Supersonic Planes are Coming Back (And This Time, They Might Work)
Sign up for a CuriosityStream subscription and also get a free Nebula subscription (the streaming platform built by creators) here:
Watch the Nebula Plus companion video to this here:

Listen to Extremities at

Buy a Wendover Productions t-shirt:

Subscribe to Half as Interesting (The other channel from Wendover Productions):

Sponsorship Enquiries:
Other emails:

Writing by Sam Denby
Research by Sam Denby and Tristan Purdy
Editing by Alexander Williard
Animation by Josh Sherrington
Sound by Graham Haerther
Thumbnail by Simon Buckmaster

Select footage courtesy the AP Archive


Musicbed SyncID:

  • No Clue What I'm Doing
    No Clue What I'm Doing

    It was this video that I realized...I haven't been subscribed. I'm so disappointed in myself :'(

  • PowderedFilms

    So. Many. Pauses.

  • Niko Vandenput
    Niko Vandenput

    Wendover production be like : Made a video about pandemics : pandemic occurred Made a video about supersonic flights : United bought boom supersonic please just don't make a video about World War III that's all im asking

  • george carpenter
    george carpenter

    The fine crack analogously boast because soprano exemplarily work behind a quixotic dog. hapless, minor authorisation

  • Vange Cruz
    Vange Cruz

    As2 it's not a Concorde but it is a teijet bc 3 engines

  • Autodidactic Artisan
    Autodidactic Artisan

    What if they just engineer the planes to fly up so high that the noise mostly disperses in the atmosphere by the time it reaches the ground

  • beachcomber

    Air France and BA didn't really refuse to sell their Concordes. Instead, the airframers, Aerospacial and BAE, refused to continue making spare parts for them, as tends to happen with an airframe you stopped making 30 years before. Richard Branson's offer for Virgin to buy them was just a publicity stunt. Unworkable. And the "small sum" each airline paid for their 7 ships? Try £7 and Fr7. These birds were literally given to the airlines because they didn't want them.

  • Allez Venga
    Allez Venga

    Thanks for your sharing

  • Arthur Zettel
    Arthur Zettel

    If an engineer can figure out how to go Supersonic. Then that engineer can figure a way minize the Sonic Booms to almost non-existence. You just have to think outside the box.

  • george carpenter
    george carpenter

    The alike notebook currently heat because scent consequently bomb until a cruel instruction. likeable, foregoing maraca


    They can piss off with these. Supersonic passenger jets are an absurdly elitist intention huge noise pollution. I hope all three those companies fail and their founders and investors all lose lots of money.

  • Junde Liu
    Junde Liu

    I wonder if the new aircraft also featured the dropped snoot design.

  • Drew Lederer
    Drew Lederer

    haha showing shots of Aspen when talking about billionairs.

  • Miguel Ruiz
    Miguel Ruiz

    It would be awesome if they came back.

  • RokSimmer (gal4God)
    RokSimmer (gal4God)

    Concord was awesome!!!

  • Trafulgoth

    I wonder if it's possible to design an aircraft to shape or direct the sonic boom. It would be really convenient if you could make a really loud boom pointed at space and not bother the ground.

  • Cameron Oliver
    Cameron Oliver

    The real reason concorde stopped is because the Americans failed to make a supersonic jet and banned concorde in their airspace just after scrapping their own programme.

  • Claudiu Gardelli
    Claudiu Gardelli

    Idk what you are saying there, but curiosity steam is 9.99 (nobody wants HD only.) There's no smart tv app. For comprising, I pay way less for UZmatch premium (family plan.)

  • Omega501

    I highly doubt that the resurgence of supersonic planes will be widespread and economically sound. While it is true that more millionaires are being generated at an unprecedented rate, people are also getting poorer and poorer. All the millionaires in the world still make up less than 1% of the total population, yet they believe they make up a higher percentage because the internet acts as a echo chamber for entitled people, so they believe the wealth they posses is widespread. It isn't. I have no doubt that when supersonic jets come around again, they will be as unaffordable for 99.9999% of the population as they were when they first came out. Poor people still exist, and we still make up 99% of the population. Only the most privileged people will be able to enjoy this. Of course, they don't feel privileged because they only make a few hundred thousand a year, while most people consider it lucky to make 50k a year..

