While other prototypes are looking to fill Concorde’s shoes, such as the XB-1, it’s becoming very likely that the next decade will bring the answers we’re looking for. The answer lies in turning supersonic flight into the norm rather than an exclusive niche.
The Concorde was exceptionally expensive to operate, and while it was profitable – British Airways made £1.75 billion ($2.4 billion) in revenue against £1 billion ($1.37 billion) in cost – truth is aviation turned to far more efficient models, even if at the expense of speed.
But here we stand in a whole new era of mobility. Electric mobility in the ground and the air, combustion engines propelled by sustainable fuels, optimised and driven by Artificial Intelligence while powered by 100% green energy – these are all exciting solutions to old problems.
Here, we mention huge premises, but none yet at the tipping point where they can be implemented with the strength and speed we wish – and must demand. Supersonic private jets will surely be at the spear’s head regarding early adoption, but the technology has to be there.
And while recently we’ve brought you the applications of technology to create the first Air Taxis, a supersonic EV private jet is a dream in the making. Again, projects such as the XB-1 and X-59 might bring some answers, but electric battery weight/energy capacity makes it a complex equation.
Airlines such as easyJet took the pledge to help bring a commercial 100% electric aircraft to the market, along with Wright Electric. Recently, the airline changed its focus to hydrogen, which may pave the road for others to follow.
And while in late 2023 it’s still hard to realise what the definitive answer(s) are, one thing’s for certain: aviation keeps moving at high speed to achieve our era’s greatest dreams. These include supersonic flight and net-zero emissions.