The patent drawings covering the Gulfstream inventions

You need to go to Flightglobal here to read all about this, but it looks like Gulfstream has made some very promising breakthroughs in suppressing the shockwaves that have been a barrier to the development of supersonic passenger aircraft that can fly directly over cities.

There is no information about its range or payload as this is all about engineering and design features, but if it could be made to work for a supersonic business jet or SSBJ then naturally the same innovations can be scaled up one day to airliner size.

One day soon, many would hope. Concorde was a wonderful yet limited machine, which could carry up to 100 passengers at maximum speeds of just under or over mach 2 between New York City and London, but the supersonic boom it generated was too damaging at its most intense to be acceptable over built up areas.

The last Concorde service flew in October 2003, after a retirement brought on by the need to replace and upgrade some of its systems at a cost far in excess of any plausible returns.

Contrary to popular reports, the jet was profitable for British Airways for a period during the 1980s, when it made around £ 600 million in profits, although the acquisition costs of the very expensive Anglo-French jet were not borne by the two operators, BA and Air France, but by the taxpayers of each country.

Those glory days in terms of expense accounts passed, and in the 90s these services made rather less if anything for the two airlines, with a significant factor being the rising cost of fuel and the consumption by Concordes of around four times as much of it per passenger or flight as the most efficient Boeing 747s of the times.

Concorde was not the fastest nor highest flying SST, the USSR’s TU-144 at mach 2.3 and sustainable altitudes of more than 63,000 feet was able to fly faster and higher, however it couldn’t do so safely, or for useful distances, while Concorde was superbly competent at crossing the North Atlantic both ways with full payload.

The display Concorde at Heathrow after flights ceased