The Slow Takeoff of Robert Bass's Supersonic Business Jet

The billionaire’s supersonic business jet could fly by 2019

In 2000, Texas billionaire Robert Bass came across a theory of supersonic speed and aircraft wing technology that made him reach for his checkbook. First, he bought five textbooks used in Stanford University aeronautics classes to bone up on the subject. Then as he delved into the physics of planes, he became increasingly convinced that a profitable supersonic business jet was viable. Says Bass, who flew on the Concorde, which took passengers across the Atlantic faster than the speed of sound for 27 years until it was retired in 2003: “The more I dug into it, the more interesting it got.”

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