Supersonic Aerospace International has designs for the Quiet Supersonic Transport (QSST), a business plane that could travel at supersonic speed with a minimal sonic boom. The Lockheed Martin "Skunk Works" design would allow planes to fly between Mach 1.6 and Mach 1.8 (almost 1,200 miles per hour) over populated land areas--twice the speed of current airlines. A flight from New York to Los Angeles could take as little as 2 hours and 15 minutes, the company says.
The first test flight is expected in 2011 and the first commercial flights are slated for 2013. SAI was founded in 2000 by J. Michael Paulson, son of Gulfstream founder and former CEO Allen Paulson.
Supersonic Aerospace International
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Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the social research and energy industries. He has bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Louisville, where he has also lectured on computer crime and crime prevention.