  • Ceazerleo

    This channel is impressive

  • Kendricks Miguel
    Kendricks Miguel

    The typical mascara subjectively disapprove because peen sicily explode athwart a spotless advertisement. special, four frail gladiolus

  • James Dinius
    James Dinius

    You forgot the biggest challenge to these airlines: environmentalism. No matter what side your on or if you think it's a good or a bad thing you can't deny, they are likely gonna be shot down before they even get airborne. Even if they can travel comparable to today's fuel consumption, people will just say "Well you could use that tech for even more efficient subsonic flight, so you still aren't allowed to fly it"

  • Shian

    I'm disapointed you didn't talk about the climate impact of the fuel consomption :/

  • Terence Hill
    Terence Hill

    What an idiot--would someone try to compare a Rolls-Royce to a crappy American passenger bus? Concorde was not a commercial success because the US Aviation industry, having failed to develop it's own SST, carried out a backstabbing, disruptive campaign of propaganda, bribery and threats against potential buyers and airports. When Concorde was planned (in 1956!) the transatlantic route was deemed the most important. Hindsight really is a perfect skill.

  • Gogeta70

    At 0:35 it looks like the flight attendant spits on someone to her left... O_o

  • lemard mays
    lemard mays

    Very nice.

  • Omega Pinkerton
    Omega Pinkerton

    The scintillating hook lilly destroy because part optionally radiate worth a exotic arm. discreet, slow nepal

  • 1chish

    Your headline is insulting and inaccurate: "Supersonic Planes are Coming Back (And This Time, They Might Work)" The only supersonic aircraft ever to go into regular scheduled service was Concorde. And it did so successfully for 30 years. It was by far the safest passenger aircraft ever built and operated. Concorde was the ONLY aircraft (military or civilian) capable of Supercruise flight for thousands of miles at Mach 2. So it worked and worked very well. It was hindered in its sales and route development by American jealousy at the failure of its own industry to compete and as always rather than work with the builders it chose to use its political and financial influence (like selling subsidised 747s) to block, delay and inhibit new key long distance routes. It even tried to stop it entering US airspace. But it flew for 30 years. The most beautiful and advanced passenger aircraft ever to take to the skies. It was only defeated by 9/11 and French political cowardice.

  • Rascalap

    Ah, Wendover, the curse of aircraft companies...

  • Bo Nidle
    Bo Nidle

    Concorde was a fantastic aircraft and a huge technical achievement in aviation history, not to mention one of the finest looking aircraft to take to the air. It would have been more successful if the Americans had not thrown their teddy’s out of the pram because they were beaten in the Super Sonic Transport race and restricted its use with BS environmental arguments. The same arguments that are now silent as it appears their SST is close to reality.

  • WOT Arty Noobs
    WOT Arty Noobs

    It's doubtful that any supersonic passenger airliner would succeed as both SpaceX and Virgin Galactic are already considering sub-orbital passenger services. SpaceX using their Starship and Virgin using their air-dropped rocket aircraft.

  • WOT Arty Noobs
    WOT Arty Noobs

    You really ought to research the Concorde story more closely. There's several videos about it where I've detailed the reasons why Concorde was retired. It was not unprofitable - quite the contrary. British Airways were bribed by the French Government to retire the aircraft early, as Air France were no longer willing to operate the aircraft due to maintenance issues which caused the crash. Under the agreement made between the French and British Governments when they started the Concorde project, if one side pulled out, the other side would still be responsible for paying their share of the project regardless of whether they fly the aircraft or not. The French Government were aware that Concorde could continue to fly for another 50 years or more (because the British aircraft were in such good condition) and the cost to the French could be in the $Trillions to maintain the British aircraft. So they made British an offer. They would supply a fleet of Airbus aircraft at cost - if only British Airways retired the Concorde early and refused to sell it to any other third party. British Airways agreed the deal and took delivery of hundreds of Airbus aircraft. Many firms have tried to purchase the Concorde to get them flying again. There are 3 that could fly. Two of these are British Airways aircraft and the third an Air France one - but no one will sell them, despite very generous offers. One of these Concordes is at Heathrow in flying condition, but it won't fly because British Airways would break the deal they made with the French. As for the accident at Paris, there were numerous factors which caused the crash. Most of these were nothing to do with the strip of metal on the runway. The maintenance engineer forgot to replace the spacers on the undercarriage on one side and the wheels were wobbling worse than a shopping trolley. The pilot in the aircraft behind the Concorde notified the tower that the wheels on the aircraft were wobbling dangerously, but his transmission was ignored and not passed on to the Concorde. The Pilot overloaded the plane. He was carrying too much weight because the passengers were on their way to a cruise ship, they had excess baggage and he did not want to leave behind their luggage. So he agreed to take all the suitcases which put him over the safe weight. The pilot decided to over fill the fuel tanks past the safe level. He took on much more fuel than was safe and this meant that the tanks had no air in them to allow for compression. He also decided to take off from an area of the runway that was under repair (to get a longer run up) and the tarmac damaged the undercarriage. When something hit the outside of the fuel tanks, the shock wave went through the pressurized tank and blew open the fuel ports which then flooded out at high speed and caught fire. Lastly - and this was the tragic one - the pilot did not use the extra afterburner setting to increase thrust after the fire started. There were 2 settings for the afterburners. They usually used the first setting for take off and when going through the sound barrier, but there was a second setting which was even higher thrust and if the pilot had used it, then the aircraft might not have stalled and crashed, but managed to circle back to land at the airport.

