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Supersonic

The LDSD test vehicle being fished from the Pacific Ocean by the Kahana recovery vessel (P...

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

The Lockheed Martin future supersonic advanced concept (Image: Lockheed Martin/NASA)

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

The Bloodhound's cockpit (Photo: Stefan Marjoram)

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

The Aerion AS2 will now use a set of three smaller jet engines for quieter running, improv...

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

Spike Aerospace has announced that its S-512 will feature a windowless cabin

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

Spike Aerospace's S-512 is a supersonic business jet designed to travels at speeds of up t...

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

Jessi Combs this week became the world's fastest woman on four wheels in the 52,000 hp Nor...

Back in 1965, Lee Breedlove set the women's land speed record on Utah’s Salt Lake Flats with an average speed of 308.51 mph (496.49 km/h) over four runs. That record stood for 48 years until this month, when Jessi Combs smashed it in her 52,000 hp North American Eagle Supersonic Speed Challenger with a speed of 392.954 mph (632.39 km/h).  Read More

When a paddle tries to return a supersonic ping-pong ball -- the paddle loses! (Photo: Mar...

The fastest serve ever recorded by a ping-pong player moved at about 70 mph (113 km/h). Professor Mark French of Purdue University's Mechanical Engineering Technology department and his graduate students, Craig Zehrung and Jim Stratton, have built an air gun for classroom demonstrations that fires a ping-pong ball at over Mach 1.2 (900 mph or 1,448 km/h). As the picture above shows, that's fast enough for the hollow celluloid balls to blow a hole through a standard paddle.  Read More

Cross-section of the GE ADVENT engine design

GE Aviation is developing a revolutionary new jet engine that aims to combine the best traits of turbojet and turbofan engines, delivering supersonic speed capability and fuel efficiency in one package.  Read More

Felix Baumgartner prepares to skydive from an unofficial altitude of 128,097 feet (39 km) ...

    "Sometimes you have to go up really high to understand how small you are" – Felix Baumgartner, standing outside his capsule at an altitude of 24 miles (39 km) on October 14, 2012.
Well, Felix has gone and done it. Today over the arid countryside near Roswell, New Mexico, the Austrian daredevil successfully accomplished a feat that has been in the works since 2003 – he broke the record for the world’s highest parachute jump, dropping from an unofficial altitude of 128,100 feet (39,045 meters) – about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) higher than expected. In the process, he also became the first skydiver to exceed the speed of sound by reaching an estimated speed of 833.9 mph (1342.8 km/h) while in freefall. That's Mach 1.24 – the first supersonic skydive.  Read More

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