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Keeping supersonic transport quiet

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August 4, 2009

Is the QSST the future of supersonic transport?

Is the QSST the future of supersonic transport?

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Supersonic business jets have traditionally got a bad rap when it comes to practicality and the environment, with high costs, loud noises and short range far outweighing the benefits of speed. The future of air travel will therefore be subject to stringent criteria to ensure that economy and eco-credentials, particularly noise pollution, don’t take a back seat to comfort and performance, and with this in mind Supersonic Aerospace International seem to have hit a luxury-class balance between the two.

Its QSST (Quiet Supersonic Transport) could well be the future of high-speed passenger jets and the concept pictured above boasts some impressive figures. It promises to be 100 times quieter than the Concorde with a range of over 4000 nautical miles and a top speed of Mach 1.8, or 1,188 miles per hour. To put this in context – a typical 9.5 hour flight from Seattle to Tokyo in a commercial aircraft would be reduced to under five hours in the QSST.

Its patented design makes it possible to fly over populated continental areas with a sonic signature of just 65 DMA, or little louder than the interior of a car traveling at 70mph. This is achieved through a combination of the aerodynamic shaping of the ‘v-tail’ and state-of-the-art engine design to suppress takeoff and landing noise. It will also meet or exceed emission standards with clean-burning engines designed to reduce emissions during a high-altitude cruise.

Intended primarily for government and business use, the QSST compares favorably to current commercial and business jets, accommodating up to 12 passengers in executive level comfort.

Though there is still a lot of work to be done at the design stage, SAI is confident that once an international consortium is confirmed to build the aircraft it’ll be ready for flight by 2014, and deliverable to customers by 2016.

Check out the official site for more images and some Quicktime virtual-tours of the cabin, flight deck and exterior of the aircraft.

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