NASA testing ‘quiet’ sonic boom aircraft to create next Concorde super plane

Space exploration experts NASA are turning attention to travel beneath the stratosphere and are said to be testing out new super-sonic modes of transport to create the next Concorde.

The space agency is reportedly testing out a revolutionary new "low-boom" supersonic plane that could see passengers journey from London to New York in the space of three hours.

The new X-59 aircraft is due to be tested out by the space agency early next year in the hope of filling the void left by Concorde – which operated between Europe and the USA from the 1970s to 2003.

However, internal supersonic flights – those capable of reaching 343 meters per second, or 761 miles per hour, and which produces a huge booming sound effect – were already banned in the USA in 1973 due to the disruption sonic booms cause.

Scientists now think they have devised a way of muffling the sound caused by breaking the sound barrier – which could pave the way for new supersede flights within the USA and beyond.

The Telegraph reports that NASA, America’s Congress, aviation regulators and private companies are now “all working together to overcome the problem".

Design improvements lead the expert to believe the thunderous sonic boom usually associated with supersonic aircraft will instead sound more like a “gentle thump” thanks to the X-59 design.

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Craig Nickol, leader of Nasa’s Low-Boom Flight Demonstrator project, said: "We are predicting (the) first flight to be late spring, early summer timeframe 2022."

The new aircraft will reach a top speed of Mach 1.4, which is equal to around 1,100mph, and will reach an altitude of 55,000ft.

The new design would make travel between London and NYC possible within three hours and 15 minutes.

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Concorde was retired in 2003 over safety concerns after one aircraft was destroyed when a wheel exploded, rupturing the fuel tank on take-off.

The famous pointy-nosed aircraft had been capable of speeds of 1,353 miles per hour, and completed almost 50,000 flights before being taken out of commission.

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