Concorde flew from London to New York in three and a half hours. It soared at nearly twice the speed of sound, leaving an almighty sonic boom in its wake. The noise restricted where it could fly, but now NASA hopes it can resurrect faster-than-sound travel, with quiet supersonic flight.
Enter X-59 QueSST (Quiet SuperSonic Technology), developed by NASA and Lockheed Martin. With its uniquely designed shape, the aircraft should allow NASA to break the sound barrier again – but this time, with no more noise than your neighbour slamming a car door.
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Andrew is a science, history and sci-fi writer. He studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge University and obtained a PhD in Theoretical Astrophysics from Manchester University. He worked in the scientific civil service, including three years in the Ministry of Defence.