better travel legacy.
Will McNeill
I wonder whether they'll be using Reaction Engines? Hope so ...
K5ING
@ Mr. Parkes... no matter how fast you make something, there is always someone who will say that it's not fast enough. Once this thing is in the air, there will be people complaining and saying that they hate spending 3 hours of their day just to get to Paris. It wasn't that may years ago when it would take a week to go overseas, or go from New York to LA.
Jon A.
I wonder how big the new plane will be? There was always a market for the Concorde, but it was always a relatively small luxury niche market. I'm wondering if something relatively small might not be a better fit. Shrinking the plane should also reduce the noise issues somewhat.
MasterG
Why did the last concorde fail? Price. Tickets were prohibitively expensive to sit in a cramped supersonic metal tube. I dont see concorde two being any different. 4000kmh were would you put all the fuel? Ultrasonic planes also have another issue - any tiny failure in almost any component equals instant tiny little pieces of disaster. It would be safer going suborbital and waiting for the planet to bring you your destination.
PeetEngineer
Why is there this persistent myth that Concorde 'failed'? Concorde actually made a profit for much of its 27 year career, it broke even half-empty! It was just a low-volume premium product with a restricted market due to public fear of the sonic boom - had a US competitor to Concorde actually come to fruition and had the Oklahoma City sonic boom tests not been managed so disastrously then supersonic travel would be commonplace today. Sadly the US aerospace industry dropped the ball on this one - they couldn't keep up with the pace so they barred the world's most technologically advanced airliner from flying in their airspace at the speeds it was designed to, but it's high time that we try again! Why is it that modern engineers with advanced CAD, finite element analysis, aerodynamic and thermodynamic simulation tools cannot reproduce what men with slide rules and pencils did 50 years ago? It is an extremely frustrating time to be an aerospace engineer - I am looking forward with great anticipation to whatever announcement may be coming from Farnborough regarding future supersonic joint ventures.
bas
If we could get to the Moon in the sixties, I'm sure that, now, half a century later we'll be able to make something that will go twice as fast as Concorde. Safety is a relative thing, flying is the safest way to travel, but some still get splattered across the countryside in the process. Losing it at 4000 km/h will be much more spectacular than at a mundane 800 km/h, so if your number is up while you are flying, the fast way is worth every extra penny you spent on the ticket, as you will never need what is left in your bankaccount. As for the impatient ones amongst us, try to imagine travelling in the 19th century.
Billy Brooks
Virgin Galactic suborbital airliner, now that's the ticket!
christopher
Nobody needs a fast trip to Australia. They just need a comfortable one at a sensible hour. We all need to sleep - so we should lie down in one place, and wake up in the next, and the airlines should grow a brain and figure out that fast is utterly pointless when airport security and checkins eat up so much time anyhow. Embrace the delay, and stop making us try to sleep upright with our knees stuck in our chins!! Heck - even the cheapest lame long-distance BUS fares in China give everyone a lie-down seat - have done for decades. Air design just needs to move the same weight of people, inside a package that's bigger - that's all. It will not take more fuel to fly something twice as long... so just design for comfort instead!
bahbah
christopher perfectly said. it's astonishing the airline industry doesn't understand what you have well understood. passengers would prefer longer flights if they were more comfortable and could spend their time sleeping.