Environment: The SST: Hour of Decision

Soon there will be only two kinds of airlines, those with Concorde and those which take twice as long.

In recent newspaper ads, that was the provocative sales pitch for the Concorde, the supersonic transport developed by Britain and France at a cost of nearly $3 billion. Indeed, the sleek, needle-nosed aircraft can fly 1,400 m.p.h., twice the speed of sound. It cuts trans-atlantic air travel from seven hours to 3%, and can lower the time for a San Francisco-Tokyo run from 11% hours to seven. But the Concorde ads may be prematurely optimistic. The plane has not yet received permission...

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