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High-Speed Market Studies

A pointed, narrow airplane flies above the clouds. The sun shines through many, tiny passenger windows.
Artist concept of a high-speed point-to-point vehicle.
NASA Langley

Owing to NASA’s Quesst mission and Commercial Supersonic Technology project, there is growing industry interest in commercial aircraft that fly faster than the speed of sound. In 2020, NASA funded two independent studies to investigate the economic viability of this potential market for high-speed commercial flight. Since then, NASA has funded additional studies to investigate the technology developments needed for these aircraft, as well as the regulatory and certification barriers that currently exist for aircraft that break the sound barrier.

Although the initial studies found an economically feasible market may exist for aircraft that fly between 2-4 times the speed of sound, additional studies have shown the most profitable market is at the lower end of this speed range. In addition, current restrictions on overland sonic booms, landing and takeoff noise, and engine emissions currently prohibit the operation of high-speed commercial aircraft. NASA’s Commercial Supersonic Technology and Hypersonic Technology projects are working to overcome the technological and regulatory barriers by partnering with industry and other government agencies. In addition, NASA hosts industry workshops to discuss high-speed commercial flight and to understand this evolving industry.

Presentations and reports from the market studies are available on the NASA Technical Reports Server:

SAIC Report

SAIC Presentation

Deloitte Report

Deloitte Presentation



Last Updated
Jun 21, 2024
Jim Banke