A hypothetical design for a 32-passenger airliner capable of mach 3, designed for long-duration over-water flights, to avoid supersonic flight over land.
I (like many other people) believe the Concorde airliner to be one of the most beautiful machines ever created - a perfect combination of form and function that was probably the pinnacle of 20th-century aviation design. Sadly, due to economic and political factors, no Concorde has flown for more than a decade. This design study came about as an attempt answer the question: how hard would it be to build a workable supersonic airliner in the 21st century?
Basic aerodynamic modelling, weight calculation and engine type combinations were assessed, resulting in a final concept that would meet current noise and pollution requirements, and allow cities 10,000km apart to be connected in just under four hours, at a cost per ticket similar to current business fares.
The final design concept would feature variable-geometry wings, mixed-cycle turbofan engines, compression-lift enhancement and would have an empty weight of 25 tons. With an economical cruising speed of mach 2.8 (or 3,000 kph) the flight time from Hong Kong to Los Angeles would be four hours, and cost around $3,400 for the return journey, at late 2016 jet fuel prices. LHR to JFK would be completed in just over 2 hours.