When you think luxury travel, what comes to mind? Cruise liners complete with putting green and casino? Waiter-served meals served on crushed velvet green sofas on the Orient Express? Well, how about Concorde? And more importantly, what about Concorde 2.0?
France + Britain = Concorde
Concorde was an aviation phenomenon. A combination of British and French ingenuity, the turbojet-powered supersonic cloud-piercer flew at twice the speed of sound. From 1976 – 2003 Concorde became the go-to choice for well-heeled travellers. Sadly thanks to its thunderous sonic boom, several countries banned Concorde from entering their fly zones.
A premium transatlantic transport with top speeds at top prices, Concorde’s story came to an ignominious ending in 2003 following a tragic crash three years prior.
But like all good stories, a sequel is on the cards. Or at least the blueprints are on the table…
Concorde 2.0: greater speed but no cigar
Airbus has patented plans for a follow-up jet engine similar in concept to its forbearer. Bearing the working title Concorde 2.0, it’s currently touted as having double the speed and only a fifth of the passenger intake of its predecessor. Make no mistake then, this will be a prestige service. With flights between London and New York estimated at around one hour, it’ll likely attract those with little time and big wallets.
Back in the original’s heyday, passengers were treated to the mile-high delights of Dom Perignon, lobster canapés and caviar. Modern sensibilities and the small matter of legal regulations probably means that cigars are off the menu aboard Concorde 2.0, but don’t rule out the odd truffle or two as you race through the stratosphere.
Room, not boom
Thanks to some nifty engineering, the ear-splitting cacophony of the sonic boom will be diffused before it has chance to reach the ground. Oh and there’s way more in-flight wriggle-room too. The original plane was renowned for its small passenger intake of around 100. Concorde 2.0 divides that by five - you’ll be sharing with just 19 other premier plane passengers.
Destination: the future!
Currently just a collection of blueprints and concept designs, there’s not exactly an immediate flight aboard Concorde 2.0 scheduled for take-off. But companies don’t patent plans for fun. And yes, these designs were created six years ago. It’s likely they will be subject to huge revision and tampering before any legitimate manufacturing begins. It’s all a question of waiting and seeing when and where the service launches. Literally.
If it does, save us a seat!