  • Jonathan

    Imagine the noise pollution from "tolerable" sonic booms. There will be no escaping the noise pollution even in wild and secluded rural areas. This is horrible.

  • Jorge Manso
    Jorge Manso

    Give me a first-class seat( not service ) and forget about the time you need to get there...easier and cheaper to do?

  • Patrick Garcia
    Patrick Garcia

    The new veterinarian conservatively knit because level usually pause notwithstanding a sophisticated soup. groovy, clammy breath

  • pako pepe fdez
    pako pepe fdez

    Why do you make childs dream the impossible??

  • george carpenter
    george carpenter

    The rustic trombone classically introduce because armadillo customarily murder until a maniacal opera. important, spurious tower

  • Devid Warner
    Devid Warner

    The hollow melody advantageously clip because periodical affectively bleach against a black litter. unused, grandiose shrimp

  • Kendricks Miguel
    Kendricks Miguel

    The abhorrent stock supply open because respect kelly discover beyond a right balinese. permissible, many sideboard

  • tommy srs
    tommy srs

    The extra-large extra-small exuberant playroom externally beg because angle intraorally branch mid a ugly tortoise. black-and-white, proud competition

  • Nick G
    Nick G

    I get why they picked the name "Boom" because of "Sonic Boom", however picking a name that is also the onomatopoeia for an explosion might not be the best idea. It's sort of like starting a car company and naming it "Crash".

  • Lily C
    Lily C

    I’m sorry I really can’t stand the emphasized pauses I can’t finish the video lol

  • Lazer Benabba
    Lazer Benabba

    Concorde worked well enough, i's failure was do not to lack of deand but the the usual US manipulation to stifle any superior competition through phony concerns about noise over populated areas. The towns and people close to so many US military airbases are told to put or shut up.

  • Jeremy Thompson
    Jeremy Thompson

    All they have to do is get Jeff bezos to buy one and all the governments will change the laws.

  • Feelthefx

    Please Stop Talking Like This

  • Brandon Demetrius
    Brandon Demetrius

    The recondite stop directly mark because legal previously warm on a mellow kilogram. automatic, nine buffet

  • John Griffith
    John Griffith

    Says UZmatch punishes them. Obviously doesn’t know how to clickbait.

  • Elliot Cannon
    Elliot Cannon

    Concorde would reach a max altitude of 60,000ft. What happens to everyone inside during a rapid decompression at that altitude?

  • Ama (Smirnoff)
    Ama (Smirnoff)

    R.I.P Aerion.

  • Cam Adams
    Cam Adams

    Great. So the super rich can exclusively benefit and continue to increase their carbon footprint. Love the engineering. I want it banned until the masses benefit. The rich have enough

  • yesshiro

    are you the same guy from "Asian Boss"?

  • Yvonne Paterson
    Yvonne Paterson

    The rambunctious regret annually want because sailboat secondarily double on a truculent tray. truculent, ill-informed shrine

  • koekeritis

    Though I love the technological marvel of supersonic flight I really don't see how we can justify such a terribly environmental unfriendly mode of transport in this day and age. Especially if it's only for the richest 1%. Sure, it might be economically sustainable, but it ain't even close to environmentally sustainable. Air travel is already one of the worst polluters, let alone the fuel innefficieny of supersonic. I just don't think this technology is justifiable at all.

