The world of aviation took step backwards when the Concorde was withdrawn in 2003, but now we could leap forward again with a new business jet being developed by Boeing, Lockheed-Martin and Gulfstream, with help from NASA.
The X-54 will be able to reach speeds of 2,500-mph, or nearly double what the Concorde was capable of achieving. That will let you fly half way around the world from London to Sydney in just four hours, or about 16 hours less than the same route on a regular subsonic passenger jet.
Most importantly, new design techniques are said to have reduced the sonic boom that resulted in so many restrictions for Concorde, bringing it down to more of a sonic puff or plop. This should allow the plane to fly over populated areas at supersonic speed, without everyone on the ground thinking that a bomb just went off.
The X-54 will be the first of three supersonic models being developed by the partnership. The medium sized business jet is expected to debut in 2020, with larger commercial versions to follow in 2030 and 2035.
The developers say that the X-54 will be "sketched out" in a couple of weeks at the Farnborough Airshow in England. Just what sketched out means isn't entirely clear, but perhaps we won't need to rely on artists impressions for future stories on this subject.