Aircraft enthusiasts are waiting with growing anticipation for the unveiling of plans for a supersonic jet that may be able to fly London to Sydney in just four hours.
U.S. builders - helped by the Nasa space agency - will reveal the prototype successors to Concorde at the Farnborough air show next month.
Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Gulfstream are leading the way to build the new supersonic passenger plane which will be targeted at first at the business jet market.
All three companies believe they are close to reduce the sonic boom to a sound described by a Gulfstream engineer last week as 'closer to a puff or plop'.
Lighter composite materials, more advanced engines and smaller fuselages could enable new jets to travel about twice as fast as Concorde, which flew at up to 1358mph, according to the Sunday Times.
Passengers will travel at speeds of more than 2,485mph, allowing them to cruise in luxury from London to Sydney, just over 12,000 miles away.
Currently, the fastest subsonic executive jet, Gulfstream's new G650, can fly 7,000 miles at a 646mph and has a top speed of just 704mph.
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