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Concorde 2.0? New York to London in Less Than 2 Hours: New Supersonic Jet Readies for Test Flight

New Supersonic Jet Readies for Test Flight With Paint Job
Source: MEGA

The X-59 "Overture" supersonic jet underwent a paint job in mid-November.

Nov. 30 2023, Published 11:02 a.m. ET

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The next and fastest thing in jet travel is getting closer to a big test. reported the X-59 supersonic plane went to the paint barn at a Lockheed Martin complex in Southern California recently.

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NASA reports after the X-59 is painted red, white and blue, final measurements will be taken. Then several U.S. locations will be selected for flyover tests.

“I’ll see our vision coming to life,” project manager Cathy Bahm said. “The year ahead will be a big one for the X-59.”

NASA believes about 50 current airline routes could benefit from X-59 service. One could be round-trip service between London and New York City 90 minutes faster than current flights.

Britain’s Express tabloid noted large airliners currently travel at about 600 miles per hour.

While it’s not clear how fast the X-59 can fly, the 20th-century Concorde was able to cruise at 1,354 miles per hour. It could fly from New York to London in less than three hours. The X-59 is designed to complete a trip from New York to London in an hour and a half, the Express reports.

But speed is not NASA’s only concern. Another one is how quietly the X-59 can travel. The goal is to avoid sonic booms over urban areas. explains the jet should instead produce a “thump” noise in mid-air, a bit like the slamming of a car door.

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The paint work in California from its old green shade is not simply a show. Bahm says the coat will help prevent corrosion and moisture on the jet.

NASA’s partner in the “son of Concorde” project is Boom Supersonic, based in Colorado.

Scotland's Daily Record quotes the company’s chief executive officer as saying “The Overture,” as Bahm calls it, could be a cure for jet lag.

“If a flight from San Francisco to Tokyo is cut from 12 hours to six, you can leave a whole day later,” Blake Scholl said.

Major airlines already are interested in Overtures. Japan Airlines has been waiting on 20 of them since 2017.

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United Airlines has ordered 15 jets, with an option for 35 more. American Airlines committed to as many as 20 jets last year, with an option to increase the total to 60.

As it happens, a small-scale model of Concorde was scheduled to fly over western Britain on Nov. 25.

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An 11-foot radio-controlled version will mark 20 years since the last commercial flight of the original supersonic jet.

That full-sized Concorde is retired at an air museum in Bristol, England.


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