Two new planes on the frontiers of civil aviation

Wealthy business travellers looking for alternatives to airport line-ups will soon have another option in the corporate jet market. You see it here. It’s the world’s first supersonic business jet, currently being developed by Aerion Corp., a Nevada firm. The plane uses technology pioneered in the Concorde. It can fly up to 12 passengers at speeds of 1.6 times the speed of sound (1,700 km/h), over the sea and special land corridors. The company says it will be possible to fly from Europe in the morning (GMT) and arrive in New York the same morning (ET). The jet has also been designed with noise-reducing technology to permit acceptable sound levels for fast flying over many countries. The Economist magazine reports that Aerion has already received deposits from 20 customers. Last year, sales of business jets outside the United States for the first time outstripped domestic sales.

On the other side of the spectrum, take a look at this unique design (click on the photo for a close-up look). British low-cost airline easyJet is planning to introduce this environment-friendly “Ecojet” turborprop for short-haul flights by 2015. The plane will emit 75% less nitrous oxide and 50% less carbon dioxide than jet airplanes in use today. It’s unique engine position and propeller design should also make it one of the quietest airplanes of its size in the world.

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Thanks to Aeiron Corporation for its illustration and easyJet Airline Company Limited for its promotional photograph.

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