Like many people, I haven't yet finished sighing over the demise of Concorde. I'd never actually travelled on one - which again makes me like many people - but it symbolised a whole lot more than crossing the Atlantic while being squashed into a tiny cabin. Man's eternal reaching for greater achievements, that sort of thing. Plus it had a bloody great pointy nose, which was pretty damn cool.
Nonetheless, there are some whose primary concern is the lack of very fast travel (preferably while drinking gin at the time), and for those individuals rich enough a new breed of supersonic private jet has emerged. Wired News writes about one such example: the 130 foot QSST (Quiet SuperSonic Travel), winged brainchild of the Supersonic Aerospace International consortium. Capable of 4,600 miles nonstop flight and doing LA to NYC in a tinkle over two hours, the $2.5bn project could be ready by 2013.
The likelihood of any of us clambering onboard one of these uber-jets is pretty slim, and with that - despite all their engineering mastery - to my mind they fall short of the legacy left by Concorde. For while it was never exactly a cheap ride, it was still an achieveable possibility for the everyman; a chance, with some saving, to break the sound barrier with no more fuss than that required to open airline peanuts.
New York to L.A. in Two Hours [Wired News]