The Future of
Tu-144LL supersonic jet is a flying laboratory. Tu-144LL project is led by Boeing. NASA High-Speed Research Program is also led by Boeing. The general public will soon no longer be able to travel on a supersonic transport airliner. In October 2003, the Concorde was taken out of service. The Russian supersonic airplane has also been removed from service.The new tu-144LL can fly at a speed of 2,574.9 km or 1,600 miles per hour.
With the A380 looming on the horizon, Boeing considered building a super-jumbo, such as a double-decked 747, to compete head-to-head with Airbus. Instead of engaging in an aerial dogfight, the company is taking a totally different tack. It recently unveiled plans to build a super-fast commercial aircraft called the Sonic Cruiser or the 20XX. The twin-engined plane will fly at speeds around Mach 0.95--just shy of the speed of sound but about 20 percent faster than today's jets.
The plane features a unique shape that makes it look different from all current commercial passenger jets, including a double delta-shaped wing and a horizontal stabilizer near the nose. Condit says the Sonic Cruiser will seat 175 to 250 passengers and fly at higher altitudes than conventional jets. The faster speed would shave approximately 1 hour off of a 3,000 journey. For instance, it could eliminate up to 3 hours from a flight to Asia.
According to Condit, the ability to fly faster over extended ranges will allow passengers to fly where they want to go, when they want to go. People will fly directly to their destinations, avoiding congested hubs and the hassle or intermediate stops. "This new airplane will change the way the world flies as dramatically as did the introduction of the jet age," predicts Condit.
The Sonic Cruiser is not expected to enter service until the end of this decade. Many design details and manufacturing issues must still be worked out. However, Condit claims the airplane could be built with conventional material and be powered by the same engines now used on Boeing's 777 model.