Can NASA Bring the Concorde Back to Life?

Lockheed Martin is calling in the A-Team for this one

Before Lockheed Martin and NASA start orbiting a research platform around Mars in 2028, the two aerospace companies are hoping to accomplish something here on the third rock from the sun:

Make the Concorde great again.

Specifically, they plan on getting the faster-than-sound aircraft — which last flew in November 2003 yet still owns the Guinness World Record for fastest commercial flight between London and New York — back in the air by fixing its biggest problem … being too damn loud.

In order to allow the aircraft to go supersonic without scaring the crap out of us land-lubbers, NASA and LM are redesigning the shape of the plane so it can hit the same speeds but create less powerful waveforms, resulting in what they term a “low boom.”

The formula for the plane has been in development since the ‘90s, but only recently has the design been anywhere close to a reality, according to NASA Commercial Supersonic Technology Project Manager Peter Coen.

“We’ve been able to go from a nice mathematical solution, which you really couldn’t design an airplane to meet, to the point where we’ve got a good practical solution for low noise that we can meet with a practical airplane design.”

If all goes to plan, a redesigned Concorde could be conducting overflight testing by 2021.

Here’s to hoping it goes quietly into the night.

Via Travel+Leisure

Image via Nasa / Lockheed Martin


Join America's Fastest Growing Spirits Newsletter THE SPILL. Unlock all the reviews, recipes and revelry — and get 15% off award-winning La Tierra de Acre Mezcal.