NASA's New 'Son Of Concorde' Jet Could Take The Air In 2021

Some of us aren't old enough to remember much about the Concorde aircraft, other than the fact it was, for lack of a better term, rather quick.

Entering service in 1976, and being used until 2003, the supersonic jet was extremely advanced when it was first used but became outdated at the turn of the millennium.

Now NASA is one step closer to bringing out what has been dubbed a 'new, quieter Concorde' after the latest US budget approved the agency's vision for the aircraft.

The space agency has been awarded $19.9 billion (£14.3bn), $500 million (£360m) more than the last financial year. It has been speculated that some of this extra money will be spent on the new project.


The proposed aircraft, called QueSST (Quiet Supersonic Transport) or Low-Boom Flight Demonstrator, will reportedly be able to fly at double the speed of a commercial jet. That will make it able to complete a journey between London and New York in three hours.

The new jet will look to eliminate the noise that blighted Concorde while travelling at ridiculous speeds of 1,100mph (1,700 km/h). If the technology tested in QueSST works, the technology could find its way into commercial planes.

Writing in the US government budget, the authors of the Budget said: "The Budget fully funds the Low-Boom Flight Demonstrator, an experimental supersonic airplane that would make its first flight in 2021.

"This "X-plane" would open a new market for US companies to build faster commercial airliners, creating jobs and cutting cross-country flight times in half."

As it is a test bed, you sadly can't expect to fly on QueSST anytime soon, and its first test flight will be in 2021 at the earliest if production goes according to plan.

Last September, NASA engineers conducted aerodynamic tests on a 15 percent scale model of the aircraft in a wind tunnel, using the data collected to predict how it will perform and fly in low-speed flight.

Even if the technology is incorporated into other commercial aircraft, it's unlikely that any Tom, Dick and Harry will be able to book flights on them on a whim.

In 1984, a return ticket from London to New York cost £2,399 on Concorde. Given that a Freddo cost 2p then, and now costs 20p due to inflation, you can expect to be paying even more eye-watering prices now.

NASA spokesman, Peter Coen, said: "Supersonic flight offers the potential to improve the quality of life of those that fly, by greatly reducing travel time.

"In the nearer term, NASA's development of quiet supersonic flight technology needs support, interest and engagement from the community to ensure that the potential sound is acceptable to those on the ground."

Featured Image Credit: NASA

Chris Ogden

Chris Ogden is a journalist at LADbible. He graduated from the University of East Anglia with degrees in English Literature and Creative Writing before completing his NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism. Chris has previously written for the independent culture magazine The Skinny, among other publications.

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