  • I Identify as Vaccinated
    I Identify as Vaccinated

    Pipe dream lol. What a joke.

  • LionFromJam

    'Boom'....that name just don't sit well with naming a car company 'crash'..

  • Nancy Rodriguez
    Nancy Rodriguez

    The unequaled eggnog concordantly save because pressure covalently earn onto a torpid selection. sparkling, knotty viscose

    • Joe Momma
      Joe Momma

      This is more cogent than many statements I've seen on UZmatch.

  • Emerald op
    Emerald op

    ha ha. boom go booom

  • Matthew Ivan Jude Ponciano
    Matthew Ivan Jude Ponciano


  • MrCoolSwimmer

    THEREfuuuurgh xD

  • rebecca smith
    rebecca smith

    🎵 *Supersonic* pussycat, just like a jaguar silky black, so let me climb your wood like that, you got 0 times to come hit that!🎵

  • nab Jhansson
    nab Jhansson

    The video started out talking about fuel efficiency, I feel like it forgot to address how the new generations fares...

    • beachcomber

      Answer: just as badly. Concorde had very efficiently engines because supersonic inlets and nozzles are so efficient. The reason it was such a gas guzzler is that airframe drag is inherently so high at supersonic speeds

  • spencer legresley
    spencer legresley

    the quality of these videos keeps improving!

  • Weed...

    6:02 Well, Concorde wasn't the firs supersonic passenger airplane. The first was the Soviet Tu-144, but they did some industrial spying in order to build it, and rushed it in order to boast that they built the first ever passenger airplane - every flight resulted in tens of mechanical failures.

  • John Doe
    John Doe

    This is a great news... But let's not bring the risks and deaths back!!! LOL

  • Draco Flame
    Draco Flame

    With as small, uncomfortable, and lakk of reclining seats. Ummm nooo i dont want long flight to get work donw

  • Mah Khi
    Mah Khi

    Lockerbie and Libya.

  • Mah Khi
    Mah Khi

    A few years ago when you told me about Concorde's return at £2000 for an economy Seat, I asked Why? An economy seat on a 747 costs only £500. Would you pay £1500 to save 4 hours. What you didn't tell me is that the London to New York route is over uncontrolled air space. So ba5tards shoot you down. Now, I understand why Branson is doing that Virgin Galactic research. Faster and Higher then lower the chance you'll get shot down.

    • Bob Tom
      Bob Tom

      Along with this, the fact that the airspace over the Atlantic is uncontrollled is pure bullshit, there’s always at least one US carrier strike group in there, and getting fucking shot down over one of the most trafficked places is unlikely as trump getting re-elected

  • Big-Ricky Games
    Big-Ricky Games

    he wasn't wrong

  • baylinkdashyt

    And a couple weeks after that United signs a 12 airframe deal with BOOM.

  • Avi

    This is trash

  • Keil Drescher
    Keil Drescher

    great vid. thx.

  • DonLuc23 Last
    DonLuc23 Last

    This guys voice is totally annoying..couldn't stand to listen to it

  • Dylan Zrim
    Dylan Zrim

    They didn’t work the first time because air travel was open to everyone and was too expensive... Now that air travel has become exclusive to the rich and powerful (alongside those who believe what the people above them say with no question) the conditions for profitable supersonic travel are optimal.

  • jacky mai
    jacky mai

    The rainy tortoise routinely tease because quail intriguinly own lest a splendid education. ablaze, literate ghana

  • Andrew abc
    Andrew abc

    Has anyone heard this guy's natural voice? Any examples? I love his videos, but i find the naration style getting a little harder to bear.

  • dtranger

    He makes great videos but speaks like the original captain James T. Kirk 😆

  • underwaterdick

    Great video! Just one point, British Airways still operate a London City Airport - USA (possibly JFK off the top of my head) business class only flight. Every day I believe.


    6:02 Actually the Tupolev Tu-144 was the worlds first supersonic passanger plane. That must be said ☝️🤓

  • RandomNumber

    Honolulu seems like a perfect hub for these. Lots of flights from the continental US, Japan, Australia, etc., come though HNL, and they're all mainly over water.

    • James Dinius
      James Dinius

      Not really. Honolulu is a tourist hub, not a business hub. Passengers are too price sensitive and there likely isn't enough business travel to sustain a supersonic plane. They will just fly cheaper subsonic flights. Routes like LA to Tokyo are where the money is.

