A Greek engineer is at the forefront of plans to re-design the supersonic Concorde jet which could cut transatlantic journeys to just 3.5 hours.
Lockheed Martin’s Peter Iossifidis currently collaborates with NASA to revolutionize the supersonic aircraft so as to reduce its distinctive sonic boom.
Speaking to the Quartz website, Iossifidis said: “Part of the problem with current supersonic booms is ‘the startle factor’.
“When you look at traditional supersonic airplanes, they weren’t designed for a low sonic boom. They were designed for speed, and some might argue, efficiency.”
“Our design reduces the airplane’s noise signature to more of a ‘heartbeat’ instead of the traditional sonic boom that’s associated with current supersonic aircraft in flight today.”
Concorde’s last flight was in 2003, with the supersonic plane retiring because it was unprofitable, facing overland bans by the U.S. authorities because of the sonic shockwaves its high speeds produced.
NASA is working on a program to prove low sonic booms will be acceptable to the public, aiming to give regulators the data needed to end the ban on supersonic overland flights.
That is the task of QueSST, the Quiet Supersonic Technology low-boom flight demonstrator, the first of several large-scale X-planes NASA will build.
Flying at speeds in excess of 1,300 miles per hour (2,092 kph), the new Concorde could halve journey times across the Atlantic.