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Supersonic

The Concorde may be just a memory, but some aircraft manufacturers still see supersonic aircraft as the future of civilian aviation. To allow for widespread supersonic flight over populated areas without shattering windows and frightening chickens, electronics firm Rockwell Collins has been awarded a two-year NASA contract to develop a 3D cockpit display to help pilots of future supersonic aircraft to mitigate or eliminate sonic booms.

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A state-run Russian news site is reporting that the country has ambitions to build a huge, supersonic cargo plane capable of transporting tanks to the field in a matter of hours. While there's plenty of reason to be skeptical that transporting such heavy loads at high speeds is even feasible, let alone realistic, Russia's military is reportedly giving itself roughly the next decade to figure it out. Read More
If the Bloodhound Supersonic Car (SSC) team makes good in its attempt to break the land speed record, the car will be traveling at 1,000 mph (1,609 km/h). At such speeds, the wheels will be spinning so fast that hitting even the smallest pebble could be catastrophic. To protect both the car and the driver, the designers of Bloodhound have had to come up with some high-tech answers to building the wheels and protecting against their failure. Read More
Britain's Bloodhound team has taken a slow-but-steady approach toward its goal of breaking the world land speed record, but it appears to be paying off. Bloodhound, along with its partner, the Norwegian/Finnish aerospace and defense group, Nammo, have successfully tested a large hybrid solid/liquid rocket engine at Nammo's test facility in Norway. Described as the "latest in the evolution of hybrid rocket motor technology," it's one of three power plants that will be used by the Bloodhound Supersonic Car when it makes its record attempt in 2016. Read More
NASA has successfully carried out the first of three airborne tests for its Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD), a saucer shaped test vehicle which will one day be used to slow down scientific payloads entering the atmosphere of Mars. This new system of atmospheric deceleration will allow the agency to contemplate heavier, more ambitious endeavors, building towards a manned mission to the red planet. Read More
On October, 24 2003, the last Concorde jet went out of service. What began as a promise of supersonic travel for all, ended as a museum exhibit of a false dawn. However, that may be changing with companies such as Aerion and Spike Aerospace looking to take business jets supersonic. At Aviation 2014, an annual event of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, NASA presented examples of the space agency’s work on new technologies that could lead to a revival of civilian supersonic travel within the next 15 years. Read More
Unveiled at a special event in Bristol, UK, the Bloodhound land speed team showed off the cockpit that will be driver Andy Green’s "office" for his record attempt run in 2015 and 2016. Although Green holds the current world land speed record of 763 mph (1,227 km/h), the challenges in attempting to break the 1,000 mph (1,600 km/h) barrier will be significant for both pilot and the design team. Read More
Aerion Corporation has upped the cabin size and added an extra engine to the first in its planned range of supersonic business jets currently on the drawing board. Designed with Supersonic Natural Laminar Flow (SNLF) wing technology that was tested in transonic wind tunnel tests and in NASA flight trials, the Aerion AS2 will now use a set of three smaller jet engines in place of its previous large two-jet design to provide quieter running, improved take-off performance, and longer range. Read More

Aircraft windows have always been a sticking point in the bid to go faster, cheaper and safer. As well as creating drag, the additional structural support and parts required for windows add weight to the plane. Spike Aerospace is set to overcome these problems by doing away with cabin windows altogether in its S-512 jet, and replacing them with video screens embedded in the interior walls. Read More

With the Cessna Citation X set to receive FAA certification in early 2014 and knock the Gulfstream G650 off it's world's fastest civilian aircraft perch thanks to its maximum operating speed of Mach 0.935, Boston-based Spike Aerospace is looking to leave both those aircraft in its wake with its S-512. Spike says its S-512 will be the world's first supersonic business jet, boasting a cruising speed of Mach 1.6, and a maximum speed of Mach 1.8. Read More
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