Is There a Market for Supersonic Airlines? NASA Thinks So

Number of big jet makers showing interest? Zero

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, center, answers questions along with David Melcher, CEO of the Aerospace Industry Association (AIA), left, and Jaiwon Shin, Associate Administrator for NASA's Aerospace Research Mission Directorate, right, during a press conference, Monday, Feb. 29, 2016 at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

Photographer: Joel Kowsky/NASA

Since the dawn of the Jet Age, airline travel has evolved radically save one aspect: We still fly at around 500 mph. The Boeing 707, usually credited with starting it all in 1957, cruised at 600 mph with an altitude ceiling of 41,000 feet—almost identical to airplanes currently in production.

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