The withdrawal from service of Concorde took place in 2003, yet dreams of supersonic flight continue to percolate.
Today brings word from Boom Technology, a Y Combinator startup in Denver, that it is pulling back the covers on its blueprints and computer simulations for a 40-seater aircraft that could fly at speeds above Mach 1 (1,224kph) -- which means moving faster than sound waves can travel.
At peak speeds, Boom's aircraft would hit Mach 2.2, the company said. At that speed, a New York-to-London flight would take about 3-and-a-half hours, in theory.
The company's aircraft engineers will follow the industry trend of replacing metal components with lightweight plastics reinforced with carbon fibers, lighter yet still sturdy.
Boom isn't alone. Boeing and Lockheed Martin are working on supersonic commercial jets, in collaboration with NASA.
In the past half-dozen years, other companies, such as Dassault Aviation, Aerion, and Gulfstream Aerospace, have developed technologies hoping for supersonic aircraft as private jets. And Bombardier has dreamed up Antipode, a jet aircraft that could fly between London to New York in 11 minutes.
It's a bit surprising that Boom choose that name for itself. One of the regulatory hold-ups for supersonic travel is that breaking the sound barrier generates a sonic boom, which has led to restrictions for such flights over land.
NASA has done work to show that innovative airframe shapes can lessen the boom, but it's not clear until an actual test aircraft takes flight what Boom's sound profile will be.
On that note, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has also been innovating with designs for a quieter supersonic passenger plane, and it recently claimed success with a model test-dropped in Sweden. EADS, the parent company of Airbus, has also designed components that could help toward restoring supersonic travel.
Boom is hoping that today's press event will bring in more investors. The company has only raised about $2 million to date, reports The Guardian.
Boom is an 11-person startup, six of whom are pilots, according to an in-depth profile by Bloomberg News.