Reminding the shortest trans-atlantic flights in the 1980s, a new supersonic jet that can travel from New York to London in just three hours at 1,354 mph has successfully test-flown on Saturday without any passengers.
The prototype of S-512 Quiet Supersonic Jet can carry 18 passengers and it was test flown unmanned for the first time after a series of wind tunnel tests, said Spike Aerospace, the firm behind the new Concorde project.
Apart from Spike, NASA’s project was unveiled last month about a viable commercial supersonic jet capable of breaking the 767 mph sound barrier. The $390million project prototype was tested inside a massive wind tunnel at NASA’s Langley Research Center.
However, Spike has taken lead iwth first trans-atlantic test successfully carried out in three hours with the design and flight controls in tact.
Vik Kachoria, President and CEO of Spike, said: “The SX-1.2 test flights were conducted in a real world situation, and provide significantly more data than wind tunnel tests done in an artificial environment.We were able to test not only handling, but also a range of other considerations.”
The test included adjustments made mid-air to its mass, balance and controls and the aircraft was piloted by engineers KrishnaKumar Malu and Mike Ridlon at a private airfield in New England in the US.Malu said: “These test flights are providing incredibly valuable information which we can use to refine the design.I am very excited about how helpful these tests will be to oursupersonic development program.”
Spike hopes to make its S-512 supersonic aircraft ready by 2021, with its first commercial flight available by 2023. The prototype can reduce the flight from London to New York by eight hours, to just 3 hours and 30 minutes.
“Flying 450 mph faster than any other civilian jet, the Spike S-512 will enable customers to do more and enjoy more out of life,” Spike said.