Forum 360: Supersonics 16 June 2023 1415 - 1500
High-speed commercial travel has been in the making for the better part of 50 years, starting with the fielding of the Concord SST. In the 1970s, supersonic flight was only allowed over water (over the Atlantic or the Pacific) due to the unpleasant effects of the sonic boom. In addition, propulsion technology was not at a performance and efficiency level that was profitable for the operator or quite enough for airport communities during landing and takeoff. The current second wave of supersonic commercial ventures is banking on numerous innovations, including advancements in materials, aerodynamics, and, in some cases, low boom technology to enable overland flights and enable economic operations. The development of an efficient propulsion system remains both a challenge and a unique opportunity. Along with the innovations required, the policies and regulations of integrating high-speed flight into the commercial air traffic need to be revisited due to today's globally crowded airspace. This panel will discuss the nuances of integrating supersonic flight into commercial traffic as well as the technical challenges of developing efficient and sustainable aircraft and engines that are cost effective for the operator.
Robert A. “Robbie” Cowart
Founder and CEO, RAC Consulting