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Plane that can go from London to New York in 3.5 hours is finally ready to fly

Plane that can go from London to New York in 3.5 hours is finally ready to fly

The aircraft has been referred to as the 'son of Concorde'

A supersonic plane which is capable of journeying between London and New York in under four hours has been unveiled.

According to the New York Post, NASA and Lockheed Martin unveiled the X-59 on 12 January, and the plane has been dubbed the 'son of Concorde'.

The plane is a one-of-a-kind made as part of NASA's attempt to develop 'quiet' supersonic aircraft.

With a giant nose that takes up a third of the aircraft's length blocking the pilot's view those in control of the aircraft rely on a screen to see what's in front of them.

This has all been done to make the supersonic plane faster and help test how to get around the noisy part of breaking the sound barrier.

The X-59 is part of NASA's attempts to crack 'quiet' supersonic travel.
ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

It's part of efforts to get around a US ban on civilian supersonic aircraft flying in their airspace from 1973, and that massive nose is meant to help hugely.

If 'quiet' supersonic travel could be cracked then it's possible that a plethora of new opportunities could be opened up by the development in technology, but there's a lot of 'ifs' in place right now.

Anyone hoping to fly the X-59 as a passenger is also going to be sorely disappointed as well, because while some call it the 'son of Concorde' it's nowhere near as capable as the passenger jet designed and built by British and French experts decades ago was.

The X-59 is expected to reach speeds of 925mph, while Concorde was able to travel at 1,350mph and it could carry passengers too, while the 'son of Concorde' is only meant to test the sound.

The X-59 is set to undertake its first flight later this year, and will then fly over a number of US cities to gauge public opinion on the sound it makes flying over.

Concorde still holds the record for fastest civilian aircraft to complete a transatlantic crossing.
Matt Cardy/Getty Images

If supersonic travel can be made quiet then it could lead to the development of new supersonic passenger planes again, ones that are allowed to fly across the US instead of just up to the coast.

Then again, being able to fly between London and New York in three-and-a-half hours isn't quite getting close to what Concorde could manage back in the day.

The legendary aircraft still holds the record for the fastest commercial transatlantic flight on 7 February, 1996 as one of the supersonic planes completed the journey across the Atlantic Ocean in two hours, 52 minutes and 59 seconds.

Almost 30 years on and no civilian aircraft has made the trip between JFK and Heathrow faster than Concorde managed to.

By way of comparison, the fastest ever journey between the two by a subsonic civilian aircraft was four hours and 56 minutes long.

A British Airways 747 arriving 80 minutes ahead of schedule in 2020 set the record after it was buoyed along by a jet stream caused by Storm Ciara.

All these years later, that magnificent achievement that was Concorde still reigns supreme.

Featured Image Credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images/Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Topics: Travel, Technology, US News, UK News, NASA