The New Supersonic Plane
10 years after the world’s most famous supersonic jet, the Concorde, stopped flying the race is on for its successor. Two American companies, Aerion and Spike Aerospace, have announced that they are working on a new jet that could take off by 2020.
First, however, they must overcome one of the disadvantages that the old Concorde had – the sonic boom, a noise that is produced by a plane when it travels at speeds faster than sound. It is like thunder over your head, which led to the banning of Concorde flights over some countries. Before solving this sonic boom problem, such a new supersonic plane is unlikely to be commercially used.
Spike Aerospace is currently working on a smaller plane without windows. This will lower the overall costs of the plane and make it even faster. Instead of windows, there will be flatscreens that show Powerpoint presentations or a feature film. With cameras attached to the fuselage passenger will not have to do without the scenery passing by.
The builders of the jet are also looking for ways to use less fuel and make flights cheaper. Designers of the plane are working together with NASA to create thinner wings that produce less friction and drag. Each plane will cost about 70 million $.
The new business jet will have a capacity of 12 to 18 seats and be able to travel at speeds of up to 1200 miles per hour. The company says that trips from Los Angeles to Tokyo will take about 5 hours.
- announce = to say officially
- attach = connect to
- ban= forbid
- capacity = the number of people that a plane can carry
- commercially = to use something and get money for it
- create = make
- currently = at the moment
- disadvantage = bad side of something
- drag = the air that pushes against an airplane
- feature film = full length film with professional actors
- friction = when two objects rub against each other
- fuel = liquid that can be burned in order to make something work
- fuselage = the main part of the plane, in which people sit
- however = but
- instead of = in something’s place
- lower = reduce
- overcome = solve
- race = fight, battle
- scenery = landscape, the world outside
- solve = find an answer to a problem
- speed = how fast something is
- successor = here: a plane that exists after the first one
- supersonic =faster than the speed of sound
- unlikely = probably not