Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Mervyn Elliott

Second Advisor

Geoffrey Whitehurst

Third Advisor

Gilbert Sinclair


The supersonic transport was intended on being the next step for civil aviation during the jet age. The aircraft of the era were capable of transporting around 200 passengers across the Atlantic Ocean in just over seven hours. As jet flight was better understood, and engine technology advanced, it was felt that a supersonic transport would be within the realm of manufacture and operation. There was a clear division between the numerous supersonic transport programs, some choosing a smaller, less radical design, while other went with larger, very ambitious concepts. This proved crucial, as the larger programs later felt the burden of pushing the limits, while the more conservative designs were in some ways outdated by the time they entered service. The supersonic transport was meant to cut travel times in half, and revolutionize travel across the globe. This was half a century ago, and most passenger aircraft still travel at close to the same speed as they did at the start of the jet age. The supersonic transport was studied by numerous countries, each with varying degrees of success. Overall failure of the concept was multifaceted, yet there were very common struggles seen in each of the various programs.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Restricted