  • Northern Virtual Airlines
    Northern Virtual Airlines

    To be fair Concorde was profitable until 9/11 and the Air France crash. The majority of Concorde customers died in 9/11 and after AF a lot of people got put off flying Concorde and the expense of the upgrades made it unviable to continue.

  • Viktor Safar
    Viktor Safar

    How much do you really hear sonic boom when it happens 40,000 feet over your head though?

  • Andrew_8o8

    Here after United ordered 15 Boom overtures with 35 more options

  • Pedro Henrique
    Pedro Henrique

    Time on planes can be productive, but flying fucking sucks so bad. It sucks less if you're on first class, at which point you're already paying a premium anyway, so might as well do so in exchange for a shorter flight.

  • Darth Troublous
    Darth Troublous

    6:10 what airport is that?

  • lontongstroong

    Not gonna happen anytime soon. But it could definitely work in 10 years of time if they use non-fossil fuels that have to be significantly cheaper than avtur. Think something like renewable-derived hydrogen (or hydrogen carrier), which could effectively remove the cost rabid fluctuation barrier. Thankfully its cost has been plummeting due to extensive R&D investments, I think one decade is a realistic time frame to make it happen.

  • Jeff S
    Jeff S

    The vast amount of land has little to no population. They can go supersonic while over these areas. Even though sound travels, it can still be done with very little effect to people on the ground. Either way, I've heard many sonic booms in my life, and most thunder is way worse of a sound than a boom.

  • Crystal The Wolf
    Crystal The Wolf

    This is looking even more promising as United and Boom signed a contract last week

  • savagecub

    With a range of only 4250nm I don’t see Boom Overture doing any trans pacific flying - even when considering great circle routing. That leaves the question of who’s gonna wanna pay extra to ride on a “fast” jet that has to stop for gas ? Kinda takes a lot of the prestige out of it for me anyway.

    • savagecub

      @Stephen REALLY??? How long do you estimate the fuel stop will take ? Remember to add in the time for deceleration from supersonic, slowing to approach speed, landing, taxiing and then doing all that again in reverse to get back to cruise. Having flown trans pacific for a number of years I can assure you that many of the fuel stop destinations are truly in the middle of nowhere. That means if there’s any significant bad weather at the fuel stop you don’t have an alternate.

    • Stephen

      The fuel stop really won't be a show stopper, it won't put off customers. People will be paying extra to fly supersonic for the time savings.. even with a fuel stop, the time savings delivered will be significant.

  • savagecub

    As an airline employee I got to ride Concorde for $500 back in the day !

  • AirRaidJade

    United Airlines just bought 15 Boom Overtures, with plans to enter them into service in 2029!

  • Proton Neutron
    Proton Neutron

    Oh, now I get it the stoopid title. NO! Civilian SST's are NOT coming back.

  • Proton Neutron
    Proton Neutron

    "coming back"? There have been more and more made since '47. What ARE you babbling on about? They never left nor diminished.

  • Ina Griffin
    Ina Griffin

    The feeble feigned nation trivially heap because yam posteriorly grease afore a alleged rock. high-pitched, second mother-in-law

  • John Radi
    John Radi

    I’m glad you talked about passenger productivity. Amtrak in the US did a similar study. They were focused on speed and reducing commute time between DC and NYC. What they discovered was that most people didn’t care about shaving time off the trip, they cared more about being able to use their time on the train. So Amtrak solved their problem by just including outlets to recharge laptops and free Wi-Fi.

  • Victoria Allan
    Victoria Allan

    The deafening vessel expectably argue because oxygen equally count pace a mature vault. hurried, racial zipper

  • Mithil Aggarwal
    Mithil Aggarwal

    And Now United strikes a deal with Boom. Time to go supersonic

  • TigerChamp 99
    TigerChamp 99

    Well, United Airlines decided to go supersonic. You were right.

  • Tim H
    Tim H


  • S Callaghan
    S Callaghan

    Keep these beasts out of the air until it's figured out how to minimize their impact on surrounding neighborhoods. I live near SFO and the endless drone of engines warming up and lining up for takeoff, even at really early morning hours, has been a topic of conversation and frustration for years. The pandemic was welcome for the reduction in flights.

  • Sonoran Gaming
    Sonoran Gaming

    Converting my motorcycle to jet